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Revista Mal Estar e Subjetividade

versão impressa ISSN 1518-6148


MARTINS, Rosimeire de Carvalho. Sexual abuse and resilience: facing adversities. Rev. Mal-Estar Subj. [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.2, pp. 727-750. ISSN 1518-6148.

Rape, a type of sexual abuse is a universal crime, illegal and sub notified, practiced against the sexual liberty of a person. It can be defined as an act of power in which the aggressor forces another person to maintain intercourse against her will. The preferential victims are, in general, of the feminine gender, even when they are children and adolescents. It is considered a public health problem due to its elevated incidence and its serious consequences. This research investigated young women perceptions which were victims of sexual abuse over the consequences that violence brought to their health in relation to emotional, physical and behavioral aspects, as well as the strategies for overcoming the wicked aspects caused by the violence and what indicators they use to reassure that they overcame the malicious effects to their health. Eighteen women were interviewed; twelve of them were victimized by an unknown person (extrafamily abuse) and six by someone from her own family group (intrafamily abuse). The data was analyzed by the technique of theme analysis of content. We verified that in 50% of the women the negative effects in their health remained, even after one year after the violence, making their sexual, social and family relations difficult. They could not count on the support of the family or professionals. In the other 50% of the cases, we identified a growing movement to overcome the stress and harmful consequences to retrieve their lives. The social and family support, as well as the psychological support service acted as helpers in the development of resilient behaviors and the confronting of adverse effects of the suffered violence.

Palavras-chave : Sexual abuse; damages to health; resilience; family; violence.

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