School for Social Work
Rape victims-Psychology, Blame, Blaming the victim, Feminism, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Klein, Melanie, Self-blame, Sexual violence, Violence against women, Survivors, Negative social responses, Victim-blaming, Psychodynamic, Theoretical
Survivors of sexual violence often blame themselves for harms committed against them, echoing the negative responses they receive from others upon disclosure. While it appears that the hostile social climate surrounding sexual violence disclosure contributes to self-blame, the mechanism by which negative responses exert this pernicious influence has not been sufficiently articulated in prior research. Responding to this deficit, this theoretical investigation addresses three questions: 1) What is the psychic mechanism by which negative social responses engender self-blame among survivors of sexual violence? 2) What social factors explain why this mechanism is activated around sexual violence disclosure? 3) What are the implications for social work practice? To address these questions, this study synthesizes key concepts from Kleinian developmental theory and post-structural feminist theory to examine the contribution of negative social responses to self-blame among survivors of sexual violence, with specific attention to the psychic and social factors underlying negative social responses and self-blame. Implications for clinical work with individual survivors of sexual violence and broader prevention efforts are explored
Somers, Jessica J., "The contribution of negative social responses to self-blame among survivors of sexual violence : a psychodynamic and sociocultural perspective" (2015). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.