Woodiwiss, Jo (2006) Alternative Memories: Searching for Knowledge, Telling a Story. In: Narrative, Memory & Knowledge: Representations, Aesthetics, Contexts. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 137-147.

Drawing on a research project looking at women’s engagement with the sexual
abuse recovery literature this paper explores the role of ‘alternative memories’
(body memories, feeling memories, acting-out memories, imagistic memories,
symptoms of abuse in adulthood) in women coming to ‘know’ they were
sexually abused in childhood. Particularly for women who enter adulthood
with no memories or knowledge of such abuse, these alternative memories
often represent the only evidence women have for a sexual abuse history and
occupy a central position in the sexual abuse recovery literature. I look at these
memories as a source of knowledge on which women base their narratives and
sense of self. I go on to explore the extent to which this knowledge comes from
‘within’, as argued in the recovery literature, or whether it is more related to
the cultural conditions of our time, and what difference this has had on the
women whose narratives are based on such memories.

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