Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
sexual assault, healthcare, barriers, facilitators, disclosure
Sexual assault is apparent across the globe. Sexual assault victims and survivors face many barriers that decrease disclosure to healthcare providers leading to it becoming underreported. These barriers can be alleviated with interventions implemented by healthcare providers to ease the process of disclosure. Victims and survivors also face barriers seeking post-assault, follow-up, and mental healthcare. Researchers have described the barriers that sexual assault victims and survivors face accessing healthcare in the immediate period after assault, but less research has focused on healthcare beyond this period. Recognizing these barriers gives the opportunity for healthcare providers to remove them and make healthcare more accessible and comfortable. The purpose of this study was to determine 1). the barriers and facilitators to healthcare access and utilization beyond the immediate aftermath for sexual assault victims and survivors 2). determine the barriers and facilitators to disclosure of sexual assault to healthcare providers and 3). assess the test-retest reliability of the questionnaire. Data was collected through an electronic anonymous survey. Each participant completed the survey twice, between one and four weeks apart. Barriers to disclosure include thinking the healthcare provider could not help, the lack of screening, worried about reaction, and embarrassment and shame. Barriers and facilitators to healthcare were categorized using the Ecological Model of Well-Being. The mesosystem level focuses on the community and organizations, this is where the healthcare system is located and is the focus of this paper.
Stepnitz, Meghan, "Sexual Assault: Disclosure, Healthcare Barriers and Facilitators, and Interventions" (2022). Honors Theses. 3519.
Honors Thesis-Open Access
final HCP resources.pdf (46 kB)
final SA resources.pdf (43 kB)
final signs and symptoms.pdf (27 kB)
Signs and Symptoms
final response poster.pdf (153 kB)