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Blogging about sexual assault: a thematic analysis

Fawcett, H and Shrestha, L (2015) Blogging about sexual assault: a thematic analysis. Journal of Forensic Practice, 18. ISSN 2050-8794

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Abstract

Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of blogging (writing online weblogs) in facilitating healing following sexual assault. Design/methodology/approach – To explore how blog writing may facilitate healing and recovery, 30 blog posts written by survivors of sexual assault were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings – The analysis revealed three themes: the aftermath of abuse, the need for support and helping others. In accordance with past research, bloggers frequently did not receive the supportive reaction to a face-to-face disclosure that they desired. Instead, blogging provided a safe environment in which victims could deal with the ongoing challenge of coping with, and recovering from the abuse. Moreover, blogging enabled victims to use their negative experience to educate and support others going through a similar experience, therefore allowing the bloggers to achieve some positive growth. Practical implications – The results suggest that blogging and reading blogs may be beneficial to victims of sexual assault. Therefore, the findings support the recommendation of blogging by professionals working with victims of sexual assault. Originality/value – The study presents the first analysis of blogs written by victims of sexual assault to facilitate their healing.

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