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Title: The prevention of child sexual abuse : mothers' knowledge, feelings and behaviour
Author: Porter, Tara J. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 2270
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 1997
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The focus in child sexual abuse work has been on the identification and treatment of the victim. Less emphasis has been placed, in Clinical Psychology generally and in relation to child sexual abuse particularly, on prevention. This is not true of the United States, where there is an extensive policy of school education / prevention programmes. The utility of these can be questioned and there has been a move to engage parents as the primary educator of children about sexual abuse. However, this can only go ahead if the knowledge and behaviours of parents are understood. In this present study, the aim was to explore the knowledge, feelings and attitudes of British sample of mothers to child sexual abuse and it's prevention. To the achievement of this broad aim, quantitative and qualitative methodologies were employed in parallel, by the use of a questionnairea nd focus groups. The results suggested that this sample of mothers were relatively knowledgeable about the sexual abuse, and that although they saw it having serious consequences did not worry about it too much. Mothers' preventive behaviours were focused in the areas of talking to their children, checking out situations where abuse may occur, supervising their children, and watching out for the signs of sexual abuse. However, there did not seem to be any direct or simple relationship between the mothers knowledge and their behaviour, in that facts such as perpetrators are generally known to children are not taken into account when the mothers are protecting their children. The reasons for this are considered in relation to psychologicaltheory. It is clear that there is an absence of constructive strategies which mothers can employ to protect their children, and choices may be being limited by the absence of a popular, nonfearful discourse about sexual abuse. Communication around sexual abuse should be an aim for prevention of sexual abuse, both to break the fear, secrecy and blame that currently exists, and to challenge the status quo in which interventions are focused on the victim rather than the perpetrator. This research is critically evaluated, and the directions for future research are outlined
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available