Silva, Luciana Cunha
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This qualitative interview study focuses on women’s fear of sexual violence, how it shapes women’s views on sexual assault, its influence on women’s use of safety strategies, and how safety strategies may restrict use of time and space. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five participants. Participants also journaled on the topic of sexual violence for a week. Findings indicate women think about sexual violence as a widespread problem that affects women disproportionately more than it affects men; that women engage in precautionary behaviors in a ritualistic manner; and that the fear of sexual assault is restrictive, but that safety rituals help women feel powerful, in control, and less anxious.