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Older women reconnecting after sexual violence through group work

Author(s)Duncan, Jill and Robyn Mason
Title Older women reconnecting after sexual violence through group work
Source Women Against Violence,2011 , Issue Twenty-three, pp18-28
Date 2011
Document type Research report
Coverage Victoria, Australia
Summary In this article the authors analyse a support group for older women who experienced sexual abuse as children and/or adults. The Older Women's Support Group operated in a rural sexual assault support service in Victoria, Australia. For the study two group interviews were conducted, in 2000 four months after its first meeting, and in 2007. The interviews covered a number of themes relating to the women's experiences of the group work, including mutual support and sisterhood, connection and reconnection, speaking out about sexual assault and the value of victim voices. One finding that emerged from the study was that the support and sisterhood aspects were seen to be the major factors in the group's longevity. It was also found that through reconnecting with the community the women saw themselves as experts, elders and mentors. The group was found to be effective because after the initial establishment of the group the members themselves facilitated the group process, mentored new members and provided support between meetings.
Keywords Sexual assault; older women; support group; mutual aid group; group work; service delivery

Sexual assault; service delivery