Experiences, challenges, and lessons learned: interviewing Rwandan survivors of sexual violence

Herrmann, Judith (2017) Experiences, challenges, and lessons learned: interviewing Rwandan survivors of sexual violence. Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity, 5 (1). pp. 165-188.

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Research involving survivors of sexual violence requires particular ethical and safety considerations. In this article I outline challenges that I encountered when preparing and conducting interviews with female survivors of sexual violence in Rwanda. My research design was informed by phenomenological and feminist approaches, which assisted in sensitising me to and addressing matters specific to my fieldwork. Besides methodological issues deriving from the role of a qualitative researcher, the challenges included identifying and inviting participants, managing logistics relating to the interviews, researching in another language, building rapport with interview participants, referral to support services, and self-care. In this article, I discuss what I did to overcome these issues, making reference to existing literature and training that helped me in preparing for my fieldwork. Summarising my experiences, I provide a list of key experiences and lessons learned at the end of the article, aiming to help researchers prepare for their work with vulnerable groups. I also highlight a number of ethical issues that I perceived as particularly challenging and suggest that they require further discussion in the future.

Item ID: 48792
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Research Data: https://research.jcu.edu.au/researchdata/default/detail/8336373ce8545b9c7721a8b2e9e9df9e/
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 01:50
FoR Codes: 48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4805 Legal systems > 480501 Access to justice @ 33%
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4804 Law in context > 480405 Law and society and socio-legal research @ 33%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440599 Gender studies not elsewhere classified @ 34%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified @ 50%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940113 Gender and Sexualities @ 50%
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