Child Abuse Sexual Assault

Full-Text Friday: Normalizing Sexual Violence

Many articles, tweets and Facebook posts have focused on this article, but it still seems important enough to highlight for this week’s full-text offering. So click through to read more about our featured article:

Citation: Heather R. Hlavka. Normalizing Sexual Violence: Young Women Account for Harassment and Abuse. Gender & Society, first published on February 28, 2014 doi:10.1177/0891243214526468.

Why this article? Because over almost 2 full decades doing this work I have had countless experiences with patients who weren’t sure whether they were sexually assaulted, who wanted me to tell them whether their experiences qualified as sexual violence or who differentiated between the everyday violence in their lives and the extraordinary violence that brought them into my program, even though what they were describing was clearly assaultive behavior. And I know I am not alone in having this experience.

Key quote:  In their policing of each other, young women often held themselves and their peers responsible for acting as gatekeepers of men’s behaviors; they were responsible for being coerced, for accepting gifts and other resources, for not fending off or resisting men’s sexual advances, for miscommunication, or…for engaging in sexual activity she “didn’t really care for.” The discourses offer insight into how some young women talked about their sexual selves and relationships as they navigated a world ordered by gendered binaries and heterosexual frameworks…(pp. 16-17) 

{if you can’t access the article try this link:}

2 replies on “Full-Text Friday: Normalizing Sexual Violence”

Here is another article from Heather Hlavka using the same sample of children/youth (Law & SocialInquiry)


This is what Heather says about this article;

“It’s about children’s perceptions of law enforcement and the state as it relates to disclosure of sexual abuse. Basically, minority children (especially boys) are much less likely to formally report because of their direct and indirect experiences with state systems. Influences of family as well. Great quotes in there, too – moving. I especially love this article”.

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