Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

Gender and the politics of service provision for adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse

Hooper, Carol-Ann and Warwick, Ian (2006) Gender and the politics of service provision for adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse. Critical Social Policy, 26 (2). pp. 467-479. ISSN 0261-0183

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (124kB)


This paper reviews the evidence on the relevance of gender to the prevalence and impacts of sexual abuse in childhood, and to the interaction between adults with a history of child sexual abuse (‘survivors’) and services. It is widely acknowledged now that child sexual abuse increases the risk of a range of problems in adult life, that a wide range of services can offer reparative experiences, and that there is also a risk of retraumatization if the dynamics of abuse are replicated. Points where gender may affect whether experiences of service provision are reparative or retraumatizing include disclosure, allocation of workers and group work. In a context in which the voluntary sector plays a significant role in provision, the potential gains and losses in the current trend for formerly single-sex specialist voluntary organizations to ‘go mixed’ are discussed. The paper suggests that the politics of recognition adds a useful frame for considering survivors’ needs and the relevance of gender to their experiences

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2006 Critical Social Policy Ltd.
Uncontrolled Keywords: adult survivors • child sexual abuse • gender • mental health services • voluntary organizations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Childhood Studies
References: Agar, K. and Read, J. (2002) ‘What Happens When People Disclose Sexual or Physical Abuse to Staff at a Community Mental Health Center?’, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 11(2): 70–9. Armstrong, L. (2000) ‘What Happened When Women Said Incest’, pp. 27–48 in C. Itzin (ed.) Home Truths about Child Sexual Abuse. London: Routledge. Batchelor, S. (2005) ‘“Prove Me the Bam!” Victimisation and Agency in the Lives of Young Women Who Commit Violent Offences’, Probation Journal 52(4): 358–75.Benedict, M. I., Paine, L. L., Paine, L. A., Brandt, D. and Stallings, R. (1999) ‘The Association of Childhood Sexual Abuse with Depressive Symptoms during Pregnancy, and Selected Pregnancy Outcomes’, Child Abuse and Neglect 23(7): 659–70. Buist, A. and Janson, H. (2001) ‘Childhood Sexual Abuse, Parenting and Postpartum Depression – a 3-year Follow-up Study’, Child Abuse and Neglect 25: 909–21. Cameron, C. (2000) Resolving Childhood Trauma: a Long-term Study of Abuse Survivors. London: SAGE. Cawson, P., Wattam, C., Brooker, S. and Kelly, C. (2000) Child Maltreatment in the UK: a Study of the Prevalence of Child Abuse and Neglect. London: NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). Dale, P. (1999) Adults Abused as Children: Experiences of Counselling and Psychotherapy. London: SAGE. Department of Health (DoH) (2002) Women’s Mental Health: Into the Mainstream: Strategic Development of Mental Health Care for Women. London: Department of Health. Durham, A. (2003) ‘Young Men Living Through and with Child Sexual Abuse: a Practitioner Research Study’, British Journal of Social Work 33: 309–23. Faller, K. C. (1989) ‘Characteristics of a Sample of Sexually Abused Children: How Boy and Girl Victims Differ’, Child Abuse and Neglect 13(2): 281–91. Farley, M. and Keaney, J. C. (1997) ‘Physical Symptoms, Somatization and Dissociation in Women Survivors of Childhood Sexual Assault’, Women and Health 25(3): 33–46. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J. and Lynskey M. T. (1996) ‘Childhood Sexual Abuse and Psychiatric Disorder in Young Adulthood: II. Psychiatric Outcomes of Childhood Sexual Abuse’, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 34(10): 1365–76. Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I. and Smith, C. (1990) ‘Sexual Abuse in a National Survey of Adult Men and Women: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors’, Child Abuse and Neglect 10: 5–15. Gold, S. N., Elhai, J. D., Lucenko, B. A. and Swingle, J. M. (1998) ‘Abuse Characteristics Among Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors in Therapy: A Gender Comparison’, Child Abuse and Neglect 22(10): 1005–12. Haug, F. (2001) ‘Sexual Deregulation, or the Child Abuser as Hero in Neoliberalism’, Feminist Theory 2(1): 55–78. Herman, J. (1992) Trauma and Recovery. London: Pandora. Holmes, G., Offen, L. and Waller, G. (1997) ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Why do Relatively Few Male Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Receive Help for Abuse-related Issues in Adulthood?’, Clinical Psychology Review 17(1): 69–88.Hooper, C.-A. (2003) Abuse, Interventions and Women in Prison: a Literature Review. London: Home Office/HM Prison Service. Hooper, C.-A. and Koprowska, J. (2000) ‘Reparative Experience or Repeated Trauma? Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Mental Health Services’, pp. 275–90 in U. McCluskey and C.-A. Hooper (eds) Psychodynamic Perspectives on Abuse. London: Jessica Kingsley. Hooper, C.-A. and Koprowska, J. (2004) ‘The Vulnerabilities of Children whose Parents have been Sexually Abused in Childhood: Towards a New Framework’, British Journal of Social Work 34: 165–80. Hooper, C.-A., Koprowska, J. and Milsom, R. (1999) Research on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Report on Experiences of Services. York: North Yorkshire Mental Health Co-ordinating Group. Kelly, L., Burton, S. and Regan, L. (1998) Legacies of Abuse – ‘It’s More Complicated than That’: a Qualitative Study of the Meaning and Impacts of Sexual Abuse in Childhood. London: Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, University of North London. Lab, D. D., Feigenbaum, J. D. and De Silva, P. (2000) ‘Mental Health Professionals’ Attitudes and Practices towards Male Childhood Sexual Abuse’, Child Abuse and Neglect 24(3): 391–409. Lisak, D. (1994) ‘The Psychological Impact of Sexual Abuse: Content Analysis of Interviews with Male Survivors’, Journal of Traumatic Stress 7(4): 525–48. Lisak, D. (1995) ‘Integrating a Critique of Gender in the Treatment of Male Survivors of Childhood Abuse’, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training 32(2): 258–69. Livesey, L. (2002) ‘Understanding Disclosures: Adult Women’s Experiences of Disclosing Childhood Sexual Violences’, unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Surrey, Roehampton. McCluskey, U. (2005) To Be Met as a Person. London: Karnak. Mendel, M. P. (1995) The Male Survivor: The Impact of Sexual Abuse. London: SAGE. Naples, N. A. (2003) ‘Deconstructing and Locating Survivor Discourse: Dynamics of Narrative, Empowerment and Resistance for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse’, Signs 28(4): 1–49. Nelson, S. (2001) Beyond Trauma: the Mental Health Care Needs of Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse, research report. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Association of Mental Health. Profitt, N. J. (2000) ‘Facilitating Survivors’ Activism: Remaking Professional Identities and Ways of Working with Survivors’, Joint Conference of the International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work, 29 July–2 August 2000 [ Profitt.pdf].Rainey, D. Y., Stevens-Simon, C. and Kaplan, D. W. (1995) ‘Are Adolescents Who Report Prior Sexual Abuse at Higher Risk for Pregnancy?’, Child Abuse and Neglect 19(10): 1283–8. Ray, S. L. (2001) ‘Male Survivors’ Perspectives of Incest/Sexual Abuse’, Perspectives in Psychiatric Care 37(2): 49–59. Richey-Suttles, S. and Remer, R. (1997) ‘Psychologists’ Attitudes toward Adult Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse’, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 6(2): 43–61. Rumgay, J. (2004) When Victims Become Offenders, occasional paper. London: Fawcett Society. Ruscio, A. M. (2001) ‘Predicting the Child-rearing Practices of Mothers Sexually Abused in Childhood’, Child Abuse and Neglect 25: 369–87. Scott, S. (2001) ‘Surviving Selves: Feminism and Contemporary Discourses of Child Sexual Abuse’, Feminist Theory 2(3): 349–61. Stevens-Simon, C. and McAnarney, E. R. (1994) ‘Childhood Victimisation: Relationship to Adolescent Pregnancy Outcome’, Child Abuse and Neglect 18(7): 569–75. Stiffman, A. R. (1989) ‘Physical and Sexual Abuse in Runaway Youths’, Child Abuse and Neglect 13: 417–26. Worrall, A. (2003) ‘Rendering Women Punishable: the Making of a Penal Crisis’, pp. 47–66 in P. Carlen (ed.) Women and Punishment: the Struggle for Justice. Cullompton: Willan.
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:30


Downloads per month over past year

Repository Staff Only: item control page

View Item View Item

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©