Lived experiences of survivors of sexual Assault who became pregnant and sought care at Mutare provincial hospital-July 2020 in Zimbabwe
Edith Sibiya Muzokura, Dr. Petty Makoni and Dr. Helen Vupenyu Gundani
Introduction: Becoming pregnant from sexual assault is a significant concern for survivors of sexual assault and survivors of different ages, social, cultural and religious backgrounds may have varying feelings regarding acceptable treatment options (Safeta, 2019). Pregnancy resulting from sexual assault is a multidisciplinary issue which associates health care practitioners, legal services, community and societal systems. The World Health Organization, (2013) guidelines for sexual gender based violence makes provision for immediate care of rape victims within 72 hours, that is, free medical and psychological care, post exposure prophylaxis, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive pills and legal support, but few victims seek care (Resnick,2013) resulting in unwanted pregnancies and their traumatic sequelae. This study explored lived experiences of survivors of sexual assault who became pregnant and sought care at Mutare provincial hospital to identify gaps for possible improvements in delivery of comprehensive care.
Methodology: A phenomenological qualitative approach was employed for an exploration of lived experiences of survivors of sexual assault who become pregnant. Purposive sampling was used to draw a sample of ten survivors of sexual assault who became pregnant. A thematic approach was used to explicate data from the study.
Findings: Five themes emerged from the study findings. The three which are unstable family environment; low socio-economic status; and low education and empowerment as risk factors to sexual assault and pregnancy as well as negative outcomes. Two themes related to decision making and outcomes implicated on existing environments as well as strengths and gaps in service provision.
Conclusion: The overall discussion was occurrence of sexual assault facilitated by unfavorable victim environment, late disclosure and missing emergency medical care resulting in pregnancy and psychological distress connected to inadequate care and unresolved socio-demographic issues. Therefore, the study recommends policy level address of detected risky factors and training of multidisciplinary care teams.
Edith Sibiya Muzokura, Dr. Petty Makoni, Dr. Helen Vupenyu Gundani. Lived experiences of survivors of sexual Assault who became pregnant and sought care at Mutare provincial hospital-July 2020 in Zimbabwe. Int J Adv Res Nurs 2021;4(1):109-115. DOI: 10.33545/nursing.2021.v4.i1.B.138