Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP,RN


Every year large numbers of women are incarcerated in jail, prisons or other correctional jurisdictions in America. Research has shown that more than half of these women report a history of sexual abuse as a child, many who have rarely told their story. Typical coping mechanisms for those who have been traumatized sexually are attempts to commit suicide, the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, running away, disassociation, becoming promiscuous, or eating disorders, etc. These early adaptations at a young age can influence nearly every parameter of their lives, contributing to numerous other negative consequences, such as increased physical and mental health problems. Implementing a nursing based support group for incarcerated women during their time behind bars can have many benefits. Watson's caring and healing philosophy can play a large role in working with survivors, when caregivers believe survivor's stories and provide a safe, caring and compassionate environment for healing to take place. This is imperative if we want those who were once victims of crime as children to become healthier, happier, and regain their feeling of wholeness as individuals. If we create the time and place to facilitate healing for survivors of abuse, the opportunities for growth and change can be exponential - for the survivors and those around them, in and out of the correctional facilities.


SC 11.MAN.2012.Johns.P