Surviving Child Sexual Abuse: A Handbook for Helping Women Challenge Their Past

Surviving Child Sexual Abuse: A Handbook for Helping Women Challenge Their Past

Surviving Child Sexual Abuse: A Handbook for Helping Women Challenge Their Past

Surviving Child Sexual Abuse: A Handbook for Helping Women Challenge Their Past

Synopsis

Surviving Child Sexual Abuse" is a handbook for survivors and their helpers. It examines what sexual abuse entails for a child and why it happens. Personal and professional issues for helpers are addressed and the long term effects of sexual abuse are examined. The strengths of survivors are acknowledged together with the supportive alliances they have formed with partners, helpers and friends. The theme of disclosure is examined in depth and the main themes in therapeutic work with survivors are discussed and methods are described which can be used in such therapeutic work. This highly successful book ends with an evaluation of the issues involved in training helpers for working with survivors.; The book is aimed at therapists including social workers, counsellros in public organizations and private practice, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, health visitors, general practitioners, police and psychotherapists.

Excerpt

In the three years since the first edition of this book was published, the issue of childhood sexual abuse had rarely been out of the headlines. the way in which child abuse investigations are carried out by police and social workers and the setting up of specialist units to carry out these investigations has put the issue of inter-agency collaboration on child abuse at the forefront of public debate. Research from Britain, the United States and Europe is providing policy makers and practitioners with valuable information about the child's experience of sexual abuse; we hope this will lead to a more child-centered response to children who disclose. We are also beginning to get more information on abusers and non-abusing caregivers. Data on survivors' experiences seeking and receiving help is becoming available; its use will assist support services in the future.

Female survivors continue to seek help in ever increasing numbers; male survivors, too, are beginning to speak out about their experiences of being sexually abused by trusted adults. Partners of survivors, non-abusing caregivers, foster parents and other carers are coming together for information and support as they try to understand the implications of childhood sexual abuse on people who are close to them. Some survivors are seeking legal redress and are using the resources of the police, lawyers and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to affirm the damage of their childhood experiences. These last acts of courage have been particularly helpful to some women, who may never get as far as a court hearing, but for whom discussing the abuse with representatives of the legal system can be a further indication that they are finally being heard and taken seriously.

Re-reading the first edition of the book, we can identify many areas where our understanding has increased and deepened. Once again we owe an enormous debt to survivors, whose courage, strengths and accomplishments have led the way. Not only have they been responsible

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