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Disenfranchisement and Ambiguity in the Face of Loss: The Suffocated Grief of Sexual Assault Survivors

Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published online on


Grief, loss, and social injustice are vital elements in the distinct yet intersecting stories of sexual assault and post‐assault survivorship. Yet survivors must frequently cope in isolation or in programs and therapeutic settings informed by literature that does not consistently account for grief and loss as central to their experiences. Utilizing a feminist framework, I review and critique literature on sexual assault survivorship and loss with focus on factors related to disenfranchisement and suffocated grief among young adult females. I also explore how these factors further complicate grief and mourning processes. Implications for socially just and culturally appropriate research and practice with bereaved sexual assault survivors are provided.