Women of color are disproportionally affected by intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual assault (SA), and those on college campuses may have additional risk factors. The purpose of this study was to explore how college-affiliated women of color assign meaning to their interaction with individuals, authorities, and organizations tasked to help survivors of SA and IPV.
Semistructured focus group interviews (N = 87) were transcribed and analyzed using Charmaz's constructivist grounded theory methodology.
Three priority theoretical elements were identified: what hurts, namely, distrust, uncertain outcomes, and silencing of experiences; what helps, namely, support, autonomy, and safety; and desired outcomes, namely, academic progress, supportive social networks, and self-care.
Participants were concerned about uncertain outcomes of their interaction with organizations and authorities that are set to help victims. Results can inform forensic nurses and other professionals about the care priorities and needs of college-affiliated women of color in the context of IPV and SA.