The lived experience of help-seeking by South African women after sexual assault

Sheila Young Steinbrenner, Celeste Shawler, Sandra Ferreira, Claire Draucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of help-seeking by South African women following sexual assault. Hermeneutic phenomenology guided the study. Interviews were conducted with six women who had experienced sexual assault at some point in their lives. Three venues were most significant to women's help-seeking experiences: the criminal justice system, health care facilities, and/or social service agencies. Essentially, the women's help-seeking experiences in these three venues are best described as fraught justice-seeking, pragmatic help-seeking, and desperate help-seeking. The study findings have implications for the provision of services for women who experience sexual assault in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Care for Women International
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)

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