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Sexual Abuse at the US–Mexico Border: Exploratory Analysis of the Borderlife Archive

Darrin L. Rogers, Katrina Meza, Jennifer A. Sibley, Elida Decker


Hispanic populations in US border regions have been under-represented in the quantitative sexual abuse research literature, despite indications (including from ongoing qualitative studies) that sexual abuse may be prevalent, with unique characteristics in borderlands communities. The current study explored sexual abuse at the US–Mexico border through the Borderlife Archive, a collection of over 10,000 personal narratives from interviews conducted on the South Texas border. Over 100 incidents of sexual abuse were spontaneously reported in interviews on unrelated topics. The incidents showed broad patterns of abuse familiar from larger North American studies. In addition, unique factors related to life in the borderlands were reported in the narratives, such as the involvement of immigration and employment status in abuse situations. Discussion and recommendations for future research and public policy are offered.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229