IDVSA interviewed survivors of sexual assault and abuse to assess their experiences and needs (met and unmet) for sexual assault-specific services and resources in Texas. Our report is based on an analysis of our in-depth, trauma-informed interviews with survivors of sexual assault and parents/guardians of child survivors of sexual abuse. IDVSA and BBR conducted this research to understand survivors’ recovery journeys after sexual violence, focusing on experiences with the formal service system and other available resources. We developed findings based on independent and collaborative analyses of interview themes, then presented those findings to the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Task Force, Office of the Texas Governor.
This study is the second in a two-part project by IDVSA and BBR on sexual assault-specific services, resources, and needs. See the Part 1 page for more information and the first report based on a survey of service providers across the state.
A Note to Survivors
We are grateful beyond measure to each survivor—those who participated in this study and those who received the outreach and considered participating. We honor your courage to share your lived experiences, acknowledge the emotional energy it takes to recount a devastating time in your lives, and revere your resilience. We heard your voices, your profound determination to heal, and your desire to help others by sharing your stories. Our deepest hope is that we have done justice to your courage, experience, resilience, and trust. Survivors center our shared work. IDVSA’s vision is for all people to live peaceful and prosperous lives in a world free from violence. This research brings Texas one step closer to actualizing that vision.
- Bruce Kellison
- Noël Busch-Armendariz
- Matt Kammer-Kerwick
- Caitlin Sulley
- Victoria “Torie” Camp
- Deirdre Rabideau
- Stepha Dragoon
- Susan Sookram
- Yulanda McCarty-Harris
- Melanie Susswein
A presentation summarizing key findings from Part 1 and Part 2 of this project
Recovery Journey Framework
We identified three distinct phases that sexual assault and abuse survivors go through following victimization, on their journey toward recovery and healing: Processing, Searching, and Services. The report presents a general framework drawn from our study findings. Using that framework, we highlight two ways to conceptualize the recovery journey:
- Overall Attrition – Many more Texans experience sexual abuse and assault than come into contact with the formal service system or receive full access to effective, healing services. We discuss reasons, gaps, and barriers drawn from our research that contribute to this attrition.
- Individualized Journeys – Recovery rarely unfolds linearly, nor is recovery the same for every survivor of sexual assault or abuse. Four Journey Maps in the report capture the experiences described by four interview participants and illustrate specific examples of the stages of the recovery process, including the efforts, barriers, and resources along the way.