(Un)becoming: Surviving Sexual Violence and What Remains




Martinez, Sidni

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This thesis argues that in social environments where rape culture is pervasive, facing rape culture induced trauma is an inescapable component of the woman’s experience. Through a content analysis of writings from survivors of sexual assault, and self-reflective poetry written by the researcher, this thesis reveals the intimate reality of surviving the consequences of rape culture. The theoretical construct of (un)becoming, outlines both the experience of living in a rape culture and surviving sexual violence. The findings of this thesis outline five common themes in the writings of sexual assault survivors. First, the survivors provide similar descriptions of the impact of sexual trauma on the self. Second, survivors commonly frame dissociation as a form of survival. Third, survivors describe similar difficulties with sex after sexual trauma. Fourth, survivors of sexual violence often suffer with feelings of hate, frustration, and misplaced anger. Finally, the fifth theme explores the healing and resilience of survivors. The concept of (un)becoming will be weaved throughout this thesis, serving as the connecting thread of the project and as a representative voice for the survivor of rape culture induced trauma. In this way, the concept of (un)becoming will guide readers through the reality of living in a rape culture and the experience of surviving sexual violence.



rape culture, gender studies, rape, sexism, survivorship, arts based research, poetry, Honors College


Martinez, S. E. (2021). (Un)becoming: Surviving sexual violence and what remains (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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