Trauma Violence Abuse 2010 Apr;11(2):59-70
Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
National-, community-, and college-based studies have documented the high prevalence of sexual assault among African American women. Although African American women experience sexual assault at alarming rates, they are less likely to disclose or seek help in the aftermath of sexual assault. The purpose of this literature review is to provide a critique of the current literature examining the barriers to disclosure for African American women, such as intrapsychic factors, the damaging effect of an unsupportive response to initial disclosure, stigmatization of African American female sexuality, apprehension regarding racism, and racial loyalty. The authors provide a summary of the literature, gaps in current empirical studies, and needs for future study. Culturally relevant intervention recommendations are described. Finally, implications for sexual assault policy are provided.