Politics, Responsibility and Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper will explore ways in which self identified survivors of childhood sexual abuse and false memory syndrome appropriate therapeutic discourses which both encourage women to hold themselves responsible for their own unhappiness and provide a way to alleviate that responsibility. Although I look critically at women's engagement with abuse narratives the intention is not to enter the 'recovered memory wars' but rather to explore the consequences of locating adult victims of childhood sexual abuse within a therapeutic rather than a political framework. Within this therapeutic culture priority is given to self-actuallsation and personal fulfilment and the self is increasingly seen as a project to be worked on. A pervasive theme within the therapeutic literature is a particular linkage between women's 'inferiority' and their oppression. Women are not only shown an array of problems from which they suffer together with self-Improving solutions but are encouraged to seek the 'hidden' causes of these problems In the past and to probe further and further back rather than look to the material conditions of their adult lives for explanations. Drawing on interview material I will look at how women invest In discourses which provide an explanation for hidden knowledge of abuse and may offer a way to alleviate responsibility but which also encourage them to (re)construct themselves as sick, damaged and ultimately responsible for their own unhappiness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Research Online
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

sexual violence
childhood
responsibility
politics
abuse
discourse
oppression
narrative
cause
interview

Cite this

@article{b3492eac91a94c1a82efc28d6bf153fd,
title = "Politics, Responsibility and Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse",
abstract = "This paper will explore ways in which self identified survivors of childhood sexual abuse and false memory syndrome appropriate therapeutic discourses which both encourage women to hold themselves responsible for their own unhappiness and provide a way to alleviate that responsibility. Although I look critically at women's engagement with abuse narratives the intention is not to enter the 'recovered memory wars' but rather to explore the consequences of locating adult victims of childhood sexual abuse within a therapeutic rather than a political framework. Within this therapeutic culture priority is given to self-actuallsation and personal fulfilment and the self is increasingly seen as a project to be worked on. A pervasive theme within the therapeutic literature is a particular linkage between women's 'inferiority' and their oppression. Women are not only shown an array of problems from which they suffer together with self-Improving solutions but are encouraged to seek the 'hidden' causes of these problems In the past and to probe further and further back rather than look to the material conditions of their adult lives for explanations. Drawing on interview material I will look at how women invest In discourses which provide an explanation for hidden knowledge of abuse and may offer a way to alleviate responsibility but which also encourage them to (re)construct themselves as sick, damaged and ultimately responsible for their own unhappiness.",
keywords = "Childhood Sexual Abuse, Inner Child, Memory, Narrative, Responsibility, The Self",
author = "Jo Woodiwiss",
year = "2007",
month = "3",
doi = "10.5153/sro.1404",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
journal = "Sociological Research Online",
issn = "1360-7804",
publisher = "Sociological Research Online",
number = "2",

}

Politics, Responsibility and Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse. / Woodiwiss, Jo.

In: Sociological Research Online, Vol. 12, No. 2, 03.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Politics, Responsibility and Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

AU - Woodiwiss, Jo

PY - 2007/3

Y1 - 2007/3

N2 - This paper will explore ways in which self identified survivors of childhood sexual abuse and false memory syndrome appropriate therapeutic discourses which both encourage women to hold themselves responsible for their own unhappiness and provide a way to alleviate that responsibility. Although I look critically at women's engagement with abuse narratives the intention is not to enter the 'recovered memory wars' but rather to explore the consequences of locating adult victims of childhood sexual abuse within a therapeutic rather than a political framework. Within this therapeutic culture priority is given to self-actuallsation and personal fulfilment and the self is increasingly seen as a project to be worked on. A pervasive theme within the therapeutic literature is a particular linkage between women's 'inferiority' and their oppression. Women are not only shown an array of problems from which they suffer together with self-Improving solutions but are encouraged to seek the 'hidden' causes of these problems In the past and to probe further and further back rather than look to the material conditions of their adult lives for explanations. Drawing on interview material I will look at how women invest In discourses which provide an explanation for hidden knowledge of abuse and may offer a way to alleviate responsibility but which also encourage them to (re)construct themselves as sick, damaged and ultimately responsible for their own unhappiness.

AB - This paper will explore ways in which self identified survivors of childhood sexual abuse and false memory syndrome appropriate therapeutic discourses which both encourage women to hold themselves responsible for their own unhappiness and provide a way to alleviate that responsibility. Although I look critically at women's engagement with abuse narratives the intention is not to enter the 'recovered memory wars' but rather to explore the consequences of locating adult victims of childhood sexual abuse within a therapeutic rather than a political framework. Within this therapeutic culture priority is given to self-actuallsation and personal fulfilment and the self is increasingly seen as a project to be worked on. A pervasive theme within the therapeutic literature is a particular linkage between women's 'inferiority' and their oppression. Women are not only shown an array of problems from which they suffer together with self-Improving solutions but are encouraged to seek the 'hidden' causes of these problems In the past and to probe further and further back rather than look to the material conditions of their adult lives for explanations. Drawing on interview material I will look at how women invest In discourses which provide an explanation for hidden knowledge of abuse and may offer a way to alleviate responsibility but which also encourage them to (re)construct themselves as sick, damaged and ultimately responsible for their own unhappiness.

KW - Childhood Sexual Abuse

KW - Inner Child

KW - Memory

KW - Narrative

KW - Responsibility

KW - The Self

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=40149103775&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.5153/sro.1404

DO - 10.5153/sro.1404

M3 - Article

VL - 12

JO - Sociological Research Online

JF - Sociological Research Online

SN - 1360-7804

IS - 2

ER -