A qualitative narrative inquiry of the experience of accessing community supports among women who have experienced trauma
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Abuse related trauma can have serious consequences on individuals' health and their state of well-being and may result in decreased access to different determinants of health. The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry using secondary data was to explore the experience of accessing community supports among eight women who had experienced abuse-related trauma. A conceptual framework drawn from the literature on social inclusion and social exclusion and a narrative inquiry method were used to explore epiphanies, customs, routines, images, and everyday experiences (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) among the women. A Three-Dimensional Space Narrative Structure was used to explore the participants' personal or internal conditions, feelings, hopes and reaction as well as their social experiences in interaction with others in community. The participants described experiencing the impact of trauma in their past and present circumstances, a lack of accommodation of difference, challenges in maintaining a sense of self in a world of assumption and labels, impact of trauma on the determinants of health, and uncertainty about the future. The findings from the study demonstrate experiences of social exclusion among the participants in the past, further isolation and social exclusion in the present when personal life issues were ignored by community support services, and uncertainty about what the future will bring for them. The findings indicate close relationships between the women's personal lives and their social connections which need to be considered to mitigate social exclusion and enhance social inclusion.