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Women Whose Children have been Sexually Abused: Reflections on a Debate

CAROL-ANN HOOPER and CATHERINE HUMPHREYS
The British Journal of Social Work
Vol. 28, No. 4, Special Issue on Gender Issues (August 1998), pp. 565-580
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23714889
Page Count: 16
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Women Whose Children have been Sexually Abused: Reflections on a Debate
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Abstract

Women whose children have been sexually abused have been the subject of a polarized debate between feminist practitioners/writers and family therapists. This paper explores the development of that debate, outlining the key characteristics of work which was informed by family systems perspectives and the contrasting understandings which feminist perspectives brought to analysis and practice. Both feminist perspectives and family therapy have changed since the original debate erupted. This article explores issues which may have been obscured within feminist perspectives. These are, first, the difficulties in the mother—child relationship and, second, the contribution which aspects of family therapy can make to progressing the interests of women and children in the aftermath of child sexual abuse.

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