The researcher observed in practice that little has been researched regarding the effects of sexual violence on refugee women. This may denote that these women are not receiving relevant social work services to support them in their healing process. This study aimed to explore and describe the experiences of refugee women who were exposed to sexual violence. The study focussed specifically on refugee women, 18 years and older, who were exposed to sexual violence. The main objectives of the study were: to conceptualise and describe sexual violence as a phenomenon; to conceptualise and describe the status of refugee women; to explore and describe the effects of sexual violence on refugee women; to explore and describe the experiences and challenges of refugee women that were exposed to sexual violence; and to formulate guidelines regarding how these women can be supported by means of therapeutic interventions.
A qualitative, phenomenological research design was utilised in order to reach the goal of the study. The population represented refugee women who have been exposed to sexual violence and an unstructured interview schedule was used to interview the participants. The empirical findings of the study were that all participants that were exposed to sexual violence as refugee women experienced short- and long-term effects that affect their total well-being. The participants confirmed that the exposure to sexual violence has long-term effects, which in turn create several challenges due to a lack of resources in the community. Refugee women that were exposed to sexual violence need intensive therapy to survive this trauma.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2019.