‘No One.. Saves Black Girls’: Black University Women’s Understanding of Sexual Violence

Nelson O.O. Zounlome, Y. Joel Wong, Elyssa M. Klann, Jessica L. David, Nat J. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Although research has found that sexual violence is a serious issue on college campuses, the lack of diversity in previous samples calls into question the findings’ generalizability to non-White populations. Consequently, little is known about how Students of Color conceptualize sexual violence. Using an intersectional and phenomenological approach, we examined how Black/African American university women understand sexual violence, as well as their perceptions of cultural barriers to help-seeking and reporting this violence. Seven themes emerged: (a) Historical Legacy of Racialized Trauma Against Black Women, (b) Stereotypes of Hypersexualized Black Women, (c) Silence and Community Protection, (d) Duality of Black Spirituality and/or Religiosity, (e) Racial Injustice and Systemic Barriers to Help-Seeking and Reporting, (f) Stereotypes of Strong Black Women, and (g) Grassroots Healing and Empowerment of Black Communities. We provide recommendations for counselors and university staff to develop culturally grounded campus prevention initiatives for Black women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-908
Number of pages36
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Black/African American women
  • intersectionality
  • phenomenology
  • sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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