Mental health and addiction services response to sexual violence: how best to meet the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic survivors
Sexual violence (SV) is a world-wide public health problem. Approximately 20% of women in the UK have experienced SV since the age of 16. SV can increase the risk of mental illness and substance use, consequently survivors frequently use mental health and addiction services. Research has shown these statutory services are not sufficiently addressing these women’s trauma needs. However, in these studies, there has been little exploration of the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BaME) women survivors. This research is necessary as race can shape the experience of violence, including context, disclosure and the support needs. To address these existing evidence gaps, this research aims to understand the experiences of BaME women survivors of SV and professionals, and explore how statutory mental health and addiction services can best meet the needs of this client group. Four studies are proposed: (1) a mixed-methods systematic review exploring the experiences of BaME survivors and professionals, and reviewing the effectiveness of interventions implemented to improve service response for BaME survivors, (2) interviews with BaME survivors from mental health and addiction services exploring their experiences of services, (3) focus groups with professionals from these services exploring their experiences of delivering care to this client group and (4) pilot testing a co-designed resource to support professionals in addressing the needs of this client group.
2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health