Sexual violence in Minnesota impacts hundreds of thousands of lives and costs billions of dollars each year. This qualitative case study describes how victims that are people of color experience sexual violence at disproportionately high rates and face additional barriers when seeking legal, medical, and mental health and crisis advocacy services in Minnesota. The methodology employed includes secondary data collection using books, scholarly articles, and archival data. Individual interviews and a focus group interview were used to collect primary research. The voluntary interview participants were advocates that provide services for victims of sexual violence in Minnesota. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed with participant consent. Statements from the transcriptions were coded into themes with the assistance of two graduate students to check for reliability and validity. The major themes described from the interviews include: the anti-sexual violence movement, barriers in the medical system, barriers in the legal system, sexual assault advocacy organizations and culture, white privilege and power dynamics, and oppression, historical trauma, racism, and marginalization. It was concluded that given the history with historical trauma and oppression, people of color often experience additional barriers as victims of sexual violence. Minnesotans need to have more conversations about sexual violence, oppression, and racism. Victims that are people of color must have the power in their own healing journeys, as well as power in the future of the anti-sexual violence movement.


Kebba Darboe

Committee Member

Hanh-Huy Phan

Committee Member

Sherrise Truesdale-Moore

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Ethnic Studies


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License