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Disability and Child Sexual Abuse

Disability and Child Sexual Abuse

Lessons from Survivors' Narratives for Effective Protection, Prevention and Treatment

Martina Higgins and John Swain

Quick Overview

Disability and Child Sexual Abuse examines the ways in which society marginalises, institutionalises and places disabled children in situations of unacceptable risk, and  how - as evidenced in the survivors' narratives - patterns of service delivery can contribute to the problem.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2009, 8.98in x 6.10in / 228mm x 155mm, 256pp
ISBN: 978-1-84310-563-3
$37.95
Ebook
2009, ePUB, 256pp
ISBN: 978-0-85700-210-5
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$38.95

Description

Disability and Child Sexual Abuse examines the ways in which society marginalises, institutionalises and places disabled children in situations of unacceptable risk, and  how - as evidenced in the survivors' narratives - patterns of service delivery can contribute to the problem.

Based on the accounts of seven disabled individuals who were sexually abused in childhood, the book highlights a wide range of pertinent issues. Through case vignettes and empirical research, the authors ask practitioners to scrutinise their current professional practice, exploring participants' experiences of hospitalisation, education systems and local authorities. They consider the issue of who abuses and why, and highlight issues relating to the complexities involved in revisiting past experiences and confronting unwarranted and unwanted feelings of responsibility. The difficulty of recounting the abuse narrative is also examined within the research context.

This book will be relevant for professionals and students in the social, health and education services, such as social workers, teachers and counsellors.  It will also offer insights for those seeking a less disablist society, including disabled people themselves.

Reviews

'This book places powerful individual narratives firmly at its centre, which gives it significant strength and credibility... The clarity of perspective on the meaning of disability and its links to abuse gives this book an unusual legitimacy.'
- Child Abuse Review

'For anyone wishing to develop their understanding of the social model of disability this book is a useful text... Higgins speaks openly about the personal and professional experience she brings as researcher to this project. She gives a thorough account of some of the ethical and practical considerations encountered whilst using a narrative approach...This text gave me a reminder of the impact of the social model in this area and the need to re-examine practice and policy in light of this.'
- Professional Social Work

'This book enables the reader to understand the social context in which the sexual abuse of disabled children occurs and the impact of that abuse upon the individual concerned... this is one of the strengths of the book, as it serves to remind the reader not only of the emotionally and physically destructive impact sexual abuse can have, but also of the effects of growing up disabled in a society that devalues children and adults with impairments. The book covers a wide range of issues, weaving in the individuals' stories throughout. It highlights the social context of the sexual abuse of disabled children and makes the pint that despite knowledge that disabled children are a vulnerable group, the dearth of research in this area perhaps mirrors the de-valued status disabled people have in society. The stories told by the participants draw attention to how being undervalued by family members can impact upon disabled children's views of themselves, most often in a negative way, leading to loss of self-esteem... Disability and Child Sexual Abuse is a book that contains a wealth of information and would be of great use to any practitioner working with disabled children or adults.'
- oxfordjournal.org, Rachel Clawson, Development Manager, Safeguarding Disabled Children Services, Ann Craft Trust and Special Lecturer, Centre for Social Work, University of Nottingham

'This is an important and well-written book which addresses subjects such as infanticide and false memory syndrome with a capable and compassionate attitude. The authors write of the need to distinguish between 'narrative truth' conveyed during the therapeutic process as opposed to 'historical truth' which is associated with facts and the legal connotations.'
- Therapy Today

'Children and young people with disabilities are at the highest risk of all forms of abuse. Until comparatively recently the vulnerability of children with disabilities to sexual abuse have been denied or dismissed using expressions such as, 'They don't understand what happened' or even, 'She probably asked for it'. In this unique book, Martina Higgins and John Swain have for the first time given victims with disabilities a voice. Disability and Child Sexual Abuse effectively combines life histories with theory to provide valuable insights for all those working with abuse survivors, children and adults with disabilities and, I hope, will lead to better protection and support.'
- Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs AO, University of South Australia

Authors

By (author): Martina Higgins, John Swain