Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School

Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Kathryn Coduto


The #MeToo movement has brought the narratives of survivors of sexual assault center stage. As we begin to understand the intricacies of these narratives, we must remember them in their first iteration, their initial disclosure. This study aims to understand the motivations behind the first disclosure of sexual violence. Through looking at these motivations through the lens of self-expansion theory, we can better support survivors of sexual violence in this initial process. Self-discrepancy theory was also used to understand survivors’ sense of self, and the motivations of how survivors seek refuge in their receiver. Thus, privacy management lends itself to understanding how survivors negotiate boundaries post violence. Through 4 semi-structured interviews through a womanist lens, themes surrounding expectations around the ‘perfect victim’ narrative and mirroring disclosure were found. These disclosure practices included the likeness and inclusion of the other, the paralysis of the ought self, and how privacy boundaries are negotiated and managed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Self -- Social aspects.
Sexual abuse victims.
Disclosure of information.
Interpersonal relations.
Communication -- Social aspects.
Communication -- Psychological aspects.
Sex crimes.
MeToo movement.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright