Doing community research without a community: Creating safe space for rape survivors

  • Campbell R
  • Sefl T
  • Wasco S
 et al. 
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This paper describes how the values of a feminist research team influenced methodological decisions in a study of rape survivors. Building upon concepts from community psychology and urban sociology, the authors created a community-based research design that respected the emotional needs of rape survivors without sacrificing methodological rigor. We developed relationships with community members in diverse settings, such as nail and hair salons, child care centers, churches, and bookstores, to advertise the study and recruit participants. Consistent with feminist approaches to interviewing, our goal was to create a safe setting for survivors to tell their stories. Although the purpose of this study was research rather than intervention, most survivors reported that participating in these interviews was healing. Our experiences in this project suggest that allowing values to influence the process of research may have beneficial outcomes for both researchers and participants.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Feminist research methods
  • Rape
  • Sampling

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  • Rebecca Campbell

  • Tracy Sefl

  • Sharon M. Wasco

  • Courtney E. Ahrens

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