Charles, Martine Aline
Although there is an increasing amount of literature on the area of child sexual abuse, there is a dearth of information on the experiences of mothers following disclosure. Illuminating the issues of mothers following disclosure is necessary in formulating therapeutic procedures with these women and their families. This qualitative study explored the experiences of five mothers whose children were sexually abused by a father or step father. One and a half to two hour videotaped interviews were conducted utilizing a general interview guide. The findings were categorized into three areas: Reaction to Disclosure, Changing Social Relationships, and Healing Process. Emerging from these three categories were two themes that appeared to link the categories. These themes were the importance these women placed on their role as protector of their children, and the struggles with role or relationship disruptions. / Arts, Faculty of / Social Work, School of / Graduate
12 February 2015
M.A. / Once intra-familial sexual abuse is publicly disclosed, outside agencies are likely to intervene. Professional intervention seldom involves one person or agency alone, but includes various agencies. These agencies may conceptualize the problem of incest in different ways. The epistemological stance that is adopted by a specific agent will guide the nature of the subsequent intervention. When several agents with divergent epistemologies are working together on the same case, they may inadvertently combine in such a way as to frustrate each other's activities, and in so doing, increase the depth of the crisis. Although different agencies conceptualize the phenomena of incest in different ways, they are primarily based on a linear epistemology. In this thesis, it is suggested that an epistemological shift is required in the multi-disciplinary management of incest. That is a shift from a Newtonian world view which emphasizes linear causality and the existence of a single objective truth or reality, to a scientific- philosophical approach called constructivism. A constructivist approach advocates the existence of multiple realities. It embraces both form and process and emphasizes the recursive connection between systems. Furthermore, the therapeutic reality is a co-creation between members of the familyprofessional system. A detailed case example is presented to illustrate the multiple, discrepant ideas held by various professionals involved with a family where father-daughter incest has occurred. The different types of interventions which emanated from these discrepant ideas are also discussed. Furthermore, the study describes the mutual influence and interlocking effects between all members of the professional-family system. It is suggested that the multl-disciplinary management of incest requires a constructivist approach. This broader view takes into account the realities of all members of the professional-family system, and addresses the interfaces between views in the wider ecology in which the abuse is identified and treated ...
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