The mental health and substance use treatment experiences of racially and ethnically minoritised women who have experienced sexual violence

Gilda Spaducci*, Sian Oram, Ravi Thiara, Deborah Robson, Siofra Peeren, Annie Gibbs, Kylee Trevillion

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The mental health and substance use treatment experiences of racially and ethnically minoritised women who have experienced sexual violence is not well understood. To address this we conducted a systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative studies. Our search strategy included electronic searches of 18 databases and grey literature, citation tracking and reference list screening. Studies were eligible if they presented qualitative data from racially and/or ethnically minoritised women or girls, who had experienced sexual violence at any age and described their experiences of receiving treatment from statutory mental health and/or substance use services. Studies were analysed using meta-ethnography. Fourteen papers based on 12 individual studies were included. Analysis developed three main themes: (1) understanding minoritised women holistically, (2) processing the trauma and beginning the healing and (3) the need for social connectedness and empowering relationships. For minoritised women to benefit from treatment, mental health and substance use services need to challenge the dynamics of the multiple traumas minoritised women experience. Knowledge and understanding of the racial trauma minoritised women experience is limited and many are subjected to further harm from racist practices occurring in some treatment services. Offering culturally safe, trauma-informed care which promotes anti- racist practices may help improve mental health and substance use service responses to minoritised women who have experienced sexual violence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Early online date22 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Dec 2023

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