• The Lived Experiences of Black Families Surviving Child Sexual Abuse by Known Perpetrators

      Dunkley, Danielle Ilene; College of Professional Advancement
      Child sexual abuse (CSA) within Black communities is understudied. Most studies have focused on quantitative data studying the psychological consequences of CSA. Furthermore, many studies do not explore the experience of Black CSA survivors of known perpetrators. This study used interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to interview Black adults who have been sexually abused in their childhood by individuals within their family or who were closely associated with their family. Using semi-structured interviews, participants were asked to share about their experience as a CSA victim, their disclosure process, coping strategies, and the impact of CSA by known perpetrators on their family system. This study used Spaccarelli’s (1994) transactional framework for understanding CSA outcomes. The transactional framework for studying how Black families experience CSA by known perpetrators highlight particular dynamics within Black families that contribute to the propagation of CSA, disclosure or nondisclosure of CSA, its impact on the Black family system, as well as cognitive appraisals and coping strategies utilized by this population. The research findings inform prevention and treatment efforts within Black communities. Findings of this study are specific to the participant group and are not generalizable to all Black families or survivors of CSA. Future research should seek to identify strategies for preventing CSA, eliminating barriers to disclosure, reducing negative impacts of CSA, and increasing resiliency within Black communities.