We Still Have Mutual Friends


  • Sierra Burrier Integrative Studies, University of North Texas




Me Too Movement — Sexual Violence — Sexual Assault


The project We Still Have Mutual Friends is a qualitative interview study into women’s experiences with sexual
violence. Through the interview process, mostly face-to-face recorded interviews, I have evaluated multiple
facets of sexual abuse/marginalization and their consequences on survivors. In total, I interviewed thirty-two
women about their familial background, their adolescence, and depending on their age, their life experiences
with their sexuality. Some of the facets I have focused on are the disparity between a subject’s definition and
their experience of sexual assault. I have also evaluated their self-awareness of this disparity, and why they think
it occurs. I tried as much as I could, to ask questions in an order/way that did not create preferential answering.
Because these interviews followed a standard oral history format of open-ended questions with follow-ups based
on the interviewee’s answers, instances of leading answers were possible. Seventeen out of thirty-two women
were white, with the next largest group being Hispanic, and then Black. With ages ranging from eighteen up
to fifty-eight, several generational voices are accounted for. While there were certain trends found within types
of assault, and who it was (trends not entirely new to us), one thing I discovered is a similar background every
person shared with their family. All the women had at some point experienced some sort of “body policing.†I
hope this project has provided a more holistic view into the world of sexual violence that women face.