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Experiences of the mother as the non-offending parent in intra-familial sexual abuse Charles, Martine Aline 1987

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EXPERIENCES OF THE MOTHER AS THE NON-OFFENDING PARENT IN INTRA-FAMILIAL SEXUAL ABUSE By MARTINE ALINE CHARLES B.S.W., The U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l g a r y , 1985  A THESIS SUBMITTED  IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to t h e r e q u i r e d  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y 1987 © M a r t i n e A l i n e C h a r l e s , 1987  In  presenting  degree  at  this  the  thesis in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  of  department  this or  publication of  thesis for by  his  or  that the  her  representatives.  It  this thesis for financial gain shall not  Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3  for  an advanced  Library shall make  it  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be  permission.  DE-6(3/81)  requirements  British Columbia, I agree  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  is  granted  by the  understood  that  be allowed without  head of copying  my or  my written  ABSTRACT Title:  Experiences  o f t h e mother as t h e n o n - o f f e n d i n g  parent  i n i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse.  A l t h o u g h t h e r e i s an i n c r e a s i n g amount o f l i t e r a t u r e on t h e a r e a o f c h i l d s e x u a l abuse, t h e r e i s a d e a r t h o f i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f mothers f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e .  Illuminati  the i s s u e s o f mothers f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e i s n e c e s s a r y i n f o r m u l a t i n g t h e r a p e u t i c p r o c e d u r e s w i t h t h e s e women and t h e i r families. This q u a l i t a t i v e study explored the experiences o f f i v e mothers whose c h i l d r e n were s e x u a l l y abused by a f a t h e r o r s t e p father.  One and a h a l f t o two hour v i d e o t a p e d  i n t e r v i e w s were  conducted u t i l i z i n g a g e n e r a l i n t e r v i e w g u i d e . The f i n d i n g s were c a t e g o r i z e d i n t o t h r e e a r e a s :  Reaction  to D i s c l o s u r e , Changing S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s h i p s , and H e a l i n g Process.  Emerging from t h e s e t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s were two themes  t h a t appeared t o l i n k t h e c a t e g o r i e s .  These themes were t h e  i m p o r t a n c e t h e s e women p l a c e d on t h e i r r o l e as p r o t e c t o r o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n , and t h e s t r u g g l e s w i t h r o l e o r r e l a t i o n s h i p disruptions.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  i i  T a b l e of C o n t e n t s  i i i  Chapter: I. Introduction  1  I I . L i t e r a t u r e Review & G r i e f Model as Framework I I I . Methodology Method Sampling Data C o l l e c t i o n R e l i a b i l i t y and V a l i d i t y Data A n a l y s i s IV. F i n d i n g s Themes C a t e g o r y 1: C a t e g o r y 2: C a t e g o r y 3:  6 24  39 R e a c t i o n s to D i s c l o s u r e Changing S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s h i p s Healing Process  V. C o n c l u s i o n I n t e g r a t i o n of F i n d i n g s and L i t e r a t u r e S o c i a l Work I m p l i c a t i o n s L i m i t a t i o n s of Study Questions f o r Future Research  62  Bibliography  88  Appendix A - Q u e s t i o n n a i r e  90  A p p e n d i x B - Consent Form  92  Appendix C - Sample T r a n s c r i p t  93  Appendix D - P r e l i m i n a r y C l u s t e r i n g of T r a n s c r i p t Codes  122  A p p e n d i x E - Agency A p p r o v a l f o r R e s e a r c h  123  Appendix F - U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h  124  Columbia E t h i c a l A p p r o v a l  - 1 -  CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION  S o c i e t y ' s i n a b i l i t y t o acknowledge c h i l d s e x u a l abuse has o b s c u r e d t h e e x t e n t of i t s o c c u r r e n c e .  Although  s e x u a l abuse has been o c c u r r i n g f o r  y e a r s , i t was not u n t i l t h e mid-1970's t h a t c h i l d s e x u a l abuse f i r s t to  began  appear on t h e agenda o f m e n t a l h e a l t h p r o f e s s i o n a l s ( F i n k e l h o r , 1986).  One p a r t i c u l a r component o f c h i l d s e x u a l abuse t h a t has had l i t t l e emphasis i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e i s t h a t of mothers whose c h i l d r e n were abused by t h e i r c h i l d ' s  father or father-figure.  As t h e r e i s a d e a r t h o f  i n f o r m a t i o n on how c h i l d s e x u a l abuse impacts  on t h e mothers of these  c h i l d r e n , t h i s study e x p l o r e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e s  o f these women.  Throughout t h i s paper t h e terms "mother" and " n o n - o f f e n d i n g w i l l be used i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y as 90 t o 95 p e r c e n t  parent"  o f o f f e n d e r s a r e male  ( R u s s e l l , 1986; B u t l e r , 1985; F i n k e l h o r , 1984; F i n k e l h o r & H o t a l i n g , 1983). obscures  Although  using a genderless  term such as " n o n - o f f e n d i n g  parent"  t h e f a c t t h a t men a r e g e n e r a l l y t h e p e r p e t r a t o r s of s e x u a l abuse,  the w i d e s p r e a d use o f t h e term i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e w a r r a n t s  i t s inclusion i n  t h i s paper. As t h e mother's r e a c t i o n t o i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse i s t h e f o c u s of t h i s r e s e a r c h s t u d y , i t i s i m p o r t a n t s e x u a l abuse. in  Although  to e s t a b l i s h a d e f i n i t i o n of  t h e r e a r e numerous terms and d e f i n i t i o n s o f f e r e d  t h e l i t e r a t u r e , f o r t h e purpose o f t h i s s t u d y i n t r a - f a m i l i a l  s e x u a l abuse w i l l be d e f i n e d by two c r i t e r i a :  sexual contact  child  (from  f o n d l i n g t o a n a l and v a g i n a l p e n e t r a t i o n ) and a p r e e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e a d u l t p e r p e t r a t o r and the abused c h i l d  ( G e l i n a s , 1983).  p r e e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e p e r p e t r a t o r and v i c t i m i s a  A  - 2 -  s i g n i f i c a n t component as a p e r i p h e r a l f a m i l y member may have had a d i s t a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e c h i l d p r i o r t o t h e abuse w h i c h i s a d i f f e r e n t dynamic t h a n a c l o s e f a m i l y member as p e r p e t r a t o r . r e l a t i o n s h i p , not the b i o l o g y t h a t i s b e t r a y e d " Therefore,  " I t i s the  ( G e l i n a s , 1983, p. 3 1 3 ) .  i n a d e f i n i t i o n o f i n c e s t , o n l y f a m i l y members who had a  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e c h i l d , as w e l l as n o n - f a m i l y members such as a mother's b o y f r i e n d o r common-law who a l s o had a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e c h i l d , would be i n c l u d e d . The  l e g a l system makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between i n c e s t  i n t e r c o u r s e between b l o o d abuse.  initial  r e l a t i v e s ) and o t h e r forms o f c h i l d  From-a c l i n i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e  important.  (sexual sexual  t h e s e d i s t i n c t i o n s a r e not n e c e s s a r i l y  Whether a c h i l d i s f o n d l e d o r f o r c e d t o have i n t e r c o u r s e , t h e  trauma i n v o l v e d can be s i m i l a r .  A c h i l d who was f o n d l e d  may  s u f f e r t h e same degree o f trauma as a n o t h e r c h i l d who e x p e r i e n c e d penetration.  From a c h i l d ' s p e r s p e c t i v e ,  between a b l o o d a blood  forced  t h e r e i s o f t e n no d i s t i n c t i o n  r e l a t i v e and an a d u l t who f u n c t i o n s as a p a r e n t and i s n o t  relative.  As s t a t e d above, i t i s the p r e e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p  that i s betrayed f o r the c h i l d , regardless however, t h e l i k e l i h o o d o f r e c o v e r y n a t u r e o f t h e abuse.  of blood  ties.  Over  time,  f o r the c h i l d i s h i g h l y r e l a t e d t o t h e  Sexual contacts  t h a t a r e n o t f o r c e f u l , and do not  involve " i n t r u s i v e physical v i o l a t i o n are less l i k e l y  to r e s u l t i n l a s t i n g  harm" (Herman, R u s s e l l , T r o k i k ,  1985, p. 1 2 ) . There i s no  research  e v i d e n c e , as y e t , t h a t e x p l o r e s  t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between r e c o v e r y  and t h e  n a t u r e o f t h e abuse f o r m o t h e r s . I t i s i m p o r t a n t to note t h a t a l t h o u g h t h e r e i s u s u a l l y an a s s u m p t i o n t h a t c h i l d s e x u a l abuse i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y h a r m f u l f o r a c h i l d , f r o m a research  standpoint,  t h e e v i d e n c e i s i n c o n c l u s i v e (Henderson, 1983;  - 3 -  F i n k e l h o r , 1979).  Due t o t h e l a c k o f c o n c l u s i v e e v i d e n c e  p s y c h o l o g i c a l harmfulness, i t i s important as wrong from an e t h i c a l s t a n d p o i n t .  prevail. and  c h i l d s e x u a l abuse  F i n k e l h o r n o t e s t h a t because  c h i l d r e n a r e i n c a p a b l e of t r u l y c o n s e n t i n g a d u l t , i t i s wrong.  to p e r c e i v e  regarding  t o s e x u a l a c t i v i t y w i t h an  " F o r t r u e consent t o o c c u r ,  two c o n d i t i o n s must  A p e r s o n must know what i t i s t h a t he o r she i s c o n s e n t i n g t o ,  a p e r s o n must be f r e e t o s a y y e s o r no" ( F i n k e l h o r , 1979, p. 6 9 4 ) .  C h i l d r e n l a c k t h e i n f o r m a t i o n about a l l t h e p e r m u t a t i o n s o f s e x u a l i t y , and i n a l e g a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e n s e a r e n o t f r e e t o s a y y e s o r no due t o t h e i r t o t a l dependency on p a r e n t s .  U t i l i z i n g t h i s argument, even i f many  cases a r e d i s c o v e r e d where c h i l d r e n e n j o y e d t h e s e x u a l e x p e r i e n c e , still  be deemed wrong because t h e c h i l d r e n had n o t  Having a c l e a r understanding  truly  understanding,  consented.  o f why c h i l d s e x u a l abuse i s wrong g i v e s  mothers whose c h i l d r e n were s e x u a l l y abused by a p a r t n e r angry, upset, or traumatized  i t can  following a disclosure.  freedom t o be  With t h i s  mothers cannot be t o l d they a r e o v e r r e a c t i n g , o r t h a t t h e  s e x u a l a c t i v i t y was i n s i g n i f i c a n t and h a r m l e s s because t h e p e r p e t r a t o r was a father. For t h e purpose o f t h i s s t u d y  t h e d e f i n i t i o n of i n c e s t was narrowed t o  include only a f a t h e r , s t e p - f a t h e r , or f a t h e r - f i g u r e . a l l o w s f o r an e x p l o r a t i o n of a mother's e x p e r i e n c e l o v e r / h u s b a n d who abuses h e r c h i l d .  This narrowing  i n coping w i t h a  As b o t h h e r p a r t n e r ' s  and h e r c h i l d ' s  r e l a t i o n s h i p a r e c l o s e ones t o h e r , i t i s assumed t h a t t h i s type of i n c e s t would be more t r a u m a t i c f o r h e r t h a n i f a more p e r i p h e r a l member o f t h e f a m i l y , such as an u n c l e , was t h e a b u s e r . In e x p l o r i n g the experiences d i s c o v e r y of s e x u a l c o n t a c t  o f these women i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e  between h e r p a r t n e r and h e r c h i l d , t h e  - 4 -  f o l l o w i n g questions a r e addressed: following a  d i s c l o s u r e of sexual  What a r e t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f a woman abuse i n t h e f a m i l y ?  What a r e t h e i r  f e e l i n g s , a t t i t u d e s , and b e h a v i o r s f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e ? sense o f t h e whole event? them?  How do t h e y make  I s the d i s c l o s u r e i n fact a traumatic  event f o r  Does i t - e f f e c t t h e i r sense o f s e l f ?  I n i l l u m i n a t i n g t h e i r i s s u e s , i t i s hoped t h a t a g r e a t e r w i l l ensue i n terms o f t h e r a p e u t i c i n t h e i n c r e a s i n g demand f o r s e x u a l  understanding  a l t e r n a t i v e s w i t h t h e s e women.  As seen  abuse s e r v i c e s , t h e s e women a r e i n  need o f c o u n s e l l i n g , s u p p o r t , and i n f o r m a t i o n .  I t i s a l s o assumed t h a t i n  i n c r e a s i n g o u r e x p e r t i s e i n w o r k i n g w i t h these women, we a r e i n d i r e c t l y a s s i s t i n g the c h i l d v i c t i m .  As women remain as p r i m a r y c a r e g i v e r s t o  c h i l d r e n , they a r e i n a k e y p o s i t i o n t o a s s i s t t h e c h i l d i n s u r v i v i n g t h e e x p e r i e n c e , and n o r m a l i z i n g The  their lives.  f o l l o w i n g chapter of t h i s t h e s i s w i l l  explore  the l i t e r a t u r e  a v a i l a b l e on i n t r a - f a m i l i a l abuse and m o t h e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e s i n d e a l i n g this r e a l i t y . explorations perspective  with  I t i n c l u d e s p r e v a l e n c e r a t e s , as w e l l as e t i o l o g i c a l from a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c ,  of t h e i s s u e .  This  f a m i l y s y s t e m s , and f e m i n i s t  i s followed  by a d e s c r i p t i o n of a g r i e f  p r o c e s s and how t h i s model c a n be u s e f u l i n e x a m i n i n g m o t h e r s ' post-disclosure  experiences.  Chapter Three o u t l i n e s t h e methodology u t i l i z e d f o r t h e r e s e a r c h i n c l u d i n g a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e sample p o p u l a t i o n r a t i o n a l e f o r t h e use o f a q u a l i t a t i v e feminist  and t h e i n s t r u m e n t .  A  approach w i l l be o f f e r e d , u s i n g a  analysis.  Chapter Four p r e s e n t s t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h i s s t u d y :  the categories  emerged from t h e i n t e r v i e w s and t h e words t h e s e women spoke t h a t these c a t e g o r i e s .  that  support  To ensure c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , t h e names of these women,  - 5 -  t h e i r c h i l d r e n and p a r t n e r s , have been changed. The  f i n a l c h a p t e r d i s c u s s e s how  t h e g r i e f model p r e s e n t e d i n C h a p t e r  t h e s e women's e x p e r i e n c e s b l e n d w i t h Two,  as w e l l as a c o m p a r i s o n w i t h  p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h s t u d i e s on p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s . c o n c l u s i o n s , the i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r treatment l i m i t a t i o n s of t h e  study.  Based on  w i l l be a d d r e s s e d  these  along w i t h  - 6 -  CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW & FRAMEWORK  I n b e g i n n i n g t o o u t l i n e what i n f o r m a t i o n i s p r e s e n t l y a v a i l a b l e i n understanding  c h i l d s e x u a l abuse and t h e e x p e r i e n c e s of m o t h e r s , t h i s  c h a p t e r has been d i v i d e d i n t o two p a r t s .  P a r t one w i l l d i s c u s s p r e v a l e n c e  and summarize t h r e e e t i o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s of i n c e s t and t h e r o l e of mothers.  The second  component  of the chapter, i n o u t l i n i n g a g r i e f  model  w i l l d e v e l o p a b e g i n n i n g framework f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g m o t h e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e s f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e o f c h i l d s e x u a l abuse.  L i t e r a t u r e Review: A l t h o u g h t h e i s s u e o f s e x u a l abuse i s b e i n g g i v e n more a t t e n t i o n a t many l e v e l s o f s o c i e t y , t h e a c t u a l i n c i d e n c e o f abuse i s d i f f i c u l t t o i d e n t i f y due t o t h e s e c r e c y s u r r o u n d i n g t h e i s s u e . "The p r i m a r y t a s k f o r the p e r p e t r a t o r a f t e r t h e s e x u a l b e h a v i o r has t a k e n p l a c e i s t o impose s e c r e c y " ( S g r o i , 1982, p. 1 5 ) .  Consequently,  s e x u a l abuse remain a s e c r e t f o r e v e r . s t a t i s t i c a l study of i n c e s t .  many i n c i d e n c e s of c h i l d  These w i l l n e v e r be p a r t o f any  I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o c o n s i d e r s e x u a l abuse  s t a t i s t i c s w i t h t h i s " s e c r e c y " f a c t o r i n mind. I n t h e e a r l y 1970's a p r e v a l e n c e f i g u r e c i t e d i n a r e p u t a b l e m e d i c a l j o u r n a l was t h a t t h e r e were .73 cases o f i n c e s t p e r m i l l i o n (Henderson,  1972).  people  I t becomes o b v i o u s how much t h i s s o c i a l problem has  become v i s i b l e o v e r t h e l a s t t e n y e a r s when Henderson's s t a t i s t i c i s compared  t o a 1986 s t u d y t h a t found t h a t 16 p e r c e n t of t h e i r sample  p o p u l a t i o n (930 women) had had a t l e a s t one e x p e r i e n c e o f an i n c e s t u o u s nature ( R u s s e l l ,  1986).  I f R u s s e l l ' s f i g u r e o f 16 p e r c e n t i s e x t r a p o l a t e d  - 7 -  to t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f g r e a t e r Vancouver (1.2 m i l l i o n , a p p r o x i m a t e l y w h i c h a r e women) then a p p r o x i m a t e l y w i l l be o r have been impossible  s e x u a l l y abused by a f a m i l y member.  t o d i s c o v e r exact  abuse, i t i s i m p e r a t i v e "It  96,000 women and g i r l s  h a l f of  i n the area Although i t i s  i n c i d e n c e f i g u r e s of i n t r a - f a m i l i a l  sexual  t h a t a p r o b l e m o f t h i s magnitude be a d d r e s s e d .  i s c r u c i a l t h a t we as a s o c i e t y s t o p p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h e c o n s p i r a c y  of s i l e n c e t h a t has kept i n c e s t one o f t h e best k e p t s e c r e t s f o r so l o n g " ( R u s s e l l , 1986, p . 1 3 ) . I n c o n t i n u i n g t o o b l i t e r a t e t h e s i l e n c e and myths around t h e i s s u e , i t i s important  t o be aware t h a t s e x u a l v i o l e n c e i s p r e d o m i n a n t l y a c r i m e  committed by men. A l t h o u g h t h e d a t a o v e r w h e l m i n g l y s u p p o r t s p r e p o n d e r a n c e , t h e r e a r e t h o s e who c o n t i n u e  t h i s male  t o b e l i e v e t h a t women abuse a  g r e a t d e a l more than i s documented, and b e l i e v e t h i s abuse i s u n n o t i c e d o r unreported.  F i n k e l h o r negates t h i s n o t i o n  saying:  "... t h e male preponderance i s n o t s i m p l y a m a t t e r of abuse by women g o i n g u n d e t e c t e d , s i n c e even i n n o n c l i n i c a l s u r v e y s o f a d u l t s r e p o r t i n g r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y on c h i l d h o o d s e x u a l e x p e r i e n c e s , t h e male p e r p e t r a t o r s v a s t l y outnumbered t h e women ( F i n k e l h o r , 1984, p. 1 1 ) . I n l o o k i n g a t t h e l i t e r a t u r e on s e x u a l abuse, i t becomes e v i d e n t  that  few s c h o l a r s attempt any e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h i s f u n d a m e n t a l f a c t t h a t i t i s p r i m a r i l y men, not women who s e x u a l l y abuse c h i l d r e n . important  to analyze  Consequently, i t i s  t h e o r i e s o f s e x u a l abuse i n t h e s e t e r m s .  a d d r e s s t h e f a c t t h a t men make up t h e v a s t m a j o r i t y of s e x u a l  Do they offenders?  F o l l o w i n g , p s y c h o a n a l y t i c , f a m i l y systems and a f e m i n i s t model o f i n t r a f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse w i l l be a d d r e s s e d . I t i s i m p o r t a n t  to delineate  each o f t h e s e models, as each one o f f e r s a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e on t h e e t i o l o g y o f i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse, on t h e r o l e of mothers i n t h e abuse, and on how t o t r e a t t h e s e women and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . An e x p l o r a t i o n  - 8 -  of these models w i l l be f o l l o w e d by a d i s c u s s i o n o f r e s e a r c h done on mothers' experiences  f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e . As w i l l be seen i n t h e next few  pages, t h e p s y c h o a n a l y t i c p e r s p e c t i v e does n o t a d d r e s s t h e f a c t t h a t men make up t h e m a j o r i t y o f a b u s e r s .  Some f a m i l y systems t h e o r i s t s a d d r e s s  t h i s f a c t , w h i l e a f e m i n i s t model bases i t s a n a l y s i s on t h i s  fact.  I n o u t l i n i n g t h e t h r e e models, a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c framework w i l l be d i s c u s s e d f i r s t as i t was d e v e l o p e d l o n g b e f o r e t h e o t h e r two. The most e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s of t h i s t h e o r y a r e : psychosexual  t h e Oedipus complex, t h e t h e o r y o f  development and t h e t h e o r i e s o f p s y c h o p a t h o l o g y .  (Lindzey,  1967). F r e u d had a keen i n t e r e s t i n i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse.  I n f a c t , the  t h r e e e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s l i s t e d above a r e a l l l i n k e d t o F r e u d ' s a s s u m p t i o n that "there are powerful  incestuous  ( L i n d z e y , 1967, p. 1056).  impulses  present  i n a l l humans"  I n h i s e a r l i e r work, he f o r m u l a t e d  his  s e d u c t i o n t h e o r y w h i c h acknowledged t h a t s e x u a l abuse was o c c u r r i n g i n t h e family. he became  From t h e r e p e a t e d "convinced  c a s e s he was d i s c o v e r i n g i n h i s c l i n i c a l  work,  t h a t he had d i s c o v e r e d t h e g e n e r a t i v e f o u n d a t i o n s o f  h y s t e r i a , and i n 1896 he p u b l i s h e d  two t r e a t i s e s s e t t i n g f o r t h t h e r a d i c a l  p o s i t i o n t h a t c h i l d h o o d s e x u a l trauma was a t t h e r o o t of a d u l t h y s t e r i a " (Swanson & B i a g g i o , 1985,  p. 6 6 7 ) .  As h i s s e d u c t i o n t h e o r y was d i s m i s s e d  by c o l l e a g u e s , he l e f t  i t behind  model t h a t emphasized  t h e o e d i p a l complex as b e i n g t h e c a u s a t i v e f a c t o r  in hysteria.  and developed a p s y c h o s e x u a l  T h i s new t h e o r y c l a i m e d  development  that sexual behavior with the  o p p o s i t e s e x parent was t h e w i s h o f e v e r y  child.  t h a t t h e women coming t o him d i s c l o s i n g a b u s i v e  C o n s e q u e n t l y , he d e c i d e d relationships with  their  f a t h e r s were a c t u a l l y f a n t a s i z i n g . The women were no l o n g e r b e l i e v e d . T h i s n o t i o n of o e d i p a l f a n t a s i e s c o n t i n u e s  i n modern thought by c l a i m i n g  - 9 -  t h a t c h i l d r e n a r e w i l l i n g v i c t i m s o f s e x u a l abuse. "Due t o t h e u n d e r l y i n g o e d i p a l p h a n t a s i e s , c h i l d r e n may be more o r l e s s w i l l i n g v i c t i m s o f t h e a s s a u l t . . . " ( F r e u d , A., 1981, p. 3 4 ) . A p s y c h o a n a l y t i c model has p l a y e d a key r o l e i n t h e h i s t o r i c a l development o f t h e o r i e s on human b e h a v i o r .  This i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c  t h a t viewed human b e h a v i o r as h a v i n g i t s s o u r c e experience  of the i n d i v i d u a l (Jones,  1980),  focus  i n t h e h i s t o r y and  was expanded by f a m i l y  t h e o r i s t s who began t o p e r c e i v e f a m i l y systems, r a t h e r than  individuals,  as b e i n g p a t h o l o g i c a l . The f o c u s changed t o t h e f a m i l y system and t h e dynamics w i t h i n . Although commonalities  t h e r e a r e d i f f e r i n g models of f a m i l y p r o c e s s , t h e o f t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t s l i e i n t h e i r adherence t o  e x p l a i n i n g f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e s i n terms o f g e n e r a l systems t h e o r y . A m a j o r a s p e c t o f o r g a n i z a t i o n i s t h a t t h e c o n n e c t i o n between elements i s p a t t e r n e d , t h a t i s , i n v o l v e s redundant i n t e r a c t i o n a l sequences. T h i s s u g g e s t s t h a t no s i n g l e element o r subgroup o f elements can e v e r have u n i l a t e r a l c o n t r o l o v e r t h e w h o l e , n o r can they a c t i n d e p e n d e n t l y of a t l e a s t some o f t h e o t h e r elements ... a l l p a r t s o f t h e system ( f a m i l y ) a r e i n t e r c o n n e c t e d ... c o n s e q u e n t l y a change i n one element w i l l u l t i m a t e l y a f f e c t a l l o t h e r elements ( B e n j a m i n , 1982, p. 4 2 ) . I n l o o k i n g at t h e e t i o l o g y o f i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse, f a m i l y t h e o r i e s o f f e r a range o f e x p l a n a t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n l o o k i n g a t t h e r o l e o f t h e mother.  Some a r t i c l e s emphasize t h e r o l e the mother p l a y s i n  s e t t i n g up o r e n g i n e e r i n g t h e i n c e s t u o u s s i t u a t i o n .  Mothers a r e seen as  " a b d i c a t i n g t h e i r r o l e s as a mother and h o u s e w i f e and ... b a c k i n g out o f h e r s e x u a l r o l e as a w i f e " (Cohen, 1983, p. 156), o r as " s h a r i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " w i t h t h e p e r p e t r a t o r f o r the abuse (Reposa, 1983, p. 115).  J u s t i c e and J u s t i c e (1979) c l a i m mothers a r e e i t h e r c o l l u s i v e o r  p a r t i c i p a t i n g , w i t h no m i d d l e  ground o f f e r e d f o r mothers b e h a v i o r . James &  N a s j l e t i (1983) d e s c r i b e f o u r c a t e g o r i e s o f p e r s o n a l i t y types o f mothers  -10-  i n i n c e s t u o u s abuse ( p a s s i v e , child-woman mother; i n t e l l i g e n t ,  competent,  d i s t a n t mother; r e j e c t i n g v i n d i c t i v e mother; p s y c h o t i c o r s e v e r e l y r e t a r d e d mother) and e x p l a i n how each o f these t y p e s s e t s up an i n c e s t u o u s family constellation.  According  t o these a u t h o r s ,  the p e r s o n a l i t y of a  mother i s somehow a c a u s a t i v e f a c t o r o f t h e abuse. The i n d i c t m e n t o f t h e mother i n c l u d e s t h r e e c o u n t s : f i r s t , she f a i l e d t o p e r f o r m h e r m a r i t a l d u t i e s ; second, s h e , n o t t h e f a t h e r , f o r c e d the d a u g h t e r t o take h e r r i g h t f u l p l a c e ; and t h r e e , she knew a b o u t , t o l e r a t e d , o r i n some cases a c t i v e l y e n j o y e d t h e i n c e s t (Herman, 1981, p. 4 2 ) . There a r e a few a u t h o r s who a r e s t r o n g proponents of a f a m i l y systems model y e t c l e a r l y remove t h e mother from t h e c a u s a t i v e a r e n a . example, G e l i n a s  For  says,  The w i f e has r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h e r r o l e i n t h e m a r i t a l estrangement as t h e husband does f o r h i s , but u n l e s s t h e w i f e a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e s o r k n o w i n g l y a l l o w s t h e abuse t o c o n t i n u e , she i s n o t r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h e r husband's s e x u a l abuse o f h i s d a u g h t e r ( 1983, p. 3 2 2 ) . F i n k e l h o r has taken s t r i d e s i n d i s c o v e r i n g r i s k f a c t o r s i n f a m i l i e s ( s u c h as h a v i n g a s t e p - f a t h e r r a t h e r than f a t h e r i n t h e home, a mother b e i n g out o f t h e home, a s e x u a l l y p u n i t i v e mother, o r no p h y s i c a l a f f e c t i o n f r o m t h e f a t h e r ) , y e t c l e a r l y r e s t s blame on t h e f a t h e r . s t a t e s , "The most i m p o r t a n t  He  and r e l e v a n t cause of t h e v i c t i m i z a t i o n was a  d e c i s i o n made by t h e o f f e n d e r " ( F i n k e l h o r , 1984, p. 3 0 ) . A l o n g w i t h F i n k e l h o r and G e l i n a s , t h e f e m i n i s t l i t e r a t u r e on s e x u a l abuse removes mothers from t h e r e s p o n s i b l e r o l e .  I n c e s t i s seen as a  power dynamic i n t h e f a m i l y i n t h a t t h e f a t h e r i s u s i n g h i s power t o s a t i s f y h i s own needs. c h i l d r e n having  B u t l e r (1980) d e f i n e s power as " c h o i c e s " and  few c h o i c e s have l i t t l e  power.  Herman and Hirschman  (1977) agree w i t h t h i s power concept c l a i m i n g t h a t " t h e g r e a t e r the degree of male supremacy i n any c u l t u r e , t h e g r e a t e r t h e l i k e l i h o o d  - 11 -  of f a t h e r - d a u g h t e r i n c e s t " ( p . 7 4 1 ) . A f e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s assumes a power i m b a l a n c e between men and women i n this society.  As t h e p a t r i a r c h y m a i n t a i n s t h e power i m b a l a n c e between  women and men, i t c o n t i n u e s t o g e n e r a t e abuse i n t h e f a m i l y .  Wattenberg  notes: The f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e b r i n g s i n t o f o c u s t h e e x t r a o r d i n a r y power t h a t i s e x e r t e d by t h e f a t h e r as p e r p e t r a t o r , n o t o n l y i n h o l d i n g t h e economic b a l a n c e of power i n p a t r i a r c h a l f a m i l y systems, but i n c o n t r o l l i n g t h e l e v e l o f t h r e a t t o b o t h mother and d a u g h t e r s h o u l d they dare t o expose t h e d e e p l y a b h o r r e n t f a m i l y s e c r e t (1985, p. 2 0 7 ) . From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e ,  t h e s t r u c t u r e i t s e l f i s seen as  perpetuating  s e x u a l abuse by i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z i n g p o w e r l e s s n e s s and t h e dependency o f women and c h i l d r e n ( M a c F a r l a n e , 1978; B u t l e r , 1985; M c l n t y r e ,  1981).  Mothers a r e viewed as v i c t i m s o f a s e x i s t s o c i e t y a l o n g w i t h t h e i r children.  Even i f mothers a r e n o n - p r o t e c t i v e  e n v i r o n m e n t a l f a c t o r s t h a t come i n t o p l a y .  of t h e i r c h i l d r e n , there a r e Maternal c o l l u s i o n i s a  measure o f m a t e r n a l p o w e r l e s s n e s s (Herman, 1981).  I s a mother's  w i t h d r a w a l from h e r r o l e n o t symptomatic of women's o p p r e s s i o n i n society?  F i n k e l h o r expands on t h i s :  Women t o l e r a t e s u f f e r i n g and o u t r a g e t o themselves and t h e i r f a m i l i e s i n many forms - b e a t i n g , s e x u a l h u m i l i a t i o n and p o v e r t y - w i t h o u t r e a c t i n g because they o f t e n l a c k s o c i a l and economic r e s o u r c e s t o defend t h e m s e l v e s and have been taught t o be h e l p l e s s (1978 p. 4 5 ) . As f a m i l y systems t h e o r i s t s moved from t h e i n d i v i d u a l (as i n p s y c h o a n a l y s i s ) t o t h e system o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n a f a m i l y ,  feminist  s c h o l a r s move i n t o an even l a r g e r system i n l o o k i n g at t h e s t r u c t u r a l impact on f a m i l i e s and i n d i v i d u a l s . included 1984)  A l t h o u g h some systems t h e o r i s t s have  l a r g e r systems i n t h e i r a n a l y s e s ( C o p p e r s m i t h , 1986; F i n k e l h o r ,  the majority of information  individuals i s delineated  on t h e impact o f l a r g e r systems on  by f e m i n i s t a u t h o r s .  There i s an i m p o r t a n t  - 12 -  b a l a n c e between i n d i v i d u a l and f a m i l y h e a l i n g and i n s t i t u t i o n a l / s o c i e t a l change.  T h i s w i l l be a d d r e s s e d f u r t h e r i n a d i s c u s s i o n o f  treatment/change i s s u e s i n t h e concluding  chapter.  A l t h o u g h some a u t h o r s manage an i n t e g r a t i o n o f systems and f e m i n i s t thought i n r e f e r e n c e  t o f a m i l y v i o l e n c e , Bograd (1986) a r t i c u l a t e s t h e  d i f f i c u l t y i n doing t h i s i n e x p l a i n i n g the tensions models.  between t h e two  F i r s t , f a m i l y t h e r a p i s t s tend t o a t t r i b u t e i n c e s t and b a t t e r i n g  to deviant  o r d y s f u n c t i o n a l f a m i l y p r o c e s s e s and s t r u c t u r e s  f e m i n i s t s suggest t h a t v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t normal f a m i l y f u n c t i o n i n g .  while  women i s a n a t u r a l o u t g r o w t h o f  Second, f a m i l y t h e r a p i s t s r a r e l y a d d r e s s t h e  i s s u e o f gender and power i n f a m i l i e s w h i l e  f e m i n i s t s view the t r a d i t i o n a l  f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e as t h e b a s i c u n i t o f male power. As i n d i c a t e d above, t h e r e appears t o be a p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e e t i o l o g y o f i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse f r o m s e v e r a l paradigms. discusses  differing  I n t u r n i n g t o s p e c i f i c s on m o t h e r s , a l t h o u g h t h e l i t e r a t u r e h e r r o l e i n the f a m i l y p r i o r t o d i s c l o s u r e , there i s a dearth of  information  on m o t h e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e s f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e . I l l u m i n a t i n g  t h e s e p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s i s i m p o r t a n t and n e c e s s a r y as t h i s i s the t i m e of d i s t r e s s f o r t h e mother. f o r several years,  The abuse may have been g o i n g on  b u t u n t i l a mother r e a l i z e s what h a s been g o i n g o n ,  t h a t i s t h e t i m e of d i s c l o s u r e , t h e r e  i s no trauma f o r  her.  Myer (1985) i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f 43 mothers o f i n c e s t v i c t i m s and d i v i d e d them i n t o t h r e e g r o u p s : p r o t e c t i n g , i m m o b i l i z e d , and r e j e c t i n g , f i n d i n g themajority no i n f o r m a t i o n disclosure.  t o be p r o t e c t i n g .  on t h e m o t h e r s ' own p e r c e p t i o n s  Garrett  Unfortunately,  there i s  or experiences f o l l o w i n g  (1975) l o o k e d a t 11 women whose husbands were charged  w i t h rape and 7 women whose husbands were charged w i t h i n c e s t .  He c l a i m s  - 13 -  the i n c e s t e v e n t s were u s e f u l l e v e r s f o r t h e women t o r e i n f o r c e  their  s o c i a l and m o r a l dominance i n t h e m a r r i a g e . I t seems t o u s , i n d e e d , t h a t t h e r e i s a one-up-manship i n v o l v e d h e r e , i m p l i c i t i n the i d e a t h a t the burden to r e f o r m and do b e t t e r now l i e s d i r e c t l y w i t h the husband, who has d e m o n s t r a b l y f a l l e n s h o r t (p. 156).  T h e i r c o n c l u s i o n s seem to be based on the f a c t t h a t t h e s e women f r e q u e n t l y v i s i t e d t h e i r i n c a r c e r a t e d husbands, and a m a j o r i t y s a i d e n j o y e d the Two  visits.  recent  following  r e s e a r c h - b a s e d s t u d i e s on the e x p e r i e n c e s of mothers  d i s c l o s u r e are both unpublished.  qualitative through.  they  Brown ( 1 9 8 5 ) , i n h e r  s t u d y i d e n t i f i e d a s e r i e s of s t a g e s t h a t mothers moved She o u t l i n e d t h r e e s t a g e s o f c o p i n g t h a t emerged from h e r  i n t e r v i e w s w i t h t e n women: 1) D i s c l o s u r e Stage Regrouping  ( s h o c k / c o n f u s i o n ) 2)  Stage ( c o g n i t i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g ) and 3) R e n e w a l / R e s t r u c t u r i n g  Stage ( g r o w t h / p i a n n i n g ) . ten women. anger, why  She a l s o d e l i n e a t e d i s s u e s t h a t a r o s e f o r these  She l a b e l s them:  R e a c t i o n to O f f e n d e r ( P r o t e c t i o n ,  d i d he do i t ? ) , R e a c t i o n t o V i c t i m ( a n g e r ,  love,  belief/disbelief,  p r o t e c t i o n , c o n c e r n , j e a l o u s y ) , D a i l y L i v i n g Tasks ( c o p i n g w i t h e v e r y t h i n g , b a l a n c e between s e l f and o t h e r s ) , S e l f - A w a r e n e s s / S e l f E v a l u a t i o n ( s e l f blame, g u i l t , my  responsibility).  Brown n o t e s t h a t t h e s e  i s s u e s changed f o r the women as they moved t h r o u g h the d i f f e r e n t outlined.  F o r example a woman may  stages  e x p e r i e n c e s e l f blame and g u i l t i n the  d i s c l o s u r e phase, but by the r e n e w a l / r e s t r u c t u r i n g phase had come to a s t r o n g e r s e l f image where she had a r e c o g n i t i o n of h e r s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses. Johnson (1985) conducted s t u d y was  an e t h n o g r a p h i c s t u d y of s i x mothers.  much more i n - d e p t h i n t h a t , on a v e r a g e ,  Her  18 hours were spent  - 14 -  i n t e r v i e w i n g each woman.  I n h e r s t u d y she o u t l i n e s t h r e e models o f  i n c e s t - f a m i l y mothers found i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e :  c o l l u s i v e mothers,  p o w e r l e s s m o t h e r s , and p r o t e c t i v e m o t h e r s , and examines t h e ways i n w h i c h the f i n d i n g s from t h i s s t u d y f i t o r do not f i t t h e d i f f e r e n t d i m e n s i o n s of these m o d e l s .  As s t a t e d i n h e r summary,  "The f i n d i n g s from t h i s s t u d y have shown t h a t even among s i x mothers t h e r e i s a range o f v a r i a b i l i t y w h i c h s u g g e s t s w i d e r d i f f e r e n c e s among the unknown u n i v e r s e s o f i n c e s t - f a m i l y mothers than have p r e v i o u s l y been assumed. Mothers cannot be d e s c r i b e d s i m p l y as c o l l u s i v e , powerless, or p r o t e c t i v e " (p. 231). She  c i t e s c o m m o n a l i t i e s among t h e s e women as b e i n g  socializedto  assume t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l p o s i t i o n i n s o c i e t y and t h e f a m i l y , and t o p e r f o r m t h e i r p r o p e r r o l e s as w i v e s and mothers.  Many o f t h e i r r e s p o n s e s  to t h e d i s c l o s u r e o f s e x u a l abuse a r e n o t a t t r i b u t a b l e so much t o t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l t r a i t s , o r p e r s o n a l i t i e s , b u t t o t h e i r p o s i t i o n s i n s o c i e t y and the r o l e s t h e y have l e a r n e d  to play.  Johnson's statement r e g a r d i n g t h a t a) t h e p e r s o n a l  her f i n d i n g s supports f e m i n i s t s b e l i e f s  i s p o l i t i c a l ; b) t h a t women a r e s o c i a l i z e d t o p l a y  c e r t a i n r o l e s i n t h i s s o c i e t y ; c ) t h a t t h i s s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s has p r o f o u n d impact on mothers i n d e a l i n g w i t h a d i s c l o s u r e o f s e x u a l abuse by a husband. In t a k i n g a c l o s e r look at the p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e experiences of these 6 women, Johnson found t h a t a l l t h e mothers were o u t r a g e d by t h e i n c e s t and viewed i t as wrong and s e r i o u s .  They d i s p l a y e d  l i t t l e empathy f o r t h e  c h i l d w h i c h Johnson contends may be a mechanism t o a v o i d t h e h o r r o r f e l t about t h e abuse.  they  A l l t h e mothers were angry a t t h e i r husbands f o r  what they had done and b e l i e v e d t h a t a punishment o f some k i n d was i n order. In coping  w i t h t h e abuse t h e mothers had d i f f e r i n g  styles.  - 15 -  They wanted to t a l k t o o t h e r s about the i n c e s t , o r wanted t o be l e f t a l o n e ; they asked t h e i r d a u g h t e r s f o r the d e t a i l s of the i n c e s t o r found i t too p a i n f u l t o know any more; t h e y f e l t c o n f i d e n t t o d e c i d e f o r themselves what to do o r needed the s u p p o r t and encouragement of o t h e r s t o v a l i d a t e t h e i r own judgement and t o s u s t a i n p r o t e c t i v e a c t i o n ( p . 157).  The mothers a l s o d i s p l a y e d d i f f e r i n g a b i l i t i e s Some c o u l d f i g u r e out the s t e p s t o t a k e and how o t h e r s were more c r i s i s  at problem  solving.  t o get more i n f o r m a t i o n ,  o r i e n t e d and i m p u l s i v e i n t h e i r b e h a v i o r , w h i l e  o t h e r s needed t h e s u p p o r t of o u t s i d e r s t o do what needed t o be done. Johnson n o t e s t h a t i n l o o k i n g at t h e n o n - o f f e n d i n g p a r e n t s ' p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o be c o g n i z a n t of immediate  their  s o c i a l environments as w e l l as t h e l a r g e r s o c i e t y , as t h e s e  have impact i n terms o f m o t h e r s ' f e e l i n g s , p e r c e p t i o n s and b e h a v i o r s . As d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r , t h e r e appears to be a preponderance mother-blaming  of  i n the l i t e r a t u r e and, t h e r e f o r e , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o n o t e  two e m p i r i c a l l y based a r t i c l e s t h a t o f f e r f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e of  this.  C a p l a n and H a l l - M c C o r q u o d a l e (1985) u n d e r t o o k a r e v i e w o f major j o u r n a l s f o r the y e a r s 1970,  1976, and  1982 t o d e t e r m i n e  r e d u c t i o n s i n mother-blaming  had o c c u r r e d o v e r t h a t t i m e p e r i o d .  clinical  whether They  f o c u s e d on a r t i c l e s t h a t i n c l u d e d a d i s c u s s i o n of the e t i o l o g y of psychopathology.  They found no d e c r e a s e i n m o t h e r - b l a m i n g  o v e r the 12  y e a r s , and found o v e r 75 problems i d e n t i f i e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e as a t t r i b u t a b l e t o mothers.  These problems ranged from i n c e s t t o  i n c o n t i n e n c e , t o d e l u s i o n s to s l e e p w a l k i n g . W i t h t h e m a j o r i t y o f s c h o l a r l y a r t i c l e s on the e t i o l o g y of p s y c h o p a t h o l o g y ( f o r the t h r e e y e a r s s t u d i e d ) p e r c e i v i n g mothers as a major cause one cannot a v o i d e x t r a p o l a t i n g t h i s b i a s onto w o r k e r s who  a r e o f t e n the consumers of such  articles.  frontline  - 16 -  P r o f e s s i o n a l a t t i t u d e s t o i n c e s t were s t u d i e d by D i e t z and C r a f t (1980)  T h e i r s t u d y was t o : "... i n v e s t i g a t e t h e e x i s t e n c e o f d e t r i m e n t a l  a t t i t u d e s among w o r k e r s i n c o n t a c t w i t h i n c e s t u o u s surveying  f a m i l i e s " (p. 604). In  200 c h i l d p r o t e c t i o n w o r k e r s they found t h a t 87 percent  of the  r e s p o n d e n t s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e mother g i v e s h e r u n c o n s c i o u s consent t o i n c e s t ; w h i l e 65 p e r c e n t occurrence. and  b e l i e v e d she i s e q u a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t s  I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t o n o t e t h a t t h e mothers i n Brown's  study  i n Johnson's s t u d y r e p o r t t h a t they d i d n o t know t h a t t h e abuse was  g o i n g on, and i n t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s  d i d n o t g i v e consent i n any way t o what  was g o i n g on between t h e i r husbands and t h e i r d a u g h t e r s . C r a f t ' s work i s o n l y one s t u d y  Although Dietz &  I n v o l v i n g 200 w o r k e r s , i f we assume some  g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y i s p o s s i b l e , i t has p r o f o u n d i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r m o t h e r s . What e f f e c t does i t have on them when w o r k e r s , whether they v e r b a l i z e i t or n o t , b e l i e v e t h a t mothers u n c o n s c i o u s l y  consent and a r e e q u a l l y  responsible f o r i t s occurrence. I n summarizing t h e l i t e r a t u r e a v a i l a b l e on i n t r a - f a m i l i a l abuse, i t i s e v i d e n t w e l l as d i v e r g e n t  that there a r e s e v e r a l explanations  opinions  sexual  o f e t i o l o g y , as  r e g a r d i n g mothers i n v o l v e m e n t o r  non-involvement, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o r n o n - r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  I t i s also clear  t h a t many o f t h e a r t i c l e s w r i t t e n i n t h i s a r e a a r e c l i n i c a l l y based o r based on p r e v i o u s based.  t h e o r e t i c a l a r t i c l e s , r a t h e r than being e m p i r i c a l l y  I t i s evident  t h a t t h e r e i s a need f o r more r e s e a r c h  of s e x u a l abuse, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o c u s i n g on m o t h e r s .  i n the area  More r e s e a r c h on  mothers w i l l not o n l y o f f e r c l i n i c a l d i r e c t i o n i n w o r k i n g w i t h  these  women, but a l s o g i v e us i n f o r m a t i o n on how t o u t i l i z e mothers more e f f e c t i v e l y i n t h e h e a l i n g p r o c e s s of t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  - 17 -  A G r i e f Model as a Framework f o r U n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e E x p e r i e n c e s o f M o t h e r s : A p s y c h o l o g i c a l model t h a t may have some u t i l i t y m o t h e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e s i s t h e g r i e f model. s e x u a l abuse i n t h e f a m i l y l e a v e s  i n explaining  I t i s l i k e l y that d i s c l o s u r e of  t h e mother w i t h s e v e r a l major l o s s e s :  the l o s s o f a dream o f how f a m i l y c o u l d be, a l o s s o f a way o f p e r c e i v i n g the w o r l d , h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and h e r s e l f . off  These m a j o r l o s s e s seem t o s e t  an e m o t i o n a l p r o c e s s t h a t can be c o n c e p t u a l i z e d  u s i n g a g r i e f model.  S c h n e i d e r ( 1 9 8 4 ) , i n h i s framework f o r g r i e v i n g , t a k e s a h o l i s t i c and o p t i m i s t i c approach t o the process of d e a l i n g w i t h l o s s . as "a p r o c e s s o f d i s c o v e r i n g t h e e x t e n t  He d e f i n e s g r i e f  o f what was l o s t and t h e  subsequent p r o c e s s o f d i s c o v e r i n g t h e e x t e n t  o f what was not l o s t o r what  can now t a k e p l a c e " ( p . 5 9 ) . H i s model i s h o l i s t i c i n t h a t i t encompasses the t o t a l e x p e r i e n c e o f a p e r s o n : e m o t i o n a l ,  physical, intellectual,  s p i r i t u a l and b e h a v i o r a l . I t i s o p t i m i s t i c i n t h a t i t i n c l u d e s t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r growth t h a t can emanate f r o m a l o s s . H i s model i s based on a s e r i e s of assumptions w h i c h he s t a t e s have not been v e r i f i e d and perhaps cannot be v e r i f i e d .  These a s s u m p t i o n s i n c l u d e :  1. A l l s i g n i f i c a n t l o s s e s r e s u l t i n a g r i e v i n g p r o c e s s . Significance i s d e t e r m i n e d by t h e i n t e n s i t y o f attachment t o what was l o s t and t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h day t o day l i v e s were d i s r u p t e d by t h e l o s s . 2. G r i e f i s a n a t u r a l h e a l i n g p r o c e s s , not an i l l n e s s . 3. The way i n w h i c h p e o p l e have d e a l t w i t h p r e v i o u s c r i s e s i n t h e i r l i v e s l a r g e l y determines t h e i r i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n to l o s s . 4. The l o s s o f any s i g n i f i c a n t attachment i s viewed by t h e i n d i v i d u a l as a t h r e a t t o a l l s i g n i f i c a n t a t t a c h m e n t s , i n c l u d i n g t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s own l i f e . 5. E a r l y phases o f g r i e v i n g c o n t a i n a v a c c i l a t i o n o f awareness i n terms o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e l o s s . I n one moment one may be f u l l y aware o f t h e impact a l o s s has on y o u r l i f e , w h i l e t h e next moment, t h i s awareness i s r e p r e s s e d . If  t h e s e assumptions a r e a p p l i e d t o mothers o f i n c e s t v i c t i m s , t h e  f o l l o w i n g a d d i t i o n a l a s s u m p t i o n s c a n be made: 1. As t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n v o l v e d i n t h e abuse ( f a m i l y members) have an  - 18 -  i n t e n s i t y o f a t t a c h m e n t , and m o t h e r s ' d i s c l o s u r e (Brown, 1985; Johnson,  l i v e s are disrupted following a  1985), i t can be s a i d t h a t t h e s e women  e x p e r i e n c e a s i g n i f i c a n t l o s s and c o n s e q u e n t l y p r o c e e d t h r o u g h a g r i e v i n g process. 2. T h i s i s a n a t u r a l p r o c e s s t h a t t h e s e women must e x p e r i e n c e t o g e t beyond t h e i r i n i t i a l r e s p o n s e s t o t h e abuse.  They a r e n o t m e n t a l l y i l l i n  t h e i r i s s u e s , f e e l i n g s , and p e r c e p t i o n s f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , but s i m p l y experiencing a natural process. 3. I f t h e s e women have had p r e v i o u s l o s s e s i n t h e i r l i v e s , f o r example a m a r r i a g e breakup o r d e a t h o f a f a m i l y member, t h a t were n e v e r g r i e v e d , they w i l l have a more d i f f i c u l t  fully  time c o n t e n d i n g w i t h t h e p r e s e n t  losses surrounding the d i s c l o s u r e . 4. H e a r i n g about t h e d i s c l o s u r e t h r e a t e n s many a s p e c t s o f t h e s e women's lives:  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e i r c h i l d r e n , extended  and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h  family,  themselves.  5. F o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , n o n - o f f e n d i n g p a r e n t s f l u c t u a t e i n t h e i r o r complete  friends,  awareness o f what has gone on.  belief  I n one moment they may be  aware o f t h e impact t h e abuse w i l l have on t h e i r l i v e s w h i l e i n t h e next moment they may s h i e l d t h i s awareness from t h e i r c o n s c i o u s n e s s . A n o t h e r a s s u m p t i o n , g l e a n e d from a g r i e f model by  S i l v e r m a n (1981) i s  based on t h e n o t i o n t h a t women p l a c e g r e a t e r emphasis on t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a n do men, w h i c h e f f e c t s a woman's g r i e v i n g p r o c e s s .  She  s a y s , "a woman's t r u e i d e n t i t y may w e l l grow o u t o f h e r i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h others.  Her sense o f s e l f may be o r g a n i z e d p r i m a r i l y around h e r a b i l i t y  to make and then t o m a i n t a i n a f f i l i a t i o n s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s " ( p . 2 1 ) .  If  a woman's sense o f s e l f i s e n t w i n e d w i t h h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s , t h e n i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e f o r h e r t o s u f f e r a l o s s o f attachment  without her i d e n t i t y  - 19  coming i n t o q u e s t i o n .  From p r e v i o u s  Johnson, 1985), n o n - o f f e n d i n g  -  s t u d i e s ( B u t l e r , 1979;  parents  blame o r p r e s s u r e  husband, a p a r t n e r who who  blame h e r  offer l i t t l e  she may  o r may  ( D i e t z & C r a f t , 1980; support.  1985;  s u f f e r a number of s e v e r e d and/or  c o n f l i c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s : d a u g h t e r s who extended f a m i l i e s who  Brown,  a r e h o s t i l e and b l a m i n g of them,  h e r to s e v e r  ties with  her  not w i s h to s t a y w i t h , p r o f e s s i o n a l s  C a p l a n & H a l l - M c C o r q u o d a l e , 1985)  or  D u r i n g the o f t e n d i s r u p t i v e t i m e f o l l o w i n g  d i s c l o s u r e , when when mothers need some s t a b i l i t y i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s , many of them a r e e x c e e d i n g l y  conflictual.  Schneider conceptualizes  a g r i e v i n g framework t h a t i n c l u d e s the  t a s k s of g r i e v i n g , the phases of g r i e f , and w h i c h combines the t a s k s and  phases.  l i m i t i n g awareness, awareness and L i m i t i n g awareness i s "... functioning while preparing  parents,  the p r o c e s s t h r o u g h g r i e f  Three t a s k s of g r i e v i n g a r e  p e r s p e c t i v e , and  the c a p a c i t y to m a i n t a i n  cited:  reformulation. some l e v e l of  t o d e a l w i t h the r e a l i t y of the l o s s " ( p .  L i m i t i n g awareness g e n e r a l l y o c c u r s non-offending  tasks  64).  e a r l y i n the p r o c e s s of g r i e v i n g .  For  t h i s would i n c l u d e l i m i t i n g the t r u e s i g n i f i c a n c e  of the s e x u a l abuse, f o r example, t h a t i t i s a c r i m e  and h e r husband  c o u l d f a c e c r i m i n a l charges and i n c a r c e r a t i o n . The  awareness and  perspective  t a s k i s s w i t c h i n g from a v o i d i n g , to  f a c i n g the r e a l i t y of what has happened. i n c l u d e s f a c i n g the s e r i o u s n e s s The  and  For non-offending  r a m i f i c a t i o n s of the s e x u a l  r e f o r m u l a t i o n o r growth t a s k i s based on " o b s e r v a t i o n s  p e o p l e who  parents,  that  abuse.  of a number of  seem to go beyond a c c e p t a n c e of the power of f a t e i n t h e i r  l i v e s t o r e s o l v e t h e i r l o s s e s i n such a way  as t o enhance t h e i r growth f o r  a c t u a l i z i n g t h e i r human p o t e n t i a l " ( p . 6 5 ) .  F o r m o t h e r s , t h i s t a s k would  i n c l u d e the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t from the trauma of the abuse t h e r e i s  - 20  -  p o t e n t i a l f o r growth.  Through t h e i r s t r u g g l e s f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e t h e y  may  i n t h e m s e l v e s t h a t had  discover strengths  T h i s new  found s t r e n g t h may  t h a t may  not have o c c u r r e d  in  p r e v i o u s l y been u n t a p p e d .  l e a d t o growth i n t h e m s e l v e s and had  they not had  their  lives  t o contend w i t h s e x u a l abuse  the f a m i l y . It  appears t h a t movement between the t h r e e t a s k s of  awareness, a w a r e n e s s / p e r s p e c t i v e , p o i n t s i n the g r i e f p r o c e s s .  and  limiting  reformulation represent  key  turning  A s i d e from t h e s e t a s k s of g r i e v i n g ,  S c h n e i d e r o u t l i n e s seven phases of g r i e f w h i c h v a r y f o r each i n d i v i d u a l i n the o r d e r , i n t e n s i t y and d u r a t i o n .  He uses the term phase r a t h e r than  s t a g e t o a v o i d s t r u c t u r a l l y o r d e r i n g the g r i e f p r o c e s s . " o f t e n phases move r a p i d l y back and (p. 67).  f o r t h , being repeated  linear progression  w h i c h are  " I t i s g e n e r a l l y experienced  raultifaceted  marks the b e g i n n i n g  of  as a shock because i t r e p r e s e n t s  the  r e a l i t y , o f t e n u n a n t i c i p a t e d " ( p . 6 8 ) . For mothers t h i s  the time of d i s c l o s u r e , when t h e y f i r s t h e a r d about the abuse of  c h i l d by the p a r t n e r .  I t i s o f t e n a time of d i s r u p t i o n of r o u t i n e  c a p a c i t y t o f u n c t i o n , w h i c h mothers o f t e n e n c o u n t e r . becomes i n v o l v e d t h e i r c h i l d r e n may asked to l e a v e ; c h i l d r e n may may  a  through d i s c r e t e stages.  i n i t i a l phase, " i n i t i a l awareness,"  i n t r u s i o n of a new is  recycled"  t h r o u g h s u c c e s s i v e s t a g e s , i s too s i m p l i s t i c and not  cannot be e x p l a i n e d  grief.  and  A s t a g e model, t h a t assumes a  t r u e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h e s e women's e x p e r i e n c e s  The  elaborates,  T h i s "phase" concept c o i n c i d e s w i t h Johnson's f i n d i n g s of  v a r i a b i l i t y i n the women's e x p e r i e n c e .  and  He  When the  the and  system  be removed from the home, or f a t h e r  r e m a i n away from s c h o o l f o r a time; a mother  t a k e time away from work. The  second phase i s c a l l e d " a t t e m p t s to l i m i t awareness: h o l d i n g on  or  - 21  l e t t i n g go."  -  L i m i t i n g awareness i s an attempt to f i n d some a l t e r n a t i v e to  g r i e v i n g through h o l d i n g  on s t r a t e g i e s or l e t t i n g go s t r a t e g i e s .  Holding  on s t r a t e g i e s a r e " . . . c o p i n g b e h a v i o r s whose i n t e n t i s t o f i n d some way p r e v e n t , overcome, or r e v e r s e a l o s s by means of the a c t i o n s the i n d i v i d u a l " ( p . 6 9 ) .  to  o r b e l i e f s of  L e t t i n g go s t r a t e g i e s would be a t t e m p t s a t  e s c a p i n g from o r d i m i n i s h i n g  r e m i n d e r s of the l o s s .  F o r mothers, l i m i t i n g  awareness might i n c l u d e f i n d i n g ways t o excuse the p a r t n e r s b e h a v i o r ( f o r example he d r i n k s , or he was extreme t r y i n g to f o r g e t  f r u s t r a t e d with h i s job)  or on the  other  t h a t the o f f e n d e r e x i s t s by d e s t r o y i n g a l l  h o u s e h o l d r e m i n d e r s of him  or requesting  f r i e n d s and  f a m i l y to never  m e n t i o n h i s name. The  t h i r d phase, "awareness of l o s s " , i s a t i m e of f a c i n g the l o s s  the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h a t l o s s .  T h i s phase i s a c h a l l e n g e to  i n d i v i d u a l ' s w i l l to l i v e , p h y s i c a l s t a m i n a and the phase of g r i e v i n g most f r e q u e n t l y  the  s e a r c h f o r meaning.  called grieving.  and  It is  For women whose  c h i l d r e n were s e x u a l l y abused i t i s a time of r e a l i z i n g t h e i r whole w o r l d may  be t u r n i n g o v e r :  a partner  may  be i n c a r c e r a t e d ,  d e a l i n g w i t h r e p e r c u s s i o n s from the a s s a u l t s e l f as a mother may The  be  f o r y e a r s to come, a sense of  perspective"  ends the g r i e f p r o c e s s i n  to s t r a t e g i e s t o l i m i t awareness, 2) g o i n g  t h r o u g h the p r o c e s s of h e a l i n g  and  a c c e p t a n c e or 3) t a k i n g a c t i v e  towards r e s t i t u t i o n o r r e s o l u t i o n i n o r d e r t o r e i n v e s t elsewhere. returning  Consequently, gaining  t h i n g has  perspective  from  steps  the g r i e v i n g energy  on the g r i e v i n g might be  to a s e a r c h f o r excuses t o e x o n e r a t e the p a r t n e r  to e r a s e him  be  shattered.  f o u r t h phase of " g a i n i n g  t h r e e ways: 1) r e t u r n i n g  a c h i l d may  o r an  memory; s e t t l i n g i n to an a c c e p t a n c e t h a t  a  attempt  this horrible  happened; o r a growth component where a mother f i n d s l e a r n i n g  or  - 22  growth p o t e n t i a l i n the The  fifth  -  experience.  phase i s " r e s o l v i n g l o s s " w h i c h i s " b e g i n n i n g t o d e t a c h  those a s p e c t s o f t h e i r l i v e s t h a t a r e now meaning" ( p . 7 2 ) .  For non-offending  from  o v e r o r w h i c h no l o n g e r have  p a r e n t s t h i s phase might i n c l u d e  l e t t i n g go o f a s e l f - i m a g e of a p e r f e c t mother who  can p r e v e n t a l l harm  from b e f a l l i n g a c h i l d . R e f o r m u l a t i n g l o s s i s the s i x t h phase w h i c h o c c u r s a f t e r some type of r e s o l u t i o n has t a k e n p l a c e . f o c u s on p o t e n t i a l growth and  I t i n c l u d e s a change i n p e r c e p t i o n s w i t h a c h a l l e n g e r a t h e r than problems and  limits.  An example f o r mothers would be t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r growth i n h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h her d a u g h t e r . t o g e t h e r , t h e r e i s a new  H a v i n g moved t h r o u g h a t r a u m a t i c  time  c l o s e n e s s between them w h i c h can be b u i l t on  and  developed. The  f i n a l phase of g r i e v i n g , c a l l e d " t r a n s f o r m i n g l o s s " i n v o l v e s  the p e r s o n p l a c i n g t h e l o s s i n a c o n t e x t o f g r o w t h , l i f e c y c l e s and  "... the  v i e w t h a t g r i e f i s a u n i f y i n g r a t h e r than a l i e n a t i n g human e x p e r i e n c e " ( p . 74).  I t i s an e x t e n s i o n of the p r e v i o u s phase y e t goes beyond i t as i t  moves from a s e l f f o c u s to a f o c u s on the c o n n e c t i o n s between us  all.  S p e c i f i c a l l y f o r m o t h e r s , t h i s phase might encompass an o b j e c t i v e l o o k a t the l i f e  c y c l e and how  the I n c e s t event  p o s i t i v e changes i n h e r l i f e and new The  process  phases.  p l a y e d an i m p o r t a n t p a r t i n making  and deeper c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h  through g r i e f combines the t a s k s of g r i e v i n g w i t h  people. the  I f someone remains i n the t a s k o f l i m i t i n g awareness, they  will  have an i n c o m p l e t e p r o c e s s of g r i e f , n e v e r coming to a r e f o r m u l a t i o n of the l o s s .  I f an i n d i v i d u a l does not go beyond the t a s k of  they a r e complete i n t h e i r awareness yet i n c o m p l e t e s i g n i f i e s f o r the r e m a i n d e r of t h e i r l i v e s .  acceptance,  i n what t h i s awareness  I f a p e r s o n moves to the t a s k  - 23 -  of r e s o l u t i o n and r e f o r m u l a t i o n ,  t h e n a l l phases a r e e x p e r i e n c e d .  For t h o s e i n d i v i d u a l s who r e a c h t h e l a t t e r phases o f t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e l o s s , i n d e a l i n g w i t h subsequent l o s s e s i t i s "... l e s s l i k e l y  that the  i n d i v i d u a l w i l l r e m a i n i n t h e i n i t i a l phases f o r as l o n g and i s l e s s likely  t o become i m m o b i l i z e d  by t h e a s s u m p t i o n s and s e l f - f u l f i l l i n g  prophecies that are associated with l o s s " (p. 76). S c h n e i d e r ' s framework on g r i e v i n g o f f e r s a way o f c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f mothers d e a l i n g w i t h i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse.  Mothers,  a l o n g w i t h any g r i e v i n g i n d i v i d u a l , do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y p r o g r e s s t o t h e f i n a l phases o f growth and c h a l l e n g e .  Being able to perceive  positives i n  the e x p e r i e n c e i n terms o f growth and change i s d i f f i c u l t when your own c h i l d has been s e x u a l l y abused. a great  Moving t o t h i s phase would c e r t a i n l y t a k e  d e a l o f t i m e and i n t e r n a l work.  W i t h S c h n e i d e r ' s model o f g r i e v i n g combined w i t h  Silverman's  a s s u m p t i o n t h a t women's needs f o r r e l a t i o n s h i p s compound t h e d i f f i c u l t y o f g r i e v i n g , there i s a beginning e x p e r i e n c e and t h e phases  c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e trauma t h e s e women  t h a t a r e a component o f d e a l i n g w i t h t h e  trauma. B e f o r e e x p l o r i n g t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h i s s t u d y and comparing them t o t h e g r i e f framework o u t l i n e d , t h e methodology o f t h e r e s e a r c h w i l l be delineated.  - 24 -  CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY  Method: As t h e r e s e a r c h c o v e r i n g t h e n o n - o f f e n d i n g c o n c e p t u a l base t h a t a t t e m p t s not been c l e a r l y d e v e l o p e d , d e s c r i b e d by A r k a v a ,  parent  i s l i m i t e d and t h e  t o c l a r i f y t h e i s s u e s f o r t h e s e women has  a q u a l i t a t i v e s t u d y was u n d e r t a k e n .  As  "When a r e s e a r c h p r o b l e m i s p o o r l y u n d e r s t o o d o r  i n a d e q u a t e l y d e s c r i b e d , they must i n s t e a d [ r a t h e r than q u a n t i t a t i v e ] perform  e x p l o r a t o r y - d e s c r i p t i v e r e s e a r c h " (1983, p. 190).  Such an  e x p l o r a t o r y f o c u s a l l o w s f o r t h e development of a h o l i s t i c p i c t u r e of mothers. The h o l i s t i c approach t o r e s e a r c h d e s i g n i s open t o g a t h e r i n g d a t a on any number o f a s p e c t s o f t h e s e t t i n g under s t u d y i n o r d e r t o put t o g e t h e r a complete p i c t u r e o f t h e s o c i a l dynamic o f a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n ( P a t t o n , 1980, p. 4 0 ) . Consequently,  many a s p e c t s o f m o t h e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e s  c a n be e x p l o r e d  o f f e r i n g a r i c h n e s s not a v a i l a b l e i n q u a n t i t a t i v e e f f o r t s . A q u a l i t a t i v e approach has t o do w i t h t h e k i n d s o f d a t a t h a t a r e collected.  T h i s method a l l o w s f o r t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f s u b j e c t i v e  p e r c e p t i o n s of t h e women i n t h e sample p o p u l a t i o n . ...The e v a l u a t o r u s i n g a q u a l i t a t i v e approach t o measurement seeks to c a p t u r e what people have t o s a y i n t h e i r own words. Q u a l i t a t i v e measures d e s c r i b e t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f p e o p l e i n d e p t h ( P a t t o n , 1980, p. 2 2 ) . The  c h o i c e o f d e s i g n f o r t h i s r e s e a r c h f i t s w i t h a f e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s of  social science.  Such an a n a l y s i s views t r a d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h , i e .  q u a n t i t a t i v e , as b i a s e d i n t h a t i t has s t e r e o t y p i c n o t i o n s of women, o f t e n i t does n o t c o n t a i n women i n i t s s t u d i e s , and male e x p e r i e n c e i s g e n e r a l i z e d t o t h e e n t i r e p o p u l a t i o n ( S t a n l e y & Wise, 1983).  An  - 25 -  e x p l o r a t o r y a p p r o a c h , however, l e n d s i t s e l f t o a f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h model by v a l i d a t i n g t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f women.  They a r e v a l i d a t e d as they a r e  seen as s i g n i f i c a n t , v a l u a b l e p i e c e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t r e s e a r c h e r s c a n l e a r n from.  P a t t o n says q u a l i t a t i v e measurements " f i n d o u t what  people's  l i v e s , e x p e r i e n c e s , and i n t e r a c t i o n s mean t o them i n t h e i r own terms and i n t h e i r n a t u r a l s e t t i n g s " (1980, p. 2 2 ) . A c r i t i c i s m o f q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s i s t h a t i t i s s u b j e c t i v e and i s therefore i n s i g n i f i c a n t .  P a t t o n addresses  t h i s c r i t i c i s m by s a y i n g ,  "Numbers do n o t p r o t e c t a g a i n s t b i a s , t h e y m e r e l y d i s g u i s e i t " (1980, p. 336).  Feminist s c h o l a r s take t h i s i s s u e f u r t h e r c l a i m i n g that o b j e c t i v i t y  i s a s e x i s t term t h a t s h o u l d be l e f t b e h i n d F i n n 1982).  ( S t a n l e y & W i s e , 1983; M i l e s &  They c l a i m i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o do any k i n d of r e s e a r c h ,  q u a l i t a t i v e o r q u a n t i t a t i v e , without  t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s own b e l i e f s and  v a l u e s b e i n g an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h e p r o c e s s .  Consequently,  ... a l l r e s e a r c h i s 'grounded' i n c o n s c i o u s n e s s , because i t i s n ' t p o s s i b l e t o do r e s e a r c h ( o r l i f e ) i n such a way t h a t we can s e p a r a t e o u r s e l v e s from e x p e r i e n c i n g what we e x p e r i e n c e as p e o p l e (and r e s e a r c h e r s ) i n v o l v e d i n a s i t u a t i o n ( S t a n l e y & W i s e , 1983, p. 1 6 1 ) . I f one a c c e p t s t h e n o t i o n t h a t o b j e c t i v i t y i s a myth and t h e r e s e a r c h e r sees and p r e s e n t s t h e r e s e a r c h i n a manner t h a t r e p r e s e n t s h e r / h i s w o r l d v i e w o r e x p e r i e n c e s , then i t i s i m p o r t a n t  t o be e x p l i c i t  about t h i s view as i t becomes an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h e r e s e a r c h  process.  T h i s r e s e a r c h e r ' s c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n , o r method o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e w o r l d i s from a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e .  T h i s paradigm e f f e c t s t h e type of  r e s e a r c h p r o b l e m f o r m u l a t e d , t h e k i n d s o f q u e s t i o n s asked, t h e manner i n w h i c h they a r e asked, and t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g women.  How we e x p e r i e n c e  of t h e words shared by these  t h e r e s e a r c h has impact  we a n a l y z e o r c o n s t r u c t t h e d a t a .  on what we see and how  The r e s e a r c h f o r t h i s t h e s i s was  - 26 -  experienced with a perception the mothers i n t e r v i e w e d  t h a t women a r e o p p r e s s e d i n t h i s s o c i e t y and  a r e a product of t h i s s e x i s t , oppressive  This oppression influences  society.  t h e i r l i v e s and e x p e r i e n c e s as women and as  mothers o f c h i l d r e n who were s e x u a l l y abused.  I f they were n o n - p r o t e c t i v e  of t h e i r c h i l d r e n , t h e r e i s seldom a q u e s t i o n o f blame, b u t a q u e s t i o n o f o p p r e s s i o n and how t h i s has produced p o w e r l e s s n e s s . d e s i g n s tend t o s i l e n c e t h e v o i c e s  As q u a n t i t a t i v e  and e x p e r i e n c e s o f women ( W e t z e l , 1986)  a q u a l i t a t i v e approach i s . necessary to avoid  further oppression,  further  silencing.  Sampling: The  f i v e mothers i n t e r v i e w e d  f o r t h i s s t u d y a l l had c h i l d r e n who had  been s e x u a l l y abused by a f a t h e r o r s t e p - f a t h e r .  The f i v e cases i n t h i s  s t u d y were g l e a n e d from t h e F a m i l y P r a c t i c e U n i t s a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a and Vancouver G e n e r a l H o s p i t a l .  A l l f i v e women had been  to t h e u n i t s f o r t h e r a p y o r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h a p h y s i c i a n .  Two o f t h e  women had been i n t h e r a p y and were asked by t h e t h e r a p i s t s i f they would be w i l l i n g t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s s t u d y .  The o t h e r t h r e e women had  brought t h e i r c h i l d r e n t o t h e u n i t on campus f o r a p h y s i c a l following disclosure.  examination  The p h y s i c i a n , who s p e c i a l i z e s i n c h i l d  sexual  abuse c a s e s , p e r u s e d h e r f i l e s f o r t h e p r e v i o u s two y e a r s s e l e c t i n g t h e names o f mothers whose c h i l d r e n had been s e x u a l l y abused by t h e i r f a t h e r or s t e p - f a t h e r .  Women who l i v e d o u t s i d e  those who were p r e s e n t l y  the greater  i n a known c r i s i s  Vancouver a r e a and  were n o t s e l e c t e d .  e l e v e n women were then c a l l e d by t h e p h y s i c i a n ' s  A l i s t of  a s s i s t a n t and q u e r i e d  t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h i s s t u d y . Seven women r e f u s e d reasons that i n c l u d e d  upcoming c o u r t  d a t e s and a d e s i r e  for  to leave the  on  - 27 -  experience  behind  them.  A s i x t h woman was i n t e r v i e w e d by t h e r e s e a r c h e r ,  however, due t o a t e c h n i c a l m a l f u n c t i o n i n g o f t h e v i d e o c a s s e t t e , t h e i n t e r v i e w w i t h h e r was n o t i n c l u d e d i n t h e a n a l y s i s . The  f i v e women i n c l u d e d i n t h e s t u d y ranged i n age from 24 t o 42.  Three o f t h e s e women had s e p a r a t e d  from t h e i r husbands p r i o r t o t h e  d i s c l o s u r e o f s e x u a l abuse. One o f t h e s e t h r e e had l e f t h e r husband as he had been p h y s i c a l l y a b u s i v e w i t h h e r , w h i l e because he had been p h y s i c a l l y a b u s i v e children. cases  a n o t h e r had l e f t h e r husband  t o b o t h h e r and h e r t h r e e  The p e r p e t r a t o r s i n c l u d e d two n a t u r a l f a t h e r s ( i n one o f t h e s e  t h e s o n was a l s o a b u s i n g h i s s i s t e r ) , one s t e p - f a t h e r , one man who  abused b o t h n a t u r a l and s t e p c h i l d r e n , and one case where t h e p e r p e t r a t o r was  the paternal grandfather with the n a t u r a l father being  abuser.  a suspected  The two men who were s t i l l w i t h t h e i r w i v e s a t t h e time o f  d i s c l o s u r e admitted  t o t h e abuse, t h e r e s t d e n i e d  abused t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  t h a t they had s e x u a l l y  The d u r a t i o n o f t h e s e x u a l abuse was f r o m s i x  months t o t h r e e y e a r s and ranged from f o n d l i n g t o v i o l e n t a n a l and v a g i n a l penetration. The  women d i s c o v e r e d t h e abuse from t h r e e months t o f i v e y e a r s ago.  They d i s c o v e r e d t h e abuse i n a v a r i e t y o f ways: t h e i r daughters,  one heard  two o f them were t o l d by  from a day c a r e w o r k e r , a n o t h e r  from a s o c i a l  w o r k e r a f t e r h e r c h i l d r e n had been apprehended, and one became aware o f i t a f t e r a t t e n d i n g a workshop on s e x u a l abuse. At l e a s t two o f t h e women had t h e m s e l v e s been s e x u a l l y abused as children.  As t h i s q u e s t i o n was n o t d i r e c t l y asked i n t h e i n t e r v i e w , i t i s  i m p o s s i b l e t o a s c e r t a i n whether t h e r e m a i n i n g  t h r e e had e x p e r i e n c e d  sexual  abuse as c h i l d r e n o r n o t . T h i s q u e s t i o n was n o t d i r e c t l y asked as t h e i n t e r v i e w f o c u s e d on t h e e x p e r i e n c e s mothers had f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e .  - 28 -  When mothers p e r c e i v e d c o n n e c t i o n s past e x p e r i e n c e s  between t h e i r p r e s e n t  r e s p o n s e s and  they were d i s c u s s e d and p r o b e d .  Data C o l l e c t i o n : Methods o f d a t a c o l l e c t i o n i n q u a l i t a t i v e s t u d i e s i n c l u d e : o b s e r v a t i o n , q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , telephone interviews.  Face-to-face  i n t e r v i e w s and f a c e - t o - f a c e  i n t e r v i e w s were used t o c o l l e c t  study f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g reasons.  the data i n t h i s  I n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse i s a  p e r s o n a l , p a i n f u l , and somewhat taboo t o p i c and a f a c e - t o - f a c e approach would a l l o w f o r t h e e m o t i o n a l  needs o f t h e women t o be a d d r e s s e d .  i n t e r v i e w a l s o appears t o be t h e most a p p r o p r i a t e t e c h n i q u e  Such an  for revealing  i n f o r m a t i o n about e m o t i o n a l l y l a d e n s u b j e c t s as i t "encourages t h e g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e freedom and h o n e s t y of e x p r e s s i o n " ( S e l l t i z , Wrightsman & Cook, 1976,  p, 2 9 8 ) .  To ensure a c c u r a c y Although  o f d o c u m e n t a t i o n , t h e i n t e r v i e w s were  a l l t h e women e x p r e s s e d  videotaped.  h e s i t a n c y r e g a r d i n g t h e t a p i n g , when t h e  r e a s o n f o r t a p i n g was e x p l a i n e d and t h e e t h i c a l manner I n w h i c h t h e tapes would be h a n d l e d , t h e i r c o n c e r n s d i m i n i s h e d .  From t h e openness o f t h e  womens' s h a r i n g i n t h e i n t e r v i e w , i t i s assumed t h a t v i d e o t a p i n g was n o t a b a r r i e r o r i n any way l i m i t i n g o f t h e d a t a c o l l e c t e d .  The e v e n t u a l  comfort w i t h t h e t a p i n g may have been f a c i l i t a t e d by t h e f a c t t h a t f o u r o f the f i v e i n t e r v i e w s were conducted i n t h e women's homes. who  was taped  at t h e F a m i l y P r a c t i c e U n i t had been taped  t h e r a p i s t , and c o n s e q u e n t l y Although  The one woman p r e v i o u s l y by h e r  had a c e r t a i n comfort l e v e l w i t h i t .  q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , w i t h t h e i r s t a n d a r d i z e d w o r d i n g and sequence,  o f f e r more u n i f o r m i t y o f p r e s e n t a t i o n , t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by t h e sample p o p u l a t i o n may be q u i t e d i v e r s e .  U t i l i z i n g an i n t e r v i e w f o r m a t ,  from t h e  - 29 -  immediate r e s p o n s e t o a q u e s t i o n , t h e i n t e r v i e w e r knows i f t h e q u e s t i o n has been u n d e r s t o o d .  I f i t has n o t , t h e i n t e r v i e w e r has t h e o p t i o n o f  m o d i f y i n g and r e a s k i n g t h e q u e s t i o n .  Q u e s t i o n n a i r e s do n o t o f f e r  this  c o r r e c t i v e measure. As a g u i d e  t o d e v e l o p i n g t h e q u e s t i o n s w h i c h would be a s k e d , t h e  r e s e a r c h e r began w i t h t h e p r a c t i c a l q u e s t i o n o f :  What do we as s o c i a l  w o r k e r s need t o l e a r n about t h e s e women and t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h s e x u a l abuse? focused  Emerging f r o m t h a t p e r s p e c t i v e were q u e s t i o n s w h i c h  on t h e p e r c e p t i o n s / f e e l i n g s / b e l i e f s around t h e s e x u a l abuse and  those p e o p l e The  i n dealing  around h e r , as w e l l as f a c t s on t h e d i s c l o s u r e i t s e l f .  q u e s t i o n s were d e v e l o p e d  b e i n g c o g n i z a n t o f t h e need f o r c l a r i t y ,  and an open-ended n o n - j u d g e m e n t a l p e r s p e c t i v e . i n t o two p a r t s .  The i n t e r v i e w was d i v i d e d  P a r t one c o n t a i n e d open-ended q u e s t i o n s  mothers' experiences.  regarding  P a r t two c o n t a i n e d demographic/background  questions  such as t h e ages of mother, p e r p e t r a t o r , c h i l d , and t h e n a t u r e and d u r a t i o n o f t h e abuse. themes:  The open-ended q u e s t i o n s r e v o l v e d around s e v e r a l  how t h e women d i s c o v e r e d t h e abuse was g o i n g on and t h e i r  initial  r e s p o n s e t o i t ; t h e d e c i s i o n s they made r e g a r d i n g who t o b e l i e v e and support;  and, t h e meaning t h e s e women p l a c e d on b e i n g a mother and b e i n g a  w i f e and i f t h e s e n o t i o n s changed f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e . The  q u e s t i o n s were o r i g i n a l l y d e s i g n e d  w i t h t h e assumption that the  sample o f mothers would s t i l l be l i v i n g w i t h t h e husband o r p a r t n e r a t t h e time o f d i s c l o s u r e . As a r e s u l t , s e v e r a l q u e s t i o n s f o c u s e d on whether t h e s e women p e r c e i v e d a c h o i c e needed t o be made between t h e i r p a r t n e r and c h i l d , and i f s o , what f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c e d t h i s d e c i s i o n . f i v e women i n t e r v i e w e d were s e p a r a t e d was  As t h r e e o f t h e  f r o m t h e i r husbands when t h e abuse  d i s c l o s e d , they p e r c e i v e d no c h o i c e i s s u e s .  They had p r e v i o u s l y  - 30 -  d e c i d e d t o end t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r reasons u n r e l a t e d t o t h e abuse, as t h e abuse was e i t h e r a s e c r e t a t t h e time o f s e p a r a t i o n o r had not y e t begun. F o r t h e s e t h r e e women, q u e s t i o n s around t h e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g r e g a r d i n g a l i g n m e n t were d e l e t e d . The q u e s t i o n s were g i v e n t o two p r o f e s s i o n a l s w o r k i n g i n t h e a r e a o f s e x u a l abuse and w i t h t h e i r feedback  r e v i s i o n s were made.  These q u e s t i o n s  were r e f i n e d f u r t h e r as t h e i n t e r v i e w s u n f o l d e d and t h e m o t h e r s ' uncovered  feedback  a l a c k o f c l a r i t y i n c e r t a i n a r e a s o f q u e s t i o n i n g . R e v i s i o n s on  the I n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n s f e l l  i n t o two main c a t e g o r i e s .  F i r s t , some o f t h e  q u e s t i o n s needed t o be more open-ended a l l o w i n g f o r a b r o a d e r range o f response.  F o r example, one q u e s t i o n was o r i g i n a l l y :  D i d you e x p e r i e n c e  problems o r d i f f i c u l t i e s f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , and i f s o , what? changed t o :  What was y o u r i n i t i a l  t h o u g h t s , f e e l i n g s and a c t i o n s . )  response  to the d i s c l o s u r e ?  T h i s q u e s t i o n was changed t o  g i v e a c l e a r e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what was b e i n g a s k e d :  to  i s forl i f e ,  end t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p .  wife?  F o r example, one  How i m p o r t a n t was b e i n g a w i f e t o you and  what s i g n i f i c a n c e o r meaning d i d t h i s have?  that marriage  (Probe f o r  There were a l s o r e v i s i o n s n e c e s s a r y i n  l e n g t h e n i n g some q u e s t i o n s t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e i r c l a r i t y . q u e s t i o n was o r i g i n a l l y worded:  T h i s was  Some women f e e l  o t h e r s f e e l t h a t i f t h i n g s g e t bad i t i s b e s t How do you f e e l about m a r r i a g e and b e i n g a  (Probe f o r l o y a l t y , commitment, sense o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . )  F i n a l l y , t h e format f o r t h e q u e s t i o n s was more o f a " g e n e r a l i n t e r v i e w guide" than a " s t a n d a r d i z e d " l i s t  o f q u e s t i o n s ( P a t t o n , 1980).  He s a y s ,  The i n t e r v i e w g u i d e s i m p l y s e r v e s as a b a s i c c h e c k l i s t d u r i n g t h e i n t e r v i e w t o make s u r e t h a t a l l r e l e v a n t t o p i c s a r e c o v e r e d . The i n t e r v i e w e r i s r e q u i r e d t o adapt b o t h t h e w o r d i n g and t h e sequence of q u e s t i o n s t o s p e c i f i c r e s p o n d e n t s i n t h e c o n t e x t o f the a c t u a l i n t e r v i e w ( p . 198). This f l e x i b i l i t y  a l l o w e d t h e women t o share t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s i n t h e i r own  - 31  way.  The  questions  -  l i s t e d were always answered, but  i f not mentioned i n t h e i r own  o n l y asked  t e l l i n g of t h e i r s t o r i e s . A l t h o u g h  i n v e s t i g a t o r went i n t o each i n t e r v i e w w i t h the same l i s t t h i s d i d not p r e c l u d e progressed.  Probing  c h a n g i n g or a d d i n g q u e s t i o n s  of  as the  the  questions,  interview  a r e a s t h a t seemed d i f f e r e n t f r o m o t h e r women's  e x p e r i e n c e s added to the r i c h n e s s of the  R e l i a b i l i t y and  directly  data.  Validity:  Reliability  of a measure can be d e f i n e d  as:  ... i t s c a p a c i t y t o gauge c o n s i s t e n t l y the phenomenon b e i n g measured ... a r e l i a b l e measure r e v e a l s a c t u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n what i s b e i n g measured - r a t h e r t h a n d i f f e r e n c e s i n h e r e n t i n the measurement p r o c e s s i t s e l f ( A r k a v a , 1983, p. 2 0 ) .  A r e l i a b i l i t y question  i n t h i s s t u d y would be:  Would mothers g i v e  d i f f e r e n t r e s p o n s e s i n an i n t e r v i e w because they had o r because the q u e s t i o n s Standardization so i t was  had  been asked d i f f e r e n t l y by the  of format was  p r e s e n t e d i n a s i m i l a r f a s h i o n t h a n i f t h e r e had R e l i a b i l i t y was  and  been s e v e r a l  of the r e s p o n s e s .  were documented by p r o c e s s r e c o r d i n g a l o n e ,  interviewer  were asked  a l s o enhanced by v i d e o t a p i n g  which avoided s e l e c t i v e r e c o r d i n g  experiences  interviewer?  i n c r e a s e d by u t i l i z i n g o n l y one  more l i k e l y t h a t the i n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n s  interviewers.  different  I f the  the  interviews  interviews  r e l i a b i l i t y c o n c e r n s might  a r i s e i n r e g a r d s to what the i n t e r v i e w e r deemed s i g n i f i c a n t  to w r i t e down,  t h e r e f o r e , i t e m s deemed i n s i g n i f i c a n t by the i n t e r v i e w e r would n e v e r  be  p a r t of the d a t a w h i c h may  Video  recordings  avoid  w e l l be i m p o r t a n t p i e c e s of i n f o r m a t i o n .  this bias.  V a l i d i t y i s the e x t e n t  to w h i c h an i n s t r u m e n t measures or a s s e s s e s  what i t i s supposed t o measure ( A r k a v a ,  1983). As p a r t of an  exploratory  - 32 -  p r o c e s s , v a l i d i t y has been c o n s i d e r e d t o some e x t e n t . i t was i m p o r t a n t  During i n t e r v i e w s  t o be m i n d f u l o f k e y f a c t o r s t h a t might i n f l u e n c e t h e way  mothers r e p o r t s u b j e c t i v e d a t a .  Although  t h e s e f a c t o r s , such as u l t e r i o r  m o t i v e s , d e s i r e s t o p l e a s e , and f e a r s o f b e i n g j u d g e d , a r e kept i n mind, the t a s k o f t h i s s t u d y i s t o u n d e r s t a n d post-disclosure experiences. non-biased  t h e meaning t h e s e women p l a c e on  The i n v e s t i g a t o r attempted  to f a c i l i t a t e a  open d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s by s h a r i n g a s p e c t s o f  h e r s e l f such as p r e v i o u s c o u n s e l l i n g e x p e r i e n c e w i t h mothers o f abused c h i l d r e n , and reasons  f o r i n t e r e s t i n t h i s p r o j e c t , as w e l l as e n s u r i n g  t h a t comments made and q u e s t i o n s asked were done so w i t h a non-judgemental attitude. The m o t h e r s ' r e p o r t s were a c c e p t e d  as h a v i n g f a c e v a l i d i t y .  Although  t h e r e i s some c o n t r o v e r s y o r c r i t i c i s m o f a c c e p t i n g t h e v a l i d i t y o f v e r b a l r e p o r t s , i t i s o f prime i m p o r t a n c e  i n a f e m i n i s t model.  component o f f e m i n i s t r e s e a r c h i s an a c c e p t a n c e  A fundamental  o f t h e v a l i d i t y o f women's  experiences. ... p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s c o u l d n ' t be i n v a l i d a t e d o r r e j e c t e d , because i f something was f e l t then i t was f e l t , and i f i t was f e l t then i t was a b s o l u t e l y r e a l f o r t h e woman e x p e r i e n c i n g i t ( S t a n l e y & Wise, 1983, p. 5 3 ) . A r e s e a r c h e r c a n r e m a i n aware o f f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g t h e v e r b a l r e p o r t s while s t i l l  p e r c e i v i n g them as v a l i d .  To i n v a l i d a t e t h e e x p e r i e n c e can be  dangerous as seen i n t h e l e g a c y l e f t by Freud  i n n o t b e l i e v i n g women's  s t o r i e s o f s e x u a l abuse and c a l l i n g them f a n t a s i e s , s e c r e t w i s h e s , o r l i e s (Rush,  1980).  Data A n a l y s i s : I n some r e s p e c t s t h e p r o c e s s o f a n a l y s i s f o l l o w e d a grounded  theory  - 33 -  approach where t h e r e i s a g e n e r a t i o n o f c o n c e p t u a l c a t e g o r i e s and t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s from t h e e v i d e n c e 1967).  found  i n t h e raw d a t a ( G l a s e r & S t r a u s s ,  I n d e v e l o p i n g grounded t h e o r y through q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s t h e r e  i s no attempt  a t f i t t i n g t h e d a t a i n t o t h e t h e o r y , but an attempt a t  d i s c o v e r i n g i f t h e t h e o r y i s r e l e v a n t t o t h e c a t e g o r i e s o r themes discovered. As d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r , I t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o do pure grounded r e s e a r c h as the r e s e a r c h e r ' s p r i o r knowledge, b e l i e f s , and b i a s e s come i n t o p l a y . Consequently,  t h i s a n a l y s i s o c c u r r e d w i t h i n a f e m i n i s t framework w h i c h  p l a c e s g r e a t v a l u e on t h e s u b j e c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e s o f women and v i e w s many i e x p e r i e n c e s as a r e f l e c t i o n o f power i m b a l a n c e s w i t h p r i o r knowledge developed  between women and men, and  through previous t h e r a p e u t i c i n t e r a c t i o n s  w i t h mothers whose c h i l d r e n had been s e x u a l l y abused. non-offending  P r e v i o u s work w i t h  parents l e d t o a beginning c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the  p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e p r o c e s s e x p l a i n e d i n c h a p t e r two's d i s c u s s i o n o f a g r i e f model.  Such a b e g i n n i n g framework h e l p s t o f o c u s and "need n o t work as a  b l i n d e r o r s t r a i g h t j a c k e t " ( M i l e s & Huberman, 1984, p. 2 9 ) . The  d a t a a n a l y s i s i n c l u d e d two p r o c e s s e s : t h e s u b j e c t i v e components o f  the r e s e a r c h e r ' s  f e m i n i s t framework and t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s  previous  c o u n s e l l i n g e x p e r i e n c e w i t h m o t h e r s , as w e l l as a l l o w i n g c a t e g o r i e s t o emerge out o f t h e raw d a t a .  T h e r e f o r e , a n a l y s i s was b o t h  d e d u c t i v e and  i n d u c t i v e - i n d u c t i v e i n t h e emergent c a t e g o r i e s , d e d u c t i v e i n p e r c e i v i n g t h e d a t a from a g e n e r a l framework. Data a n a l y s i s was a p r o c e s s  t h a t began i n t h e d a t a c o l l e c t i o n  when p a t t e r n s and themes began t o emerge. first  i n t e r v i e w and w a t c h i n g  stage  Following completion of the  t h e t a p e , f o u r themes emerged:  a mother, q u e s t i o n i n g o f own judgement, ambivalence  inadequacy as  r e g a r d i n g b e l i e f , and  - 34 -  a sense o f g u i l t . of q u e s t i o n s ,  A l t h o u g h t h e themes were not i n c o r p o r a t e d  i n t o the l i s t  they were watched f o r i n subsequent i n t e r v i e w s and i f t h e y  d i d n o t emerge f r o m t h e women's own t e l l i n g o f h e r e x p e r i e n c e s , asked as probes a t a p p r o p r i a t e  t i m e s , w h i c h would be times when they  appeared t o f i t i n t o t h e c o n t e x t Glaser & Strauss  they were  of the d i s c u s s i o n .  (1967) d i s c u s s " c o m p a r a t i v e a n a l y s i s " where  theory  development i s a p r o c e s s w h i c h i n c l u d e s j o i n t d a t a c o l l e c t i o n , c o d i n g , and analysis. Of t h e f i v e i n t e r v i e w s , o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y one and a h a l f t o two hours i n l e n g t h , two were s e l e c t e d f o r t r a n s c r i p t i o n t o a l l o w f o r a v i s u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e d a t a t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e p r o c e s s of a n a l y s i s . The i n t e r v i e w s s e l e c t e d f o r p r e l i m i n a r y a n a l y s i s were w i t h t h e most a r t i c u l a t e women, who were f e l t  t o o f f e r t h e most d e t a i l e d , complete and c l e a r  statements of t h e i r experiences.  I n a d d i t i o n , t h e s e two i n t e r v i e w s  r e f l e c t e d t h e range o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s I n t h a t one mother of a f o u r y e a r o l d was l i v i n g w i t h h e r husband when d i s c l o s u r e o c c u r r e d , mother o f a t e e n a g e r had p r e v i o u s l y The  while the other  separated.  p r o c e s s o f a n a l y s i s began by t r a n s c r i b i n g o n l y two i n t e r v i e w s .  T h i s was done f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s .  Each t r a n s c r i p t i n c l u d e d 20  pages s i n g l e spaced and took t h e i n v e s t i g a t o r seven t o e i g h t hours t o complete. coding  Due t o t h e t i m e c o n s t r a i n t s on t h i s s t u d y , i t was thought  that  two t r a n s c r i p t s l i n e by l i n e o f f e r e d enough o f a c a t e g o r i c a l base  from w h i c h t o a n a l y z e t h e r e m a i n i n g t h r e e tapes w i t h o u t t r a n s c r i p t i o n . The  t r a n s c r i p t s were read and each p o i n t made t h a t was r e l e v a n t t o  p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s was coded.  Examples o f p o i n t s made t h a t were  deemed i r r e l e v a n t t o p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s i n c l u d e d a d i s c u s s i o n o f e x p e r i e n c e s i n a t r a n s i t i o n house by one woman,  and d i s c u s s i o n s o f a  - 35 -  long-standing woman.  c o n f l i c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a s i s t e r - i n - l a w by a n o t h e r  A p o i n t i s d e f i n e d as i n c l u d i n g one o r more s e n t e n c e s w i t h a  common s u b j e c t l i n k i n g them.  F o r example, a woman may e x p r e s s i n f o u r o r  f i v e sentences her d i s d a i n f o r the p e r p e t r a t o r , or her s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the amount o f s u p p o r t f a m i l y was p r o v i d i n g . as a " p o i n t " .  These would' b o t h be d e f i n e d  Each p o i n t was coded, o r deemed i r r e l e v a n t t o t h e s t u d y ,  b e f o r e moving on t o t h e n e x t .  A code i s d e f i n e d as an "... a b b r e v i a t i o n  o r symbol a p p l i e d t o a segment o f words - most o f t e n a s e n t e n c e o r paragraph of t r a n s c r i b e d f i e l d & Huberman, 1984, p. 5 6 ) .  n o t e s - i n o r d e r t o c l a s s i f y words" ( M i l e s  When n e c e s s a r y ,  t h e s e codes were memoed.  G l a s e r d e f i n e s memos as "... t h e t h e o r i z i n g w r i t e - u p and 83).  o f i d e a s about codes  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s as they s t r i k e t h e a n a l y s t w h i l e c o d i n g "  (1978, p.  F o l l o w i n g c o d i n g o f t h e two t r a n s c r i p t s , a l i s t was made o f each s e t  of codes. The  first  t r a n s c r i p t had a l i s t  second had 35  o f 37 d i f f e r e n t c o d e s , w h i l e t h e  (see a p p e n d i x f o r sample t r a n s c r i p t and l i s t  When t h e s e l i s t s were compared, a l t h o u g h they had s i m i l a r meanings.  few o f t h e codes were i d e n t i c a l ,  F o r example,  t r a n s c r i p t l i s t e d on t h e l e f t  of codes).  f o u r codes f r o m t h e f i r s t  c o u l d be matched w i t h t h e f o u r codes from  the second t r a n s c r i p t l i s t e d on t h e r i g h t . Confusion Following D i s c l o s u r e S e c r e c y and p r i v a c y Caring f o r C h i l d Ambivalence r e b e l i e f The  I n i t i a l Reaction Need f o r Support vs Need f o r P r i v a c y Concern r e Daughter Questions C h i l d ' s Story  codes t h a t emerged from t h e two t r a n s c r i p t s were then s o r t e d  t h r o u g h t o d e v e l o p a system o f c a t e g o r i e s and p r o p e r t i e s k e e p i n g i n mind that a category  s t a n d s a l o n e as a c o n c e p t u a l  an element o f a c a t e g o r y  (Glaser & Strauss,  element, w h i l e a p r o p e r t y I s 1967).  - 36 -  To b e g i n for.  t h e merging p r o c e s s ,  s i m i l a r i t i e s between codes were  looked  These s i m i l a r codes were t h e n l i s t e d as a group t o see what t o l a b e l  the common element between them. listed  F o r example, t h e f o l l o w i n g codes were  t o g e t h e r as they appeared t o have some s i m i l a r i t y :  Confusion  F o l l o w i n g D i s c l o s u r e , I n i t i a l D i s b e l i e f , Not i n Her R e p e r t o i r e o f What P e o p l e Do, Q u e s t i o n s C h i l d ' s S t o r y , Loss of C o n t r o l , A m b i v a l e n c e r e B e l i e f , Questioning  own Judgement.  The common t h r e a d r u n n i n g  t h e s e codes was t h a t t h e y were a l l a s p e c t s disclosure.  o f t h e women's r e a c t i o n t o t h e  T h i s common t h r e a d became t h e c a t e g o r y .  f u r t h e r t o t h i s , were p r o p e r t i e s o f t h i s c a t e g o r y a c t i o n s and f e e l i n g s .  through a l l  What emerged,  that i n c l u d e d ,  beliefs,  C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e r e were b e l i e f s t h a t t h e r e a c t i o n s  were based on such as s e x u a l abuse n o t b e i n g  i n h e r r e p e r t o i r e o f what  p e o p l e do, w h i c h i n c o r p o r a t e d an a m b i v a l e n c e o f b e l i e v i n g t h e abuse. There were a c t i o n s t a k e n  that included  c o n f u s i o n about what a c t i o n s t o  t a k e , and t h e r e were f e e l i n g s such as l o s s o f c o n t r o l , and a q u e s t i o n i n g of judgement.  T h i s merging p r o c e s s was a p r o c e s s o f b r i n g i n g t h e  c a t e g o r i e s t o a l e v e l o f a b s t r a c t i o n t h a t would i n c l u d e t h e v a r i e t y o f experiences  t h a t t h e s e women r e l a t e d .  The o b j e c t o f t h i s p r o c e s s was t o  d e v e l o p a system o f c a t e g o r i e s and t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s t h a t represented  the experiences  clearly  o f t h e s e women i n t h e i r d e a l i n g s  with  i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse. The  system o f c a t e g o r i e s and p r o p e r t i e s t h a t d e v e l o p e d from t h e  merging o f codes i n c l u d e d f o u r main c a t e g o r i e s and t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s . These were R e a c t i o n  t o D i s c l o s u r e : b e l i e f system, a c t i o n s , and f e e l i n g s ;  Changing S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s h i p s :  husband, c h i l d  ( v i c t i m ) , other c h i l d r e n ,  extended f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , and l a r g e r systems; S e l f  Issues:  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y / g u i l t , and sense o f judgement; and H e a l i n g  Process:  - 37 -  s u p p o r t v s . p r i v a c y , r e l e a s i n g g u i l t and t r u s t vs c a u t i o n . F o l l o w i n g t h e c o d i n g o f t h e s e two t r a n s c r i p t s , t h e l i s t i n g o f t h e codes, and t h e i n i t i a l development o f a framework o f c a t e g o r i e s and p r o p e r t i e s , the three remaining  tapes were  reviewed to a s c e r t a i n i f the  t e n t a t i v e c a t e g o r i z a t i o n s encompassed t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s ,  t o see i f new  c a t e g o r i e s emerged, and t o s e l e c t examples w h i c h best d e s c r i b e d t h e categories generated.  T h i s p r o c e s s began w i t h a t h o u g h t f u l v i e w i n g o f  the t a p e s , p a u s i n g when any major d i f f e r e n c e s from t h e c a t e g o r i e s g e n e r a t e d f r o m t h e two t r a n s c r i b e d t a p e s , were n o t e d . t i m e r on t h e v i d e o t a p e ,  any o f t h e s e p i e c e s n o t e d  e a s i l y by a l s o n o t i n g t h e t i m e . exception had  o f one p r o p e r t y ,  As t h e r e was a  c o u l d be r e t r i e v e d  A l t h o u g h t h e r e were d i f f e r e n c e s , w i t h t h e  i t was found t h a t t h e c a t e g o r i e s and p r o p e r t i e s  been d e v e l o p e d w i t h enough a b s t r a c t i o n t o i n c o r p o r a t e  differences.  The e x c e p t i o n was t h e p r o p e r t y  s u p p o r t vs p r i v a c y .  these  of the Healing Process  called  A l t h o u g h some o f t h e women had i s s u e s w i t h p r i v a c y  and w a n t i n g t h e abuse kept s e c r e t , n o t a l l t h e women f e l t  this.  C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e p r o p e r t y was brought t o a h i g h e r l e v e l o f a b s t r a c t i o n called "gathering  resources".  c o u l d be i n c l u d e d .  W i t h t h i s l a b e l a l l t h e women's  experiences  A l l t h e women a t t e m p t e d t o f i n d s u p p o r t f o r t h e m s e l v e s  i n some way, and f o r some o f t h e women t h i s was b a l a n c e d o f f w i t h a need for  privacy.  The t h r e e t a p e s t h a t had n o t been t r a n s c r i b e d were t h e n  watched a g a i n , t r a n s c r i b i n g quotes t h a t would f u n c t i o n as s u p p o r t i v e evidence.  The t a p e s o f f e r e d much grounded e v i d e n c e t h a t s u p p o r t e d t h e  emergent c a t e g o r i e s . Upon f i n a l p e r u s a l of t h e c a t e g o r i e s and t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s , one f i n a l change was made by i n c o r p o r a t i n g t h e c a t e g o r y Reactions  to D i s c l o s u r e .  of S e l f Issues  into  T h i s change was made as t h e e v i d e n c e t h a t  - 38 -  s u p p o r t e d t h e two p r o p e r t i e s o f t h i s c a t e g o r y ,  namely  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y / g u i l t and a sense o f judgement, were c l e a r l y f e e l i n g s t h a t t h e s e women had.  C o n s e q u e n t l y , they were moved t o t h e f e e l i n g p r o p e r t y o f  Reactions to Disclosure.  With t h i s a d d i t i o n to the f e e l i n g property  there  appeared t o be a c l e a r d e m a r c a t i o n between i n i t i a l f e e l i n g s w h i c h were part of the i n i t i a l c r i s i s , The  and l o n g e r - t e r m f e e l i n g s w h i c h went deeper.  f e e l i n g p r o p e r t y was t h e r e f o r e d i v i d e d i n t o t h e i n i t i a l and  longer-term f e e l i n g s . The  f i n a l a s p e c t o f a n a l y s i s i n c l u d e d an awareness o f two themes t h a t  appeared t o l i n k t h e c a t e g o r i e s and t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s .  As M i l e s and  Huberman s a y , When one i s w o r k i n g w i t h t e x t , ... one w i l l o f t e n note r e c u r r i n g p a t t e r n s , themes, o r " G e s t a l t s , " w h i c h p u l l t o g e t h e r a l o t o f s e p a r a t e pieces of data. Something "jumps o u t " a t you, s u d d e n l y making sense (1984, p. 2 1 6 ) . What "jumped o u t " was t h e theme o f mother as p r o t e c t o r and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p d i s r u p t i o n and subsequent r e o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t mothers experienced.  As t h e s e two themes emerged from t h e c a t e g o r i e s  developed f o l l o w i n g the coding, p o i n t s made by t h e m o t h e r s .  t h a t were  t h e s e themes would a l s o l i n k many o f t h e  T h i s w i l l become e v i d e n t  i n t h e next c h a p t e r  on f i n d i n g s w h i c h i n c l u d e s t h e c a t e g o r i e s and p r o p e r t i e s t h a t emerged f r o m the d a t a , q u o t e s t h a t s u p p o r t o r p r o v i d e  e v i d e n c e o f t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s , and  f u r t h e r e x p l o r a t i o n on how t h e two above-noted themes p r o v i d e between t h e c a t e g o r i e s .  a linkage  - 39 -  CHAPTER FOUR FINDINGS  Two c e n t r a l themes emerged f r o m t h e d a t a i n t h i s s t u d y .  These were  the m o t h e r s ' b e l i e f i n t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e i r r o l e as p r o t e c t o r s o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n , and t h e r o l e d i s r u p t i o n s and subsequent r e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f relationships.  F o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , e x p e c t e d ways of i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h  p e o p l e changed d r a m a t i c a l l y w h i c h l e d t o c o n f u s i o n conflictual relationships.  and c h a n g i n g o r  The r o l e s t h a t became c o n f l i c t u a l f o r t h e s e  women i n c l u d e d t h e r o l e as w i f e , as mother, as d a u g h t e r and as f r i e n d . The r o l e as p r o t e c t o r i s c o n n e c t e d t o t h i s r o l e d i s r u p t i o n i n t h a t  they  now q u e s t i o n e d t o some e x t e n t  These  t h e i r a b i l i t y to f u l f i l l  this role.  two themes were deemed such as a ) a l l t h e mothers d i s c u s s e d  these  notions  a t some p o i n t i n t h e i n t e r v i e w and b) g e n e r a l l y t h e s e themes emerged i n many p a r t s o f t h e i n t e r v i e w , t h a t i s i n many o f t h e p r o p e r t i e s . As t h e m o t h e r s ' b e l i e f i n m a t e r n a l p r o t e c t i o n and i s s u e s w i t h r o l e d i s r u p t i o n were b o t h woven t h r o u g h much o f t h e s e women's s t o r i e s , they seem t o p u l l together  a l o t o f s e p a r a t e p i e c e s o f d a t a and have t h e r e f o r e been l a b e l l e d  themes. The t h r e e main c a t e g o r i e s and t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s a l l r e f l e c t o r r e l a t e t o t h e s e themes.  They a r e as f o l l o w s :  Reaction  to D i s c l o s u r e which  i n c l u d e s t h e m o t h e r s ' b e l i e f system, a c t i o n s and f e e l i n g s ; Changing S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s h i p s w h i c h i n c l u d e s husband, c h i l d ( v i c t i m ) , o t h e r c h i l d r e n , extended f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , and l a r g e r systems; and t h e H e a l i n g which i n c l u d e s gathering  resources,  Process,  r e l i n q u i s h i n g g u i l t , and t r u s t vs  caution. The t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s  c a n be seen as t h r e e i n t e r l o c k i n g c i r c l e s as they  - 40 -  a r e n o t d i s c r e t e but have p r o f o u n d impact on each o t h e r , and a r e l i n k e d together  by t h e above-noted themes.  F o r example, as a mother d e a l s  with  p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e d i s t r e s s t h e a c t i o n s she t a k e s a r e i n f l u e n c e d by h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s , what people around h e r a r e s u g g e s t i n g do.  or pressuring her to  A mother's s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s have impact on h e r h e a l i n g p r o c e s s i n  t h a t a n o n - s u p p o r t i v e environment would l e n d i t s e l f  t o an e x t e n s i o n of  d i s t r e s s f o r t h e mother and a s l o w e r h e a l i n g p r o c e s s . i s e f f e c t e d by t h e b e l i e f system she i s o p e r a t i n g  The h e a l i n g p r o c e s s  from.  I f she cannot  b e l i e v e t h a t someone she c a r e s about i s c a p a b l e o f s e x u a l abuse, h e r denial w i l l influence her healing or g r i e f process.  As w i l l be  i l l u s t r a t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n , a l l the categorizations r e l a t e to the m o t h e r s ' p e r c e p t i o n s  o f t h e m s e l v e s as p r o t e c t o r s o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  These c a t e g o r i e s a l s o r e f l e c t t h e r o l e d i s r u p t i o n t h a t t h e s e women e x p e r i e n c e f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e and how an i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f t h e h e a l i n g process i s the r e o r g a n i z a t i o n o r s t a b i l i z a t i o n of these r o l e s . following discussion w i l l exemplify  C a t e g o r y 1:  Reaction  The  these p o i n t s .  to Disclosure  Beliefs: The  f i r s t property  of the Reaction  to D i s c l o s u r e category i s the  m o t h e r s ' b e l i e f t h a t they were g u a r d i a n s o r p r o t e c t o r s o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n . All  t h e women were asked about what they b e l i e v e d was t h e i r r o l e as a w i f e  and  a mother.  A l l f i v e women c l e a r l y p l a c e d  protector of t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  themselves i n the r o l e of  They had much l e s s t o s a y about t h e i r r o l e s  as w i v e s t h a n as mothers and perhaps t h i s i s i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e i r b e l i e f i n the i m p o r t a n c e o r s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e i r r o l e s as m o t h e r s .  The two women  - 41 -  who  were s t i l l w i t h t h e i r husbands a t t h e t i m e o f d i s c l o s u r e s a i d : I chose t o have c h i l d r e n and I l o v e my k i d s and I ' d go t o any l e n g t h s t o p r o t e c t them. I f I had had any i d e a t h a t a n y t h i n g was g o i n g on I would have done something on my own. ... you b e a r t h e c h i l d and you have n u r t u r e d t h i s t h i n g and l o o k e d a f t e r i t f o r so l o n g and you have s o r t of been i n charge of e v e r y t h i n g t h a t t h a t c h i l d does. So you a r e v e r y p r o t e c t i v e , v e r y v e r y protective.  Three o f t h e women mentioned t h e i r r o l e s as w i v e s c l e a r l y p l a c i n g motherhood  first:  Once I found out what he had done, t h e r e was no r o l e as a w i f e . I c o u l d n e v e r e v e r c a r e f o r anyone who would be c a p a b l e o f d o i n g something l i k e t h a t , my f e e l i n g s would j u s t go. Y o u r c h i l d r e n a r e p a r t o f you and you have c h i l d r e n you n u r t u r e them and p r o t e c t them. Motherhood [ r a t h e r than h e r r o l e as a w i f e ] was 1000 t i m e s more important. I t j u s t took o v e r . Your c h i l d r e n a r e f o r e v e r where a l o t of times y o u r mates a r e n ' t . I n t h e l a s t two s t a t e m e n t s , t h e b e l i e f s , i n a d d i t i o n t o what t h e s e b e l i e f s a r e based on, a r e v e r y c l e a r .  F o r t h e f i r s t women t h e b e l i e f i s based on  a sense o f b i o l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n  to her c h i l d r e n that renders her  p r o t e c t i v e , w h i l e f o r t h e second woman i t ' s a sense o f permanence t h a t she has w i t h h e r c h i l d .  W i t h t h e women o p e r a t i n g w i t h t h e b e l i e f t h a t mothers  a r e p r o t e c t o r s i t i s easy t o s e e how t h i s e f f e c t s t h e r e a c t i o n s t o d i s c l o s u r e when t h e a c t i o n s t h e s e women took a r e d e l i n e a t e d . A l t h o u g h a l l t h e women saw t h e m s e l v e s as p r o t e c t o r s , t h r e e o f t h e women d i s p l a y e d some a m b i v a l e n c e i n b e l i e v i n g t h a t t h e s e x u a l abuse had occurred.  These t h r e e a l l b e l i e v e d t h e i r c h i l d r e n , and took a c t i o n s  that  s u p p o r t e d t h i s b e l i e f , y e t s h a r e d some a m b i v a l e n c e i n t h e i n t e r v i e w s . F o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , they q u e s t i o n e d misconstrued,  whether perhaps t h i n g s had been  o r t h e c h i l d was f a n t a s i z i n g .  I b e l i e v e d h e r , but I d i d n ' t want t o b e l i e v e h e r . wasn't t r u e because I knew what was a t s t a k e .  I wished t h a t i t  - 42 -  I t g r a d u a l l y sunk i n deeper and deeper u n t i l I r e a l i z e d . I knew b u t I d i d n ' t f u l l y comprehend i t , you know you c a n ' t t a k e t h a t much shock a l l a t once. I t o t a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t i f Ann had been h i s n a t u r a l b o r n d a u g h t e r I don't t h i n k t h i s would have happened a t a l l . As t h e r e i s t o o much a t s t a k e , t h e r e i s an attempt t o not f u l l y believe. comprehend  I n i t i a l l y , t h e r e a l i t y o f what i s a t s t a k e i s t o o much t o i n f u l l awareness.  The shock f o r a n o t h e r mother i s t o o much so  l i m i t i n g awareness f o r a time was h e l p f u l f o r h e r i n a s s u a g i n g t h e distress.  The t h i r d comment can be seen as t r y i n g t o excuse t h e b e h a v i o r  by f o c u s i n g on t h e n o n - b i o l o g i c a l attachment o f t h e f a t h e r and c h i l d .  If  a r e a s o n o r excuse can be found f o r t h e b e h a v i o r , t h e n i t i s e a s i e r t o a c c e p t as r e a l . F o r t h e s e women, a m b i v a l e n c e i n b e l i e v i n g was n e c e s s a r y . c o p i n g s t r a t e g y t h a t needed t o r u n i t s c o u r s e . e x p e r i e n c e d no a m b i v a l e n c e i n b e l i e v i n g . I t was l i k e a p u z z l e f i t t i n g t o g e t h e r . doubt i n my mind.  I t was a  Two o f t h e women, however,  T h e i r b e l i e f was immediate. I t was so t r u e , t h e r e was no  One o f t h e women i n t h e group [mother's s u p p o r t group] s a i d of my own abuse, I c o u l d n ' t deny.  because  These two women were t h e ones who s h a r e d t h e i r own s e x u a l v i c t i m i z a t i o n as children.  Perhaps i t was e a s i e r f o r them t o b e l i e v e because they had had  some f i r s t hand e x p e r i e n c e w i t h i t . of t h i n g s t h a t happened  S e x u a l abuse was i n t h e i r  repertoire  t o p e o p l e w h i c h c o u l d have made i t e a s i e r f o r them  to i m m e d i a t e l y i n c o r p o r a t e the d i s c l o s u r e i n f o r m a t i o n i n t o t h e i r  reality.  Actions: A c t i o n s t a k e n f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e i s t h e next p r o p e r t y .  This  p r o p e r t y c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e s t h e preeminence o f t h e p r o t e c t i v e m a t e r n a l  - 43 -  r o l e as a l l f i v e women took a c t i o n s t h a t were p r o t e c t i v e o f t h e i r children.  These a c t i o n s I n c l u d e d  r e p o r t i n g to C h i l d Welfare or p o l i c e ,  l o c a t i n g t h e r a p e u t i c s e r v i c e s f o r t h e m s e l v e s and t h e i r c h i l d r e n , and arranging  f i n a n c i a l m a t t e r s when n e c e s s a r y t o e n s u r e t h e c o n t i n u i n g  f i n a n c i a l support of t h e i r c h i l d r e n . ... I wanted a few m i n u t e s t o t h i n k so I a r r a n g e d t o t a k e Sue t o my f r i e n d s house so I c o u l d come home and t a l k t o Don about whether we s h o u l d w a i t t i l l tomorrow, whether we s h o u l d do i t t o n i g h t . I knew i t had t o be r e p o r t e d , but I d i d n ' t know i n what a r e a . My s i s t e r was t h e r e a t t h e t i m e , and t h e f i r s t t h i n g we d i d was c a l l the c r i s i s l i n e and t h e y r e f e r r e d us t o t h e c h i l d r e n ' s h e l p l i n e , zenith. [My d a u g h t e r ] and I came o u t and t a l k e d t o D r . H e r b e r t b e f o r e my husband g o t back. [My d a u g h t e r ] and I went t o g e t h e r t o see h e r . Those women who d i s p l a y e d some i n i t i a l confusion  i n a c t i o n c l a i m i t was due t o  as t o what a c t i o n s were n e c e s s a r y o r a p p r o p r i a t e .  So I f e l t p r e t t y , l i k e I d i d n ' t know q u i t e what t o do. s u r e what t h e n e x t s t e p was.  I wasn't  T h e i r not knowing what a c t i o n s t o t a k e c o u l d be p a r t i a l l y due t o professional negligence, t o t h e shock  as w e l l as t h e i r own r e s o u r c e s  being  f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , as d e l i n e a t e d i n t h e next  l i m i t e d due property.  Feelings: The  f i n a l property  of Reactions to D i s c l o s u r e i s the f e e l i n g s  i d e n t i f i e d by t h e women. and  long-term f e e l i n g s .  These f e e l i n g s have been d i v i d e d i n t o Common i n i t i a l  d i s a p p o i n t m e n t , shock, f e e l i n g b e t r a y e d , share t h e i r i n i t i a l  reactions  initial  included:  s i c k , a l o s s of c o n t r o l .  responses:  T o t a l shock... You s o r t of go i n t o a s h o c k - l i k e s t a t e ... because I hadn't any indication.  They  - 44 -  I j u s t went i n t o shock ... I l i t e r a l l y f e l t I felt sick. nth degree.  sick.  L i t e r a l l y I j u s t f e l t s i c k ... d i s a p p o i n t e d t o t h e  I f e l t very very betrayed. R e a l l y r e a l l y b e t r a y e d because h e r e i s one o f t h e most p r e c i o u s t h i n g s i n my l i f e and t h i s p e r s o n h a s n ' t d e s t r o y e d i t but has m u t i l a t e d i t . The p r o b l e m was I d i d n ' t have a h a n d l e on i t . I d i d n ' t know how I c o u l d cope w i t h t a l k i n g t o t h e a u t h o r i t i e s o r anybody e l s e . I f e l t I was t o t a l l y o v e r my head. These r e s p o n s e s were a l l p a r t of t h e i r i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n .  The shock i s  e v i d e n t o f t h e g r a v i t y o f t h e v i o l a t i o n t o t h e c h i l d r e n who a r e under their protection.  There i s shock and f e e l i n g s o f s i c k n e s s when someone  they have been t r y i n g t o p r o t e c t from harm has i n f a c t been harmed. There i s a sense o f b e t r a y a l when i t has been a p a r t n e r t h a t has brought harm onto t h e p r o t e c t e d c h i l d .  There i s c o n c e r n  this  about b e i n g a b l e t o  h a n d l e i t and b e i n g o v e r one's head as t h e i r a b i l i t i e s  as p r o t e c t o r a r e  now i n q u e s t i o n . There had been an i n t r u s i o n o f a new r e a l i t y i n t o t h e i r l i v e s were t r y i n g t o cope w i t h i t .  One woman s a i d she e x p e r i e n c e d  and they  "horror"  f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e as she began t o r e l i v e h e r own c h i l d h o o d and h e r own experiences  of being s e x u a l l y v i c t i m i z e d .  F o r t h i s woman h e r d i s t r e s s was  compounded as she t r i e d t o d e a l w i t h these past e x p e r i e n c e s issues surrounding  along with the  t h e s e x u a l abuse o f h e r own c h i l d .  One woman d e s c r i b e d t h e i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n t o d i s c l o s u r e as a " r e l i e f " as she now knew what was wrong w i t h h e r c h i l d r e n , why they had been u n c o n t r o l l a b l e f o r so l o n g . I t was h o r r i f y i n g but then I knew what I was d e a l i n g w i t h , up u n t i l t h a t p o i n t , I d i d n ' t know what was wrong ...  Although  t h i s woman e x p r e s s e d  d i s t r e s s around t h e d i s c l o s u r e , t h e new  - 45 -  i n f o r m a t i o n a l s o brought some g a i n as she f i n a l l y knew what was h a p p e n i n g i n h e r f a m i l y and t h e awareness o f what was wrong was e a s i e r than t h e unknown.  Knowing what was wrong w i t h h e r c h i l d r e n , s h e c o u l d now t a k e  measures t o p r o t e c t them a g a i n s t f u r t h e r v i o l a t i o n s , she c o u l d  take  measures t o h e l p them cope w i t h what they had a l r e a d y e x p e r i e n c e d .  She  c o u l d t a k e on h e r p r o t e c t o r r o l e a g a i n as she knew what she was p r o t e c t i n g them a g a i n s t . The  long-term  f e e l i n g s t h a t were e x p r e s s e d  by t h e s e women were a sense  of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o r g u i l t , and a q u e s t i o n i n g o f t h e i r own sense o f judgement.  Statements o f g u i l t and s e l f - q u e s t i o n i n g were f r e q u e n t  i n the  i n t e r v i e w s and r e f l e c t c o n c e r n s about n o t f u l f i l l i n g s e l f - e x p e c t a t i o n s w i t h i n t h e parameters o f a g u a r d i a n All  t h e women e x p r e s s e d  happened.  role.  f e e l i n g s o f g u i l t o r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r what  T h e i r r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i s g u i l t t o o k many f o r m s :  ...maybe i f I had done t h i n g s d i f f e r e n t l y he'd be s t r o n g e r . I felt I was a worse o f f e n d e r than my husband, t h a t I had f a i l e d t h a t much... One o f t h e f i r s t phases I went t h r o u g h was how c o u l d I n o t know? What's wrong w i t h me? You s t a r t t o t h i n k i t s y o u r f a u l t , you brought him i n t o t h e home, you m a r r i e d h i m . Some r e s i d u a l g u i l t f o r b e i n g a w o r k i n g mum. And once i n a w h i l e I get a pang where I s a y w e l l maybe i t would have been b e t t e r had she not been b a b y - s a t . . . And t h e n a c e r t a i n amount o f g u i l t i n s o r t o f a broad s e n s e , how c o u l d I have p i c k e d a man t h a t would have done s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h i s . I r e a l l y screwed up, even b e f o r e she was even b o r n . And I suppose w i t h t h e abuse, I f e l t a c e r t a i n amount o f g u i l t s h o u l d have p i c k e d up t h e s i g n a l s . . .  that I  And t h e r e ' s always t h e q u e s t i o n o f why d i d n ' t I know. You t h i n k you would know, e s p e c i a l l y s e x u a l abuse, f o r me i t was a s o r t of vow t h a t I'd know. These women as a group blame t h e m s e l v e s f o r n o t h e l p i n g t h e husband be s t r o n g e r , f o r not knowing about t h e abuse, f o r w o r k i n g o u t s i d e t h e home,  - 46 -  or  f o r m a r r y i n g t h e man  s t o r i e s was  i n the f i r s t p l a c e .  an overwhelming  Woven t h r o u g h a l l  five  sense of g u i l t f o r what had happened to t h e i r  c h i l d r e n . I t was when t h i s t o p i c came up i n t h e i n t e r v i e w t h a t two of t h e women broke down.  R a t h e r than p e r c e i v i n g t h e i r p a r t n e r s as blameworthy  for  t h e i r s e x u a l l y a b u s i v e a c t s , t h e y p e r c e i v e d t h e m s e l v e s as blameworthy  for  not f u l f i l l i n g  t h e i r r o l e s as p r o t e c t o r s .  They had not p r o t e c t e d , and  were c o n s e q u e n t l y a t f a u l t . The women i n t h i s s t u d y a l l e x p r e s s e d a sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r c r e a t i n g and m a i n t a i n i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s and c o n s e q u e n t l y see themselves to  blame when they d i s i n t e g r a t e .  on  this:  One  of the mothers s h a r e s h e r  as  feelings  I d i d f e e l a v e r y s t r o n g commitment to k e e p i n g the f a m i l y t o g e t h e r . S i n c e i t seemed t h a t I had a l l t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , l i k e here I was s t u c k i n the m i d d l e . . . The next s t r o n g f e e l i n g t h a t emerged from the d a t a was sense of judgement.  a q u e s t i o n i n g of  Four o f t h e women began t o q u e s t i o n whether they  c o u l d any l o n g e r d i s p l a y good judgement of s i t u a t i o n s , of p e o p l e , of t h e i r children's behavior. ...you b e g i n to wonder about your own judgement... One of the t h i n g s t h a t came t o mind was j e e p e r s d i d I make the wrong d e c i s i o n f o r t h e second t i m e . D i d I r e a l l y make the wrong d e c i s i o n by c h o o s i n g t h i s p e r s o n t o l i v e w i t h f o r the r e s t of my l i f e . So t h a t [ m i s s i n g the c l u e s ] has made me a l i t t l e more s e l f - d o u b t i n g of me, w h i c h has made me a l i t t l e more s u s p i c i o u s o f a n y t h i n g . I j u s t wonder who you can t r u s t i f you can be so d e c e i v e d by one p e r s o n and you can l i v e w i t h them and not know what they a r e d o i n g to y o u r c h i l d r e n . I f e e l I have no power t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between people. There were p o i n t s when I c o u l d n ' t f i g u r e out how you c o u l d l i v e w i t h someone f o r 23 y e a r s b e l i e v e you have one k i n d of a m a r r i a g e and f i n d out that, you d i d n ' t . As f a r as p a r e n t i n g h e r i t ' s d i f f i c u l t c h i l d ' s r e a c t i o n and what i s n ' t .  to know what i s a  normal  - 47 -  T h i s l o s s o f judgement has impact on mothers i n terms o f f u t u r e f r i e n d s and  partners.  Can I t r u s t h i m , c a n I t r u s t h e r ?  c o n c e r n about j u d g i n g s i t u a t i o n s . c h i l d to sleep overnight  They a s k t h e m s e l v e s :  a t h e r f r i e n d s house?  c h i l d l i k e t h a t I'm n o t s u r e how t o t a k e i t ? t h e i r judgement, were q u e s t i o n i n g  There i s a l s o  future  I s i t s a f e f o r my  When my f r i e n d h o l d s my These women, i n q u e s t i o n i n g  t h e i r s k i l l s as p r o t e c t o r s .  I f I can't  j u d g e p e o p l e o r s i t u a t i o n s , how c a n I e n s u r e t h e p r o t e c t i o n o f my children? One  woman, on t h e o t h e r hand, e x p r e s s e d an i n c r e a s e i n f a i t h i n  h e r sense o f judgement as she has l e a r n e d  to trust her i n s t i n c t s .  I t r u s t e d my i n s t i n c t s more. Maybe I s h o u l d l i s t e n t o m y s e l f more. The i d e a s I had b e f o r e t h a t something was h a p p e n i n g , were r i g h t . P r i o r t o d i s c l o s u r e she had a gut f e e l i n g t h a t something was a m i s s , but did  n o t know what.  increased  The d i s c l o s u r e v a l i d a t e d h e r f e e l i n g s and c o n s e q u e n t l y  h e r f a i t h i n her a b i l i t y to judge.  She had f a i t h i n h e r s k i l l s  as p r o t e c t o r but saw a need t o t r u s t them more. The  m o t h e r s ' r e a c t i o n s t o d i s c l o s u r e emerged i n some ways f r o m t h e i r  b e l i e f systems.  I n seeing  t h e m s e l v e s as p r o t e c t o r s  ensured t h e s a f e t y and w e l l - b e i n g s h a r e d upon h e a r i n g  they took a c t i o n s  of t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  The f e e l i n g s t h e y  of the d i s c l o s u r e , r e f l e c t the p r o t e c t o r stance.  p r o t e c t o r s , they c a r e and respond w i t h f e e l i n g s o f shock, disappointment.  The a m b i v a l e n c e o f b e l i e v i n g a c c e n t u a t e s t h e f a c t t h a t  with time.  the process of responses.  The m o t h e r s '  f e e l i n g s began w i t h shock, and d i s b e l i e f and then e v o l v e d of s e l f :  that  The l o n g e r - t e r m r e s p o n s e s o f g u i l t and q u e s t i o n i n g  self-judgement also r e f l e c t  questioning  As  sickness,  the m o t h e r s ' r e a c t i o n s a r e n o t s t a t i c , but a r e p a r t o f a p r o c e s s evolves  that  Am I r e s p o n s i b l e f o r what happened?  i n t o a deep Can I j u d g e  - 48 -  people  and s i t u a t i o n s ?  Category  The  2:  Can I no l o n g e r p r o t e c t my c h i l d ?  Changing S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s h i p s  second c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s f a m i l y , f r i e n d s , and l a r g e r s y s t e m s , a l l  of w h i c h impact on h e r i n d i f f e r i n g ways.  She i s c o n t i n u a l l y i n t e r a c t i n g  o r t r a n s a c t i n g w i t h t h e l a r g e r and s m a l l e r systems s u r r o u n d i n g h e r , and consequently,  her p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e experiences  cannot be e x p l o r e d  without  e x a m i n i n g these systems from a mother's p e r s p e c t i v e .  Husband/exhusband: The  f i r s t p r o p e r t y o f t h i s c a t e g o r y i s t h e husband/exhusband as  perpetrator.  As t h r e e o f t h e women had s e p a r a t e d  f r o m t h e i r husbands  p r i o r t o d i s c l o s u r e , they d i d n o t p e r c e i v e a l o s s o f a p a r t n e r when disclosure occurred.  The two women who were l i v i n g w i t h t h e i r husbands  when d i s c l o s u r e o c c u r r e d had a c h o i c e t o make i n whether t o l e a v e h i m o r not.  Whether o r n o t t h e s e women were s t i l l w i t h t h e i r husband, t h e i r  r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h him changed. expect  F o r some, t h e r e was c o n f u s i o n i n what t o  o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . F o r o t h e r s t h e r e was m e r e l y c o n f l i c t as he  continued  t o deny t h a t t h e abuse had t a k e n  place.  The women's r e a c t i o n s t o t h e o f f e n d e r ranged from h a t e , t o a m b i v a l e n c e , t o a f o c u s on h i s good p o i n t s .  The two women who were w i t h t h e i r husbands  at t h e time o f d i s c l o s u r e d i s p l a y e d t h e most c a r i n g f o r t h e i r p a r t n e r s . I've been a w i f e and mother t o my husband and t h a t ' s p r o b a b l y p a r t o f h i s p r o b l e m . When I see h i m now o v e r f i n a n c i a l t h i n g s , I have t h i s sense o f p r o t e c t i o n . A f t e r 23 y e a r s I don't t h i n k I can w a l k away t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t I don't know what's h a p p e n i n g t o h i m .  - 49 -  I a c t u a l l y b e l i e v e d t h a t he was a good p e r s o n . . . . i s i t w o r t h i t t o throw away t h e l a s t 11 y e a r s when t h e r e have been r e a l l y a l o t o f good p a r t s t o i t ... we had a good r e l a t i o n s h i p . T h i s woman who made t h e l a s t comment a l s o c l a i m e d  t h a t one of t h e r e a s o n s  h e r husband n e v e r l e f t t h e home f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e was t h a t she d i d n ' t t h i n k he c o u l d cope  alone.  So I guess r e a l l y why he n e v e r l e f t was, I don't t h i n k he c o u l d have coped v e r y w e l l on h i s own. I a c t u a l l y don't t h i n k he c o u l d have coped a t a l l a t t h a t p a r t i c u l a r t i m e , he l o s t 20 o r 30 pounds i n one f e l l swoop. The  two women who were l i v i n g w i t h t h e i r husbands a t t h e t i m e o f  d i s c l o s u r e extended t h e i r p r o t e c t o r r o l e onto t h e i r husbands.  I f t h e man  i s seen as i n need of p r o t e c t i o n , t h e n t h i s c o u l d be viewed as a means o f coping  by n o t l o o k i n g a t t h e r e a l i t y o f h i s b e h a v i o r as an a d u l t , and  p e r c e i v i n g him as r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i s a c t i o n s .  This protectiveness  could  a l s o be viewed as a n o t h e r a s p e c t o f women's s o c i a l i z a t i o n as r e l a t i o n s h i p - f o c u s e d and p r o t e c t i v e o f those r e l a t i o n s h i p s . A l t h o u g h t h e s e two women were t o some e x t e n t  p r o t e c t i v e of t h e i r  husbands, t h e r e was some a m b i v a l e n c e i n t h a t t h e y were a l s o a b l e t o see the r e a l i t y o f t h e s i t u a t i o n .  A l t h o u g h they were p r o t e c t i v e they saw t h a t  t h e i r husbands were a d u l t s and r e s p o n s i b l e  fortheir  behavior.  He d i d n ' t r e a l l y r e a l i z e what he was d o i n g , w h i c h I suppose sounds p r e t t y phoney when you examine i t and when you t h i n k about i t . [my h u s b a n d ] , he's an a d u l t , he's done something wrong ... Two o f t h e women e x p r e s s e d d i s l i k e f o r t h e i r exhusband, but had some empathy f o r them.  One woman c l a i m e d  she h a t e d t h e man.  I h a t e d h i m , he j u s t made me f e e l s i c k . c o u l d have e v e r l i k e d t h a t p e r s o n .  You s t a r t t o wonder how you  I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e two women who e x p r e s s  d i s l i k e f o r the  p e r p e t r a t o r have e x p e r i e n c e d more h e a l i n g around t h e d i s c l o s u r e than t h e  - 50 -  woman who d i s p l a y s h a t e . be c o n s i d e r e d  The i n t e n s i t y o f h a t e f u l f e e l i n g s c o u l d p o s s i b l y  an e a r l y r e s p o n s e t o t h e d i s c l o s u r e , w h i l e a d i s p l a y o f some  empathy towards t h e p e r p e t r a t o r may be a s i g n a l o f l e t t i n g go, o r r e s o l v i n g some o f t h e i n t e n s e i s s u e s s u r r o u n d i n g  t h e abuse.  Child/victim: The  next property explores  child/victim.  t h e women's f e e l i n g s towards t h e  A l l women a r t i c u l a t e d c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g t h e l o n g - t e r m  trauma t o t h e c h i l d :  How w i l l  t h e abuse e f f e c t  they grow up and have h e a l t h y r e l a t i o n s h i p s ?  their future lives?  Will  This concern r e f l e c t s  their  p e r c e i v e d r o l e as p r o t e c t o r , and as a p r o t e c t o r they a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the w e l l - b e i n g and development o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  F o r those mothers w i t h  o l d e r c h i l d r e n t h e r e appeared t o be some d i f f i c u l t i e s o r c o n f l i c t s i n e x p e c t e d ways o f i n t e r a c t i n g . p r o t e c t i n g and c o n s e q u e n t l y  T h e i r c h i l d r e n were angry a t them f o r n o t  r o l e d i s r u p t i o n occurred.  One woman p e r c e i v e d a tremendous l o s s o f h e r c h i l d r e n ' s c h i l d h o o d i t s e l f , w h i l e t h e o t h e r women shared  innocence, o r  c o n c e r n s about  long-term  e f f e c t s o f t h e abuse. I t ' s almost l i k e your k i d s were k i l l e d . d i f f e r e n t as a r e s u l t o f t h e abuse. [The abuse was] ... g o i n g problems. The  T h a t ' s how you f e e l .  They're  t o cause t h i s c h i l d t o have a l o t o f s e r i o u s  two women who were w i t h t h e i r p a r t n e r s a t t h e time of d i s c l o s u r e  both expressed to p i c k s i d e s .  a d i f f i c u l t y w i t h t h e c h i l d - v i c t i m i n t h a t she wanted h e r Although  i t i s n o t c l e a r what t h i s " s i d i n g " meant t o t h e  c h i l d , f o r t h e mothers i t was a d i f f i c u l t p o s i t i o n t o be i n . She wanted me t o s i d e w i t h h e r and n o t t o s i d e w i t h him ... t h a t ' s what was r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t . And because you a r e f a c e d w i t h two p e o p l e you c a r e f o r and you know one has done something t o t h e o t h e r . I t ' s j u s t a t e r r i b l e t h i n g t o have t o make sense o f i f you c a n .  - 51 -  Jane and Tom [two o f h e r c h i l d r e n ] a r e a t a s t a g e t h a t i f I b e l i e v e i n John [ f a t h e r ] I don't b e l i e v e i n them. I t ' s l i k e I have t o p i c k sides. These two women had d i f f i c u l t i e s i n t h e p r o t e c t i v e r o l e as i t encompassed t h e c h i l d and t o some degree t h e p e r p e t r a t o r . p o s s i b l e t o p r o t e c t both?  How i s i t  Role d i s r u p t i o n occurs here i n that  these  women a r e u n s u r e as t o t h e i r u s u a l ways o f i n t e r a c t i n g i n t h e i r  close  relationships.  They may f e a r d i s p l a y i n g t h e i r u s u a l  caring f o r the  husband as t h e c h i l d may f e e l a l a c k o f s u p p o r t . Three o f t h e women r e a l i z e d and acknowledged t h e anger o r h o s t i l i t y t h a t t h e i r abused c h i l d r e n were d i r e c t i n g a t them.  They were aware t h a t  t h e s e c h i l d r e n were angry w i t h them f o r a l l o w i n g t h e abuse t o happen.  The  two women who d i d n o t m e n t i o n t h e c h i l d ' s h o s t i l i t y towards them b o t h had four year o l d s . And she was v e r y angry w i t h me. She was p r o b a b l y angry w i t h me because I d i d n ' t s e e t h a t t h i s was h a p p e n i n g , t h a t I s h o u l d have p r o t e c t e d h e r from i t , t h a t I n some way I s h o u l d have stopped him from d o i n g i t . ... and she was r e a l l y h o s t i l e , r e a l l y h o s t i l e . ...they r e a l l y t r e a t t h e i r mother bad, i n t h e b e g i n n i n g e s p e c i a l l y . They t h i n k i t ' s y o u r f a u l t and t h a t you knew. M o t h e r s o f s e x u a l l y abused k i d s become abused by t h e i r k i d s . They r e a l l y do. ...You have t o r e m i n d them a few t i m e s t h a t you r e a l l y d i d n ' t know because they r e a l l y b e l i e v e t h a t you d i d know because mums know e v e r y t h i n g . He [the f a t h e r ] phoned one n i g h t and they [ i n - l a w s ] put Jane [ h e r d a u g h t e r ] on and l e t h e r t e l l him t h a t she had r e p o r t e d him. That t u r n e d h e r r i g h t a g a i n s t me because I hadn't h a n d l e d t h e s i t u a t i o n . That put them a l l a g a i n s t me, my sons they had a l l t u r n e d a g a i n s t me. A l t h o u g h i t was d i f f i c u l t f o r t h e s e women t o d e a l w i t h children's h o s t i l i t y , with this reaction. relationships.  their  they seemed t o have some u n d e r s t a n d i n g and p a t i e n c e They have a l l t a k e n g r e a t  care i n r e b u i l d i n g these  A g a i n , t h i s i l l u s t r a t e s t h e p r o t e c t i v e theme e v i d e n t i n  t h e s e f i n d i n g s , as w e l l as t h e theme o f c o n f l i c t u a l o r c h a n g i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s , or role disruptions.  The c h i l d r e n a r e h o s t i l e because  - 52 -  t h e i r mother has n o t p r o t e c t e d them and t h e mothers a r e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h i s as they p e r c e i v e t h e s i t u a t i o n s i m i l a r l y .  They b e l i e v e themselves t o  be a t f a u l t f o r n o t e n s u r i n g t h e t o t a l p r o t e c t i o n o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  They  a r e t a k i n g g r e a t c a r e t o r e b u i l d t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s as t h e y a r e a t t e m p t i n g t o a g a i n t a k e on t h e p r o t e c t o r r o l e .  As p r o t e c t o r s , i t a p p e a r s  as though t h e r e b u i l d i n g o f t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s i m p o r t a n t .  Other c h i l d r e n : Non-abused c h i l d r e n a l s o p l a y e d a r o l e f o r two o f t h e women. c h i l d r e n were i m p o r t a n t  These  f o r t h e s e m o t h e r s ' w e l l - b e i n g as t h e s e  r e l a t i o n s h i p s remained s t a b l e .  F o r one, h e r young s o n was somewhat o f an  escape as he knew n o t h i n g o f what was g o i n g on and she c o u l d p l a y w i t h h i m m a i n t a i n i n g a sense o f n o r m a l c y . And a n o t h e r t h i n g t h a t I t h i n k r e a l l y h e l p e d a b i t was t h a t we s t i l l had o u r o t h e r c h i l d t h a t we c o u l d p l a y w i t h and e x p r e s s y o u r s e l f w i t h w i t h t h e o t h e r c h i l d and spend some time w i t h . That h e l p e d . F o r a n o t h e r mother, h e r e l d e s t d a u g h t e r was an a d u l t and h e r b i g g e s t s u p p o r t as she was n o n - p u n i t i v e . My e l d e s t d a u g h t e r and h e r husband... t h e y were s u p p o r t i n g me. These c h i l d r e n o f f e r e d some s t a b i l i t y f o r t h e s e women w h i l e o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s were changing  or c o n f l i c t u a l .  F o r t h e s e two women, they  f e l t t h e i r p r o t e c t o r r o l e was n o t i n q u e s t i o n w i t h t h e s e o t h e r and  consequently,  i t was a r e l i e f  t o spend time w i t h them.  children,  The r e m a i n i n g  t h r e e women were n o t p a r t o f t h i s c a t e g o r y as two o f t h e mothers had o n l y c h i l d r e n , w h i l e one mother had t h r e e c h i l d r e n , a l l o f whom were abused.  F a m i l y and f r i e n d s : The m o t h e r s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f f a m i l y and f r i e n d s i s a n o t h e r  p r o p e r t y of  - 53 -  the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s c a t e g o r y .  These women r e c e i v e d v a r y i n g d e g r e e s  of s u p p o r t from t h e i r s o c i a l n e t w o r k .  Only one woman s a i d she r e c e i v e d  t o t a l support from t h i s group. They were [ s u p p o r t i v e ] . They wanted t o be v i o l e n t . i m a g i n e i t any o t h e r way. On t h e o t h e r extreme one woman c l a i m e d one,  she r e c e i v e d none, as she t o l d no  o u t s i d e o f p r o f e s s i o n a l s , about t h e s e x u a l I didn't  I couldn't  abuse.  want t o t a l k t o anybody.  A n o t h e r woman d i d n o t t e l l many p e o p l e i n h e r n e t w o r k , b u t t h o s e she d i d t e l l were an e x c e l l e n t r e s o u r c e ... e v e r y o n e was r e a l l y The  f o r her.  supportive.  f i n a l two mothers r e c e i v e d p r e s s u r e  friends.  and/or c r i t i c i s m from f a m i l y and  One woman s a i d h e r f a m i l y was p r e s s u r i n g h e r t o c u t o f f a l l t i e s  w i t h h e r husband, w h i l e a n o t h e r was c r i t i c i z e d by h e r mother f o r m a r r y i n g the man i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e and q u e s t i o n e d  by a f r i e n d as t o why she wasn't  p r o v i d i n g h e r husband w i t h an adequate s e x l i f e . I f i n d f o r most p e o p l e [ f a m i l y ] I s h o u l d come up w i t h an a b s o l u t e . They won't be a b l e t o t r u s t me u n l e s s I disown my husband and my son. Your f a m i l y tends t o blame y o u , I t o l d you you s h o u l d n ' t have m a r r i e d him. I knew he was a c r e e p . I f e l t they weren't s u p p o r t i v e . People [ f r i e n d s ] ask w e l l d i d n ' t you have s e x w i t h him? T h a t ' s where p e o p l e ' s minds a r e a t , t h e r e ' s n o t t h a t u n d e r s t a n d i n g . How much s u p p o r t a mother r e c e i v e d from those c l o s e t o h e r would e f f e c t how she m a i n t a i n e d  her protector role.  With supportive  likely  family  members i t i s assumed t h e r e would be l e s s d i f f i c u l t y i n w o r k i n g t h r o u g h g u i l t around t h e harm t h a t has b e f a l l e n t h e guarded c h i l d . of b e i n g w i t h people a g a i n changed f o r t h e s e women. w i t h my f a m i l y and f r i e n d s i f I don't t e l l I a c t w i t h them i f I do t e l l  them?  E x p e c t e d ways  How do I a c t normal  them what has happened?  How do  F o r those mothers who were blamed by  - 54 -  t h o s e c l o s e t o them t h i s would l e n d i t s e l f t o c o n f l i c t u a l w i t h those  Larger  relationships  people.  systems:  The f i n a l p r o p e r t y o f t h i s c a t e g o r y i s t h e m o t h e r s ' i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h l a r g e r systems t h e y came i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e . systems i n c l u d e :  medical  [physicians], legal  [court, lawyers,  C h i l d W e l f a r e , and v a r i o u s c o u n s e l l i n g a g e n c i e s .  These  police],  A l t h o u g h much o f t h e  d i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s a r e a was c r i t i c a l o f t h e s e s y s t e m s , t h e r e were some p o s i t i v e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y around t h e c o u n s e l l i n g t h e y o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n were r e c e i v i n g ( o r had r e c e i v e d . )  T h e i r f r u s t r a t i o n s w i t h t h e systems r e f l e c t  the f r u s t r a t i o n s o f a p r o t e c t o r and i n c l u d e d t h e f o l l o w i n g : They l e f t me h i g h and d r y . . . I s t i l l don't know what I s happening w i t h the p o l i c e . You a r e r e a l l y s o r t o f l e f t i n a v o i d . E v e r y o n e t h i n k s a mother s h o u l d know what t o do b u t no one i s w i l l i n g t o t e l l them because they a r e w a i t i n g t o see what you do t o see i f you do t h e r i g h t t h i n g . I g o t t h a t a l o t from t h e s o c i a l w o r k e r [ a t C h i l d W e l f a r e ] . That was a n o t h e r o f my r e a l l y s t r o n g f e e l i n g s i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e c o u r t was t h a t NOBODY seemed t o be p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned w i t h h e r [the v i c t i m ] and how she f e l t ... nobody was t h e l e a s t b i t concerned with her. The k i d s spent some time s e e i n g t h e r a p i s t s who were n o t q u a l i f i e d t o d e a l w i t h s e x u a l abuse ... I c o u l d n ' t a f f o r d p e o p l e who were qualified. We n e v e r got any r e a l h e l p f o r a l o n g t i m e . And we j u s t t h r a s h e d about f o r about s i x months t r y i n g t o f i g u r e o u t what was g o i n g on i n our l i v e s .  These women p e r c e i v e d t h a t t h e systems they were d e a l i n g w i t h were not m e e t i n g t h e i r needs.  The c o n f u s i o n these women e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h systems  c o u l d be a r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e i r own c o n f u s i o n o f t h e i n i t i a l disclosure.  There i s a maze o f s e r v i c e s , and p r o c e d u r e s  impact o f  w i t h i n these  - 55  -  s e r v i c e s , w h i c h c o u l d e x a c e r b a t e the shock and i n i t i a l awareness of the abuse. r e f l e c t t h e i r confusion  confusion  of a mother's  T h e i r comments r e g a r d i n g  the system a l s o  f o l l o w i n g the l o s s of the p r o t e c t o r r o l e and  their  f r u s t r a t i o n i n g e t t i n g s u p p o r t from the system i n r e e s t a b l i s h i n g t h i s role.  They l o o k e d t o the system t o a s s i s t them i n g e t t i n g back i n t o t h e i r  r o l e as p r o t e c t o r and needed.  felt  t h a t t h e y d i d not a l w a y s r e c e i v e the h e l p  These comments a l s o r e f l e c t c o n f u s i o n  Most of t h e s e women had  not  i n t a k i n g on a new  d e a l t w i t h t h e s e systems b e f o r e  c o n s e q u e n t l y were c o n f u s e d and  u n s u r e of what was  terms of b e h a v i o r or a c t i o n s .  Here, r o l e confusion  changing r e l a t i o n s h i p s , but and  new  role.  and  e x p e c t e d of them i n was  not  a component of  a component of h a v i n g t o t a k e on a new  role  r e l a t i o n s h i p s w h i c h meant c o n t e n d i n g w i t h i n t e r a c t i o n s t h a t  n e v e r been e x p e r i e n c e d A l l the p r o p e r t i e s  of the Changing S o c i a l R e l a t i o n s h i p s  category,  f r i e n d s , and  a l l systems around the mother t h a t had  impact on h e r .  Reactions to D i s c l o s u r e  were not o c c u r r i n g i n a v o i d ,  components.  (category  i n the c o n t e x t  How  one)  l a r g e r s y s t e m s , were Consequently, t h e i r  of the above n o t e d s o c i a l o r  supportive/non-supportive,  actions  following disclosure.  informative/non-informative,  C o n v e r s e l y , the r e a c t i o n s  f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e c o u l d have some i n f l u e n c e on how respond.  Further  t o t h i s her  she  feelings displays  systems around  r e a c t i o n s t o d i s c l o s u r e were based on  b e l i e f i n the p r o t e c t i v e n a t u r e of the m a t e r n a l r o l e , and of h e r  but  environmental  or b l a m i n g / n o n - b l a m i n g the systems a r e would l i k e l y i n f l u e n c e her and  had  before.  husband, c h i l d r e n , extended f a m i l y and  were o c c u r r i n g  they  s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s were a l s o e f f e c t e d by t h i s  her  belief.  her her  perceptions  - 56 -  C a t e g o r y 3:  Healing  Process  The f i n a l c a t e g o r y experienced.  o f f i n d i n g s i s t h e h e a l i n g p r o c e s s t h e s e women  T h i s p r o c e s s i n c l u d e d t h i n g s t h a t needed t o be done t o g e t  on w i t h t h e i r l i v e s , and t h e t h i n g s t h e y needed f o r t h i s t o happen. P a r t of t h e i r h e a l i n g was t o r e o r g a n i z e end  the c o n f l i c t or confusion  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n an attempt t o  t h a t they were e x p e r i e n c i n g .  T h i s may  include r e b u i l d i n g s o l i d r e l a t i o n s h i p s with t h e i r daughters, o r severing ties with a partner.  I t could include  changes i n some r e l a t i o n s h i p s o r  e n d i n g o t h e r s . The t h r e e p r o p e r t i e s o f t h i s c a t e g o r y resources,  r e l i n q u i s h i n g g u i l t , and t r u s t vs c a u t i o n .  are: gathering T h i s c a t e g o r y , and  the t h r e e p r o p e r t i e s t h a t a r e d e r i v a t i v e s o f i t , c a n be seen as t h e m o t h e r s ' a t t e m p t s a t r e e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e p r o t e c t i v e r o l e , and s t a b i l i z i n g o r r e o r g a n i z i n g c h a n g i n g and c o n f l i c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . These were s i g n i f i c a n c e t o t h e s e women and c o n s e q u e n t l y , incorporated a reestablishment  of  any h e a l i n g that, o c c u r r e d  of t h e i r capacity to f u l f i l l  the protector  r o l e , and t o have t h e many c h a n g i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s s e t t l e o r s t a b i l i z e .  Gathering  resources:  In looking at the f i r s t property, resources  f o r two o f t h e women, g a t h e r i n g  was b a l a n c e d o f f w i t h a need f o r p r i v a c y .  These two women ..  discuss their privacy issues: Nobody knows... t h e r e i s nobody on t h i s e a r t h I would want t o d i s c u s s that w i t h . I t was something we d i d n ' t want t o d i s c u s s w i t h anyone else. I t was t h a t s i m p l e . W i t h work and t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g , you don't want any o f t h i s type o f t h i n g t o l e a k o u t . Not t h a t many p e o p l e knew because i t was something I r e a l l y d i d n ' t want t o t e l l v e r y many p e o p l e ... i t was almost l i k e i t was d i r t y , l i k e you d i d n ' t want t o have p e o p l e have you a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i t .  - 57  -  T h i s need f o r p r i v a c y can be seen as a need t o keep s e c r e t the f a c t t h a t t h e y had  f a l l e n s h o r t of t h e i r p r o t e c t i v e r o l e .  as g u i l t y f o r not p r o t e c t i n g and shortcomings.  T h i s need f o r p r i v a c y and  secrecy  around the s e x u a l  i f one  t h i s c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d occurred.  F o r example, a mother may  a v o i d f a c i n g the s e r i o u s n e s s  F o r one  realm then  the r e a l i t y of what  has  attempt to keep t h e abuse a s e c r e t  of the o f f e n s e .  l o n g as p e o p l e don't know, I can  abuse  There i s a b a l a n c e  i s too f a r o v e r i n the s e c r e c y  a means of a v o i d i n g  their  the f a m i l y o r a means o f  the s t i g m a t i z a t i o n t h a t can b e f a l l f a m i l i e s .  t h a t i s i m p o r t a n t and  themselves  d i d not want many p e o p l e t o know of  can a l s o be seen as an attempt at n o r m a l i z i n g avoiding  They p e r c e i v e d  They seem t o be s a y i n g ,  to  as  t r y and make i t a l l go away.  woman, t e l l i n g as many p e o p l e as p o s s i b l e was  important.  I f I t e l l t e n p e o p l e t h e y ' l l t e l l t e n p e o p l e and i t ' l l be known t h a t i t ' s h a p p e n i n g t o p e o p l e you know. P e o p l e have t o know t h a t i t ' s h a p p e n i n g everywhere and  by  relatives.  F o r t h i s woman, l e t t i n g p e o p l e know about the abuse went f u r t h e r than gathering  resources  f o r h e r s e l f , to a broader consciousness  secrecy  and  how  whole.  Her  r o l e as p r o t e c t o r went f a r t h e r than h e r own  t h i s can l i m i t awareness of the i s s u e i n the s o c i e t y as  t o l d as many p e o p l e as p o s s i b l e perhaps she p r o t e c t i n g other The and  c h i l d r e n who  were b e i n g  degree of s u p p o r t from f a m i l y and  f o r t h o s e who  had  h e l p f u l i n t h e i r own  intervention:  One  family.  If  healing  processes.  a  she  c o u l d have some e f f e c t i n  abused. f r i e n d s was  discussed  earlier,  u n d e r s t a n d i n g p e o p l e c l o s e t o them they found  of c l i n i c a l i n t e r v e n t i o n w h i c h was healing process.  regarding  A l l the women had  had  this  some form  a l s o an i m p o r t a n t component of  the  woman c l e a r l y s t a t e d the i m p o r t a n c e of p r o f e s s i o n a l  - 58  -  I c a n ' t s t r e s s t h a t p r o p e r t h e r a p y i s i m p o r t a n t t o o . Because we a r e o n l y cut out to be m o t h e r s , we a r e not programmed when we a r e pregnant t o d e a l w i t h s e x u a l l y abused k i d s . You need t h a t k i n d of s u p p o r t , you j u s t don't get t h e r a p e u t i c s u p p o r t from f a m i l y and f r i e n d s . T h i s woman c l e a r l y s t a t e s t h a t she does not have the s k i l l s c h i l d who  has  been s e x u a l l y abused.  As p r o t e c t o r , she needs p r o f e s s i o n a l  a s s i s t a n c e t o cope w i t h h e r r o l e . was  s e c u r i n g f i n a n c i a l means.  an i s s u e f o r them. continued  Two  The  resources  of the women i n t e r v i e w e d s a i d t h i s  woman, a l o n g w i t h the f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t the home,  was  she was  p a r t - t i m e j o b s t o keep up w i t h a l l the n o r m a l expenses of a o t h e r woman who  h e r s i t u a t i o n as h o p e l e s s . s k i l l s as a s e c r e t a r y , she and  A n o t h e r a s p e c t of g a t h e r i n g  t o r e c e i v e from her husband a f t e r he l e f t  b a l a n c i n g two family.  One  to cope w i t h a  s t r u g g l e d w i t h economic s u r v i v a l Even though she was  perceived  i n v o l v e d i n upgrading  her  c o u l d not f o r e s e e b e i n g a b l e t o s u p p o r t h e r s e l f  t h r e e c h i l d r e n on h e r p r o j e c t e d  earnings.  I j u s t f e e l so h o p e l e s s . . . I was m a r r i e d , I was b e i n g s u p p o r t e d and I had a t h i r d c h i l d f e e l i n g t h a t f i n a n c i a l l y t h i n g s would be s t a b l e ... I l o s t e v e r y t h i n g t h r o u g h i t .  T h i s woman's h e a l i n g dependent n a t u r e  p r o c e s s appears t o be i n f l u e n c e d by the  of h e r m a r r i a g e and  economic w e l l - b e i n g .  new  r o l e t h a t she In gathering  the impact of the s e v e r a n c e of  From a f i n a n c i a l p e r s p e c t i v e , she  h e r c a p a b i l i t i e s as p r o t e c t o r .  i s u n s u r e as  to  T a k i n g on the economic p r o v i d e r r o l e i s a  i s unsure w i t h . resources,  the women i d e n t i f i e d what t h e i r needs were i n  terms of the v a r i o u s r e s o u r c e s .  These needs i n c l u d e d a c c e p t a n c e ,  someone t o l i s t e n to them, someone who b r e a k from the  economically  support,  c o u l d g i v e them i n f o r m a t i o n , and  children.  ... t r y i n g t o s u r r o u n d y o u r s e l f as much as p o s s i b l e w i t h p e o p l e make you f e e l okay about what you are d o i n g .  who  a  - 59 -  ... t h e r e a r e l o t s o f times when you f e e l j u s t overwhelmed w i t h what's g o i n g on and i f you have got somebody who i s s u p p o r t i v e and s t r o n g and i s w i l l i n g to l i s t e n to you. I t ' s needed so much t o have somebody t h e r e b e h i n d y o u . There s h o u l d be something t h e r e t o h e l p t h e mother. I was t o l d l a t e r t h a t p a r t o f my p r o b l e m w i t h t h e s o c i a l worker [ a t C h i l d W e l f a r e ] was t h a t I was so e m o t i o n a l I was u s i n g h e r l i k e a c o u n s e l l o r , but I d i d n ' t have anybody e l s e t o t a l k t o . We [mother and f a t h e r ] o c c i l a t e between t r y i n g t o f i g u r e out i f i t ' s normal a d o l e s c e n t t h i n g s she i s d o i n g o r whether i t was because o f the abuse t h a t she behaves t h e way she does. So when we s t a r t e d coming h e r e and w o r k i n g w i t h [the t h e r a p i s t ] , that r e a l l y c l a r i f i e d a l o t f o r us on j u s t what t o do w i t h h e r . You don't know what's normal. You can't f i g u r e t h i n g s out y o u r s e l f . You need someone e l s e t o answer y o u r q u e s t i o n s you've g o t about t h e whole t h i n g . T h e r e ' s a p e r i o d o f t i m e I w i s h e d I wasn't as s t r o n g . There's a p e r i o d o f time when I wanted t o t o be l o c k e d away i n t h e h o s p i t a l and someone e l s e t o d e a l w i t h i t . . . N o one ever c a l l e d up and s a i d why don't you go out t o n i g h t and I ' l l l o o k a f t e r t h e k i d s . . . There's n e v e r a break...And I need one. T h i s l a s t woman who speaks o f n o t g e t t i n g a b r e a k s a i d t h a t t h e c o n s t a n c y o f h e r c h i l d r e n and c o p i n g w i t h t h e i r i s s u e s kept h e r from d e a l i n g w i t h h e r own f e e l i n g s . I d i d n ' t g e t a chance t o go t h r o u g h my f e e l i n g s f o r y e a r s . T h e i r d e f i n e d needs r e f l e c t t h e needs of t h e p r o t e c t o r . someone t o support  me, l i s t e n t o me, a c c e p t  t a k e on t h e r o l e o f p r o t e c t o r . t h i s role again with confidence.  I f there i s  me, t h e n perhaps I can a g a i n  There i s a s s i s t a n c e needed i n t a k i n g on These comments a l s o r e f l e c t  t h e theme o f  r o l e c o n f l i c t s i n t h a t they a r e i n need of a r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t i s calm and a c c e p t i n g , someone t h e r e f o r them who w i l l l i s t e n and a c c e p t .  A needed  b r e a k from t h e many c o n f l i c t u a l and c o n f u s i o n r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t them.  surround  - 60 -  Relinquishing The  guilt:  women i n t h i s s t u d y seemed t o be a t d i f f e r e n t s t a g e s o f t h e second  property  of the h e a l i n g process that of r e l i n q u i s h i n g g u i l t .  said simply  One woman  t h a t r e a l i z i n g t h a t she d i d n o t abuse h e r c h i l d r e n , h e r  husband d i d , was h e l p f u l f o r h e r .  A n o t h e r woman s a i d :  C o u n s e l l i n g i n terms o f h e a r i n g i t o v e r and o v e r a g a i n t h a t i t i s not your f a u l t , i t ' s n o t h i n g t h a t you d i d . You almost have t o bombard t h e p e r s o n i n a g e n t l e way, c o n s t a n t r e i n f o r c e m e n t from a n y t h i n g around h e r , as much as you can do. I t ' s n o t h e r f a u l t ! And ... t h e t h i n g I found f o r me i s t h a t i t r e a l l y has t o be c o n s t a n t . F o r t h i s woman, she needed t o h e a r a g a i n and a g a i n  t h a t she d i d n o t  s l i p up i n h e r r o l e as p r o t e c t o r , i t was n o t h e r f a u l t . As p r o t e c t o r s , they c o u l d o n l y r e l e a s e a sense o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and g u i l t when they saw t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s d a y - t o - d a y a c t i v i t i e s and b e h a v i o r s begin to normalize.  Trust vs Caution: The and  t h i r d property  caution.  o f h e a l i n g was f i n d i n g a b a l a n c e between t r u s t  T h i s c a n be seen as p a r t o f t h e i r a t t e m p t s t o f e e l t h a t  have t h e s k i l l s t o be a p r o t e c t o r . confusion  This f i n d i n g also r e f l e c t s the r o l e  t h a t t h e s e women have e x p e r i e n c e d .  d e a l i n g w i t h p e o p l e has b r o k e n down. reorganize  everyday i n t e r a c t i o n s .  I t r u s t t h i s person?  frames.  T h e i r e x p e c t e d way o f  Now t h e y have t o attempt t o  W i t h t h i s comes much q u e s t i o n i n g :  Must I be c a u t i o u s  Three o f t h e women d i s c u s s e d  they  Can  here?  this issue, a l l i n slightly  differing  One woman saw i t as a b a l a n c e o f c a u t i o n / t r u s t o f p e o p l e n e a r h e r  daughter: I t h i n k you c a n be c a r e f u l and maybe I would be a l o t more c a r e f u l i n r e a d i n g s i g n s i n [my d a u g h t e r ] i f I s t a r t e d n o t i c i n g t h i n g s . And a g a i n I f e e l I have t o have some t r u s t , you c a n ' t go t h r o u g h l i f e not l e t t i n g your c h i l d n e a r a man, you can't do t h a t , i t ' s n o t h e a l t h y .  - 61 -  One woman saw i t as a t r u s t  i s s u e i n h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s as she t r i e d t o  t h i n k about a f u t u r e where she c o u l d t r u s t a man a g a i n and become I n v o l v e d w i t h h i m , w h i l e a n o t h e r was t r y i n g t o r e b u i l d And You  s t a r t i n g t o a l l o v e r t o t r u s t someone a g a i n i s r e a l l y s t a r t a t r o c k bottom and i t j u s t t a k e s t i m e .  The  three p r o p e r t i e s of the h e a l i n g process:  relinquishing in  t r u s t w i t h h e r husband. difficult.  gathering resources,  g u i l t , and t r u s t vs c a u t i o n were a l l emergent from t h e d a t a  terms o f what h e a l i n g was a l l about f o r t h e s e women.  category i s profoundly l i n k e d  on h e r , would a l l have an e f f e c t  severely d i f f i c u l t .  this  t o t h e p r e v i o u s two. A woman's responses i n  terms o f b e l i e f s , a c t i o n s and f e e l i n g s ,  a mother's f a m i l y i s b l a m i n g ,  Again,  a l o n g w i t h t h e systems i m p a c t i n g  on h e r h e a l i n g p r o c e s s .  F o r example, i f  i t would r e n d e r t h e r e l i n q u i s h m e n t o f g u i l t  T h i s c a t e g o r y , l i k e t h e two p r e v i o u s c a t e g o r i e s ,  r e f l e c t the n o n - s t a t i c nature of the non-offending  parent's  post-disclosure experiences. From t h e t e a r s t h a t came i n some o f t h e i n t e r v i e w s and t h e d i f f i c u l t y w i t h w h i c h t h e women d i s c u s s e d c e r t a i n obvious  t h a t t h e s e women a r e s t i l l  aspects of t h e i r experiences, i t i s  i n the process o f g r i e v i n g , s t i l l i n  the p r o c e s s o f g e t t i n g p a s t t h i s event  i n their lives, s t i l l  p r o c e s s o f g a i n i n g c o n f i d e n c e i n themselves ways, they a r e s t i l l  i n the midst of h e a l i n g , t h e i r process  was n o t c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d The existing  as p r o t e c t o r s .  o r developed  i n the As i n some i n doing  this  by them.  f i n a l chapter w i l l i n t e g r a t e f i n d i n g s from the analyses w i t h knowledge I n t h e l i t e r a t u r e and d i s c u s s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r s o c i a l  work p r a c t i c e w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r  population.  - 62 -  CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION  INTEGRATION OF FINDINGS WITH LITERATURE: To b e g i n t h e c o n c l u d i n g d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s r e s e a r c h s t u d y , t h e f i n d i n g s w i l l be compared t o p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s on m o t h e r s ' p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s as w e l l as t h e g r i e f framework d e l i n e a t e d i n c h a p t e r two. Brown's (1985) s t u d y o f t e n mothers found t h r e e s t a g e s o f c o p i n g . These s t a g e s ( D i s c l o s u r e , R e g r o u p i n g ,  Renewal/Restructuring)  i n d i c a t e , as  the f i n d i n g s I n t h i s s t u d y do, t h a t a mother's e x p e r i e n c e s a r e b e s t as a p r o c e s s , r a t h e r than a s t a t i c e v e n t .  viewed  U n l i k e Brown's f i n d i n g s , t h e  women i n t h i s s t u d y appear t o have a more complex p r o c e s s t h a n c a n f i t e a s i l y i n t o three stages.  I t Is also d i f f i c u l t  t o c o n c e p t u a l i z e these  f i n d i n g s i n t o d i s c r e t e s t a g e s as some o f t h e women appeared n o t t o e x p e r i e n c e t h i n g s c o n s e c u t i v e l y , but a t times c o n c u r r e n t l y .  Although  t h e s e women a l l had e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t c o u l d f i t i n t o Brown's s t a g e s , t h e y do n o t appear i n any c l e a r o r d e r o r sequence, and appear t o be more complex t h a n c o u l d be e x p l a i n e d by t h r e e s t a g e s . In  l o o k i n g a t Johnson's  differences.  s t u d y , t h e r e a r e a g a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s and  Johnson found t h a t a l l s i x women i n h e r s t u d y were o u t r a g e d  by t h e i n c e s t , v i e w i n g i t as a s e r i o u s w r o n g f u l a c t . t h e women were a l s o o u t r a g e d . of  shock,  I n t h i s study, a l l  T h i s was e v i d e n t i n t h e i r i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n s  s i c k n e s s , and d i s b e l i e f .  They a l l took t h e event  s e r i o u s l y , as seen i n t h e p r o t e c t i v e a c t i o n s t h e y  very  demonstrated.  Johnson's s t u d y found t h a t t h e women showed l i t t l e empathy f o r t h e child-victim. statements  T h i s was n o t e v i d e n t i n t h i s s t u d y .  As n o t e d i n t h e  i n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r , t h e s e women d i s p l a y e d much c o n c e r n f o r  - 63 -  their children's well-being. a mechanism t o a v o i d  As Johnson n o t e s , t h e l a c k of empathy may be  t h e h o r r o r o f t h e abuse.  The women i n t h i s s t u d y  perhaps found o t h e r mechanisms t o l i m i t t h e i r awareness of t h e h o r r o r . As i n Johnson's s t u d y , t h e women i n t h i s s t u d y had d i f f e r i n g s t y l e s o f c o p i n g w i t h t h e abuse. abuse i n o r d e r  Some f e l t a need t o t e l l many people about t h e  t o o b t a i n t h e i r s u p p o r t , w h i l e o t h e r s wanted t o m a i n t a i n  c e r t a i n amount of p r i v a c y . person's h e a l i n g process, may  These d i f f e r i n g s t y l e s c o u l d be connected t o a and i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t i n e a r l i e r s t a g e s  there  be more of a need t o keep t h e f a m i l y s e c r e t as a means of m a i n t a i n i n g  control.  I n l a t e r stages,  they may have some u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t k e e p i n g  the s e c r e t from everyone may be a way of a v o i d i n g o r l i m i t i n g and  a  awareness,  c o n s e q u e n t l y d e c i d e t h a t t h e s e c r e c y must e n d . A l t h o u g h b e h a v i o r a t  the extreme ends of s e c r e c y along  v s openness may be p r o b l e m a t i c ,  t h i s continuum c o u l d be e x p l a i n e d  many b e h a v i o r s  by d i f f e r e n c e s i n p e r s o n a l i t y .  q u i e t e r , more i n t r o v e r t e d p e r s o n a l i t y may be i n c l i n e d t o t e l l  A  fewer  p e o p l e , because they do n o t have t h a t need, w h i l e a more e x t r o v e r t e d p e r s o n a l i t y , due t o t h e i r s t y l e o f r e l a t i n g t o p e o p l e may need t o share the event w i t h many p e o p l e . The  most i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r t o a r t i c u l a t e i n comparing t h i s s t u d y w i t h  t h o s e o f Brown and Johnson i s t h a t t h e women a l l s a i d t h e y d i d n o t know t h a t t h e abuse was g o i n g o n . T h i s n e g a t e s a r t i c l e s t h a t d e s c r i b e  mothers  as c o l l u s i v e ( J u s t i c e & J u s t i c e , 1979; Cohen, 1983), as w e l l as c h a l l e n g e s the b e l i e f o f p r o f e s s i o n a l s , as n o t e d by D i e t z and C r a f t ( 1 9 8 0 ) , t h a t mothers know.  The f a c t t h a t t h e women s a i d they d i d n o t know t h a t t h e  abuse was g o i n g on c o u l d be c h a l l e n g e d  by s c e p t i c s who may c l a i m t h a t  these women would n o t admit t o knowing even i f t h e y d i d know.  A l l that  can be s a i d i n d e f e n s e i s t h a t i t i s hard t o b e l i e v e t h a t these women could  display  such a n g u i s h ,  shock and h o r r o r  upon  disclosure  - 64 -  if  they had known a l l a l o n g .  shock and c o n f u s i o n which  The d i s c l o s u r e sent them a l l i n t o a s t a t e o f  i s more l i k e l y a response  o f someone who d i d n o t  know about t h e abuse, than someone who d i d . A l t h o u g h i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t a l l t h r e e sample p o p u l a t i o n s d i d n o t know, i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o emphasize t h a t knowing does n o t equate w i t h colluding.  Even i f a mother d i d know what was g o i n g on i t would be  i m p o r t a n t t o l o o k a t t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s of h e r s i t u a t i o n : s t o p i t but g o t preempted f o r some reason? husband t o i n t e r v e n e ? attempt  to stop i t ?  Was she t o o f e a r f u l of h e r  D i d s h e have t h e p h y s i c a l o r e m o t i o n a l s t r e n g t h t o D i d h e r own r e p r e s s e d memories o f s e x u a l abuse  p r e v e n t h e r from t a k i n g a c t i o n ? powerless  D i d she t r y and  to take a c t i o n ?  D i d economic dependency r e n d e r h e r  The p o i n t here i s t h a t even i f a woman knows  t h a t s e x u a l abuse i s g o i n g on, i t does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h a t she i s a w i l l i n g p a r t i c i p a n t , t h a t she i s c o l l u s i v e , t h a t she b e l i e v e s t h a t what i s happening i s a c c e p t a b l e .  C e r t a i n l y , t h e r e a r e mothers i n t h i s s o c i e t y who  are w i l l i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s , who a r e abusers  t h e m s e l v e s , who know about t h e  abuse,  condone i t and b e l i e v e i t i s n o t s e r i o u s o r w i l l n o t harm t h e  child.  But i t appears from t h e l i t e r a t u r e t h a t t o o o f t e n i f a woman knows  what i s h a p p e n i n g she i s p l a c e d i n t h e c o l l u s i v e camp, w h i c h i s n o t necessarily true.  There may be some women who know and a r e w i l l i n g  p a r t i c i p a n t s , b u t t h e r e a r e t h o s e women who know and p e r c e i v e  themselves  as p o w e r l e s s , f o r whatever r e a s o n , t o t a k e a c t i o n s t o end t h e abuse. T u r n i n g t o S c h n e i d e r ' s model o f g r i e f , each women's e x p e r i e n c e s i n t h i s s t u d y can be p a r t i a l l y e x p l a i n e d by t h i s framework. At t h e same t i m e , t h e r e a r e some emergent d a t a t h a t a r e n o t e x p l a i n e d w e l l by t h i s model. The  first  phase of i n i t i a l awareness c a n be compared t o t h e m o t h e r s '  shock, d i s b e l i e f , and c o n f u s i o n f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e .  As i n any g r i e v i n g  - 65 -  p r o c e s s , t h e s e women e x p e r i e n c e d a d i s r u p t i o n o f t h e i r l i v e s f o l l o w i n g t h e event.  The second phase o f l i m i t i n g awareness c a n be seen as a phase t h a t  most o f t h e s e women e x p e r i e n c e d . attempt a t l i m i t i n g awareness.  T h e i r ambivalence  i n b e l i e v i n g was an  As t h e r e i s t o o much a t s t a k e , t o o much t o  comprehend a l l a t once, l i m i t i n g awareness f o r a t i m e i s n e c e s s a r y . of t h e women were somewhat p r o t e c t i v e o f t h e i r husbands. as a n o t h e r method o f l i m i t i n g awareness.  Two  T h i s c a n be seen  I f t h e man i s seen as i n need o f  p r o t e c t i o n , t h e n t r u e awareness i s n o t f a c e d as he i s n o t seen as an a d u l t who i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i s own b e h a v i o r . The  t h i r d phase o f awareness o f l o s s i n S c h n e i d e r ' s model i s a t i m e o f  facing the implications of that l o s s . implications  A component o f f a c i n g  such  i s a s e a r c h f o r meaning and a time o f q u e s t i o n i n g .  In this  s t u d y , t h e s e women went t h r o u g h i n t e n s e p e r i o d s o f s e l f - q u e s t i o n i n g i n c l u d e d q u e s t i o n i n g t h e i r own judgement.  The i n t e n s i t y  t h a t was an a s p e c t o f t h e i r q u e s t i o n i n g appears of t h i s phase i n S c h n e i d e r ' s model. f u r t h e r by e x a m i n i n g t h e s o c i e t a l  which  of self-blame  t o go beyond t h e c o n f i n e s  This i n t e n s i t y  c a n be e x p l a i n e d  component o f t h i s blame.  T h i s g u i l t and  s e l f - b l a m e appear t o go beyond t h e normal phases o f g r i e v i n g and perhaps i s e x a c e r b a t e d by s o c i e t a l p r o c e s s e s t h a t s e t women up t o be blamed (Coppersmith,  1986).  T h i s p r o c e s s i s e x e m p l i f i e d by s c h o l a r s and  f r o n t l i n e w o r k e r s who p r o p a g a t e D i e t z & C r a f t , 1980).  t h i s ( C a p l a n & H a l l - M c C o r q u o d a l e , 1985;  I t seems t h a t t h e r e a r e s o c i e t a l  factors involved  t h a t i n f l u e n c e t h e s e mothers g r i e v i n g p r o c e s s , f a c t o r s t h a t a r e n o t e x p l a i n e d by S c h n e i d e r ' s model. Perhaps  s e l f - b l a m e i s not a n a t u r a l  p r o c e s s o f g r i e v i n g , but i s an a r t i f i c i a l c o n s t r u c t o f s o c i e t y .  I f that  i s t h e c a s e , then e n v i r o n m e n t a l f a c t o r s t h a t i n f l u e n c e h e r p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s must be i n c l u d e d i n any framework t h a t c o n c e p t u a l i z e s t h e s e  - 66 -  experiences. Phase f o u r o f g a i n i n g p e r s p e c t i v e experiences. phase.  i s n o t c l e a r l y seen I n t h e s e women's  T h i s i s perhaps due t o t h e awkward c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h i s  Schneider claims that i n gaining perspective  the g r i e v i n g person  e i t h e r r e t u r n s t o s t r a t e g i e s t o l i m i t awareness, goes t h r o u g h t h e p r o c e s s of h e a l i n g and a c c e p t a n c e , o r t a k e s a c t i v e s t e p s resolution.  I f a mother r e t u r n s  towards r e s t i t u t i o n o r  t o s t r a t e g i e s o f l i m i t i n g awareness i t  seems e r r o n e o u s t o c a l l t h i s " g a i n i n g p e r s p e c t i v e . "  He a l s o does n o t  c l e a r l y e x p l a i n what t h e d i f f e r e n c e s a r e between someone h e a l i n g and accepting  and someone t a k i n g a c t i v e s t e p s  taking steps  towards r e s o l u t i o n .  Would  towards r e s o l u t i o n s i m p l y be one component o f h e a l i n g and  accepting? T h i s seems t o be a t u r n i n g p o i n t phase o f g r i e v i n g where a p e r s o n c a n take steps  towards h e a l i n g , o r c a n r e t u r n t o d e n i a l . L o o k i n g a t t h i s phase  from t h a t p e r s p e c t i v e , t h e women i n t h i s s t u d y c e r t a i n l y parameters. and  f a l l within i t s  As s t a t e d e a r l i e r , t h e s e women's e x p e r i e n c e s were n o t s t a t i c ,  t h e i r p r o c e s s o f g e t t i n g t h r o u g h t h e event was n o t l i n e a r . F o r  example, one woman may be i n s t a g e two o f awareness and t h e n r e t u r n t o a t t e m p t s o f l i m i t i n g awareness.  To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s , one woman was f u l l y  aware o f t h e r a m i f i c a t i o n s o f t h e abuse on h e r s e l f , h e r c h i l d , h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , y e t made comments d u r i n g l i m i t i n g awareness.  t h e i n t e r v i e w t h a t c o u l d be c a l l e d  She made comments r e g a r d i n g  the necessity of keeping  the abuse a s e c r e t from a l l f a m i l y members w h i c h c o u l d be deemed l i m i t i n g awareness.  I f no one i n t h e f a m i l y knows, t h e n t h e f u l l awareness o f what  happened can be a v o i d e d . S c h n e i d e r ' s f i f t h phase o f r e s o l v i n g l o s s i n v o l v e s b e g i n n i n g f r o m t h e event and t h o s e a s p e c t s o f a person's l i f e  t o detach  t h a t a r e now o v e r .  - 67 -  Some o f t h e women showed e v i d e n c e o f e x p e r i e n c i n g t h i s phase, w h i l e o t h e r s had n o t .  The woman who had found o u t about t h e abuse o n l y t h r e e months  ago, u n d e r s t a n d a b l y d i s p l a y e d no s i g n s o f r e s o l v i n g t h e l o s s .  It i s  l i k e l y t o o soon a f t e r t h e i n i t i a l trauma f o r h e r t o b e g i n t o d e t a c h the event.  A n o t h e r woman, who had r e m a r r i e d and was soon t o t e r m i n a t e  c o u n s e l l i n g f o r h e r d a u g h t e r , d i s p l a y e d s i g n s o f detachment. to  from  She appeared  be moving on i n h e r l i f e , and an e x p r e s s i o n o f empathy f o r t h e  p e r p e t r a t o r i s f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e t h a t she had r e s o l v e d t h e l o s s .  Another  woman who e x p r e s s e d " h a t e " f o r t h e o f f e n d e r c o u l d be p l a c e d a t an e a r l i e r phase o f g r i e v i n g .  The c o n t i n u i n g i n t e n s i t y o f h e r f e e l i n g s toward t h e  o f f e n d e r show t h a t she has n o t begun t o d e t a c h , l e t go o r move on. The s i x t h and s e v e n t h phases of S c h n e i d e r ' s model, r e f o r m u l a t i n g l o s s and t r a n s f o r m i n g l o s s , a r e n o t c l e a r l y e v i d e n t i n t h e s e women's experiences.  T h i s may be due t o t h e f a c t t h a t f o u r of t h e women h e a r d o f  t h e abuse l e s s t h a t two y e a r s ago. Perhaps  t h e r e has n o t been enough o f a  time l a p s e f o r t h e women t o e n t e r t h e s e phases.  The f i f t h woman, who  heard o f t h e abuse f i v e y e a r s a g o , w i l l u n l i k e l y e n t e r t h e s e phases f o r a w h i l e as  the court proceedings a r e s t i l l  ahead, t h e r a p y c o n t i n u e s , and  one o f h e r c h i l d r e n c o n t i n u e s t o b l o c k o u t t h e abuse.  Further to t h i s , i t  i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e s e s t a g e s w i l l n e v e r be r e a c h e d by t h e s e women.  Past  e x p e r i e n c e s , p e r s o n a l i t y s t y l e , and m a t u r i t y l e v e l would a l l i n f l u e n c e whether t h e s e phases would encompass t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s . S c h n e i d e r ' s model i s h e l p f u l i n c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g t h e s e women's e x p e r i e n c e s as t h e r e i s a p r o c e s s o f g r i e v i n g t h a t t h e s e women go t h r o u g h , and t h e phases o f t h i s p r o c e s s a r e r e p e a t e d and r e c y c l e d as d e l i n e a t e d by S c h n e i d e r . As seen i n t h e v a r i e t y o f e x p e r i e n c e s i n t h e f i n d i n g s ,  these  women go t h r o u g h t h e i r g r i e v i n g phases i n no p a r t i c u l a r o r d e r , a t t i m e s  - 68 -  appearing  t o be e x p e r i e n c i n g two phases a t once.  of S c h n i e d e r ' s model i s Important  The n o n - d i s c r e t e n a t u r e  i n e x p l a i n i n g the experiences of these  women. A l t h o u g h t h e r e a r e h e l p f u l components o f t h i s framework, t h e r e appears t o be a d e f i c i e n c y i n t h e model.  The l a c k i n c l u d e s b o t h m i c r o and macro  f a c t o r s that i n f l u e n c e d these mothers' g r i e v i n g process.  The m i c r o  i n f l u e n c e s i n c l u d e t h e woman's own s e l f , ( h e r e x p e r i e n c e s , h e r p e r s o n a l i t y , ) and how t h e s e p e r s o n a l v a r i a b l e s impact post-disclosure process.  on h e r g r i e v i n g o r  F o r example, a p a s t s e x u a l abuse o r p r e v i o u s  l o s s would l i k e l y have an e f f e c t on how she g r i e v e s .  I f she has n e v e r  d e a l t w i t h h e r own c h i l d h o o d abuse i t i s l i k e l y t h a t f e e l i n g s w i l l be i n t e n s i f i e d i n d e a l i n g w i t h h e r own c h i l d ' s abuse, o r she would spend much energy l i m i t i n g awareness' as s h e had done w i t h h e r own abuse.  I f she has  n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d a major l o s s b e f o r e she may have a more d i f f i c u l t i n c o p i n g w i t h t h i s one.  time  I f s h e has d e a l t w i t h d e a t h and o t h e r m a j o r  l o s s e s b e f o r e , she may have l e a r n e d c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s t h a t w i l l a s s i s t h e r i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e abuse, and moving t h r o u g h t h e g r i e v i n g p h a s e s . The  i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l i z a t i o n i s a l s o a micro f a c t o r that  effects the grieving  process.  Women's i d e n t i t i e s , we have i n c r e a s i n g l y r e a l i z e d , have been s c h o o l e d by l i v i n g i n a c u l t u r e w h i c h d e n i g r a t e s and d e f u s e s t h e power and c r e a t i v e c a p a c i t i e s o f women t o be s e l f - d i r e c t i n g and c o n f i d e n t (Hudson, 1985, p. 6 4 7 ) . I f I t i s assumed t h a t women a r e s o c i a l i z e d t o be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r relationships, and  a r e s o c i a l i z e d t o t a k e on blame when they a r e c o n f l i c t u a l ,  t h i s s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s saps c o n f i d e n c e and d i f f u s e s power, then  the amount t o w h i c h a woman has i n c o r p o r a t e d t h i s s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n t o h e r s e l f h o o d w i l l have g r e a t impact  on h e r g r i e v i n g p r o c e s s .  The i n t e n s i t y of  - 69 -  the g u i l t t h a t emerged f r o m t h e s e f i n d i n g s can be seen as e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e s e women have i n t e r n a l i z e d t h i s s o c i a l i z a t i o n .  And, i t i s e v i d e n t  that  p a r t o f t h e i r h e a l i n g p r o c e s s i s an attempt t o assuage t h i s g u i l t and self-blame. Macro f a c t o r s t h a t i n f l u e n c e t h e s e women's g r i e v i n g p r o c e s s the systems around h e r ( s u c h as f a m i l y , f r i e n d s , t h e r a p e u t i c l e g a l , medical,  agencies,  c h i l d p r o t e c t i o n ) , economic s t a t u s  ( d e p e n d e n c y / i n d e p e n d e n c y ) , and t h e e x p e c t a t i o n s this society.  include  o f women and mothers i n  These women a r e n o t g r i e v i n g i n a v o i d .  i n f l u e n c e d by t h o s e p e o p l e around them.  They a r e l i k e l y  How s u p p o r t i v e /  non-supportive,  how  b l a m i n g / n o n - b l a m i n g t h o s e around h e r a r e w i l l have impact on h e r and  how  she g r i e v e s .  Her economic s t a t u s may have impact i n t h a t i t i s  difficult  t o d e a l w i t h t h e emotions when one i s p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h economic  survival.  T r y i n g t o j u g g l e s e v e r a l j o b s , seek j o b t r a i n i n g , and a t t e m p t  to g e t p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e , may a l l be f a c t o r s i n t h e p r o g r e s s o r r e g r e s s o f the h e a l i n g p r o c e s s .  The e x p e c t a t i o n s  s o c i e t y , such as t h e b e l i e f  o f women and mothers i n t h i s  t h a t women a r e t h e g u a r d i a n s o f a l l  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , impact on t h e i r p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s as e x e m p l i f i e d by t h e s e women's d i s t r e s s w i t h p e o p l e who blamed them, and t h e i r w i t h t h e many c o n f l i c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s around them. p r o f e s s i o n a l s who adhere t o n o t i o n s and  as d e s c r i b e d  C a p l a n & H a l l - M c C o r q u o d a l e ' s (1985) s t u d i e s  i n t h e i r g r i e v i n g process.  I t would be d i f f i c u l t  distress  Iti slikely  that  i n D i e t z & C r a f t ' s (1980) would i n f l u e n c e mothers to heal, to reformulate  the l o s s , when p r o f e s s i o n a l s around you a r e p e r c e i v i n g you as a t f a u l t , o r equally responsible  f o r t h e abuse.  S c h n e i d e r ' s model of g r i e v i n g combined w i t h t h e macro and m i c r o d e l i n e a t e d above p r o v i d e  a complete p i c t u r e of the p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e  issues  - 70 -  experiences  of t h e f i v e women i n t h i s s t u d y .  K e e p i n g i n mind t h e phases  of g r i e v i n g complete w i t h t h e s e l f i s s u e s and e n v i r o n m e n t a l i s s u e s t h a t impact on t h i s g r i e v i n g p r o c e s s ,  t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r s o c i a l work w i l l be  addressed.  SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: C o p p e r s m i t h (1986) s t a t e s t h a t t h e r e i s a t r e n d i n s o c i a l " l a r g e r h e l p i n g systems" t o o p e r a t e from w i d e r s o c i a l v a l u e s to s t e r e o t y p i c n o t i o n s about women.  service or  t h a t adhere  She expands on t h i s :  The unspoken and unexamined m y t h i c a l a s s u m p t i o n s i n t h i s t r e n d are t h a t women a r e t h e l o c u s o f blame f o r t h e problems o f f a m i l y members, t h a t women, a t once, can be counted on t o be t h e e m o t i o n a l r e p o s i t o r y f o r f a m i l i e s w h i l e a l s o b e i n g u n a b l e t o cope, and t h a t i t i s women's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o h a n d l e i s s u e s o f d i s t r e s s f o r o t h e r members. ( C o p p e r s m i t h , 1986, p. 30)  She  s a y s t h a t t h e u n e q u a l power d i s t r i b u t i o n  component when c o n s i d e r i n g a c t i o n . t h e r e i s an i m p o r t a n t institutional/societal  i n our s o c i e t y i s a c r u c i a l  As s t a t e d e a r l i e r i n t h i s t h e s i s ,  b a l a n c e between i n d i v i d u a l / f a m i l y h e a l i n g and change.  As i l l u s t r a t e d by C o p p e r s m i t h , i t i s  necessary that i n t e r v e n t i o n s occur at both l e v e l s . are a t t e n d e d  t o , we a r e p l a c i n g t h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s back i n t o a s o c i e t y t h a t  f o s t e r s abuse by t h e v e r y n a t u r e genders.  Therapeutic  o f t h e power d i f f e r e n t i a l between  time c a n be spent  w i t h a mother a t t e m p t i n g t o  assuage h e r g u i l t and s e l f - b l a m e around t h e abuse. band-aiding has  a c t i v i t y when  unreal expectations  she i s b e i n g o f women and  f r e e of h e r g u i l t when a c c u s a t o r y directions?  I f o n l y m i c r o systems  placed mothers.  But, i s t h i s not a  back i n a s o c i e t y t h a t How l o n g w i l l  she be  f i n g e r s a r e p o i n t i n g at h e r from many  I f i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse i s p e r c e i v e d  connected t o t h e misuse o f power i n t h e f a m i l y ,  then  as b e i n g societal  - 71 -  a s s u m p t i o n s about men and women need r e v i s i o n . part  o f macro s o l u t i o n s  d i s t r e s s f o r mothers. s o c i e t y , could  These r e v i s i o n s would be  t o t h e s e x u a l abuse o f c h i l d r e n , and t h e r e s u l t i n g F a c i l i t a t i n g t h e s e macro r e v i s i o n s , o r changes t o  encompass many s t r a t e g i e s .  encouragement o f men i n t o t h e c a r e t a k i n g  One example would be t h e arena.  T h i s may be e f f e c t i v e i n  c h a n g i n g a s s u m p t i o n s about t h e r o l e s o f women and men, and c h a n g i n g men's relationship with  children (Finkelhor,  1984; R u d d i c k , 1980).  Finkelhor  expands on t h i s : As t h e y t a k e more and more e q u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e c a r e o f c h i l d r e n , men may w e l l come t o i d e n t i f y more c l o s e l y w i t h c h i l d r e n ' s w e l l - b e i n g and l e a r n how t o e n j o y d e e p l y a f f e c t i o n a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t have no s e x u a l component (1984, p. 1 3 ) . The  macro i s s u e s  involved  i n t h e s o c i a l work i m p l i c a t i o n s o f  i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse were a d d r e s s e d f i r s t i g n o r e d by t h e p r o f e s s i o n  (Hudson, 1985).  as t h e y a r e t o o o f t e n  M i c r o i s s u e s w i l l now be  delineated. The  first  component o f m i c r o i s s u e s  I s t h e s o c i a l w o r k e r ' s own s e l f o r  own f e e l i n g s around i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse, and mother's r o l e i n that.  One's own f e e l i n g s around t h i s i s s u e must be e x p l o r e d b e f o r e  working with  t h i s population.  As seen i n D i e t z  & Craft's  (1980) and  C a p l a n & H a l l - M c C o r q u o d a l e ' s (1985) s t u d i e s , many o f us a r e b l a m i n g mothers f o r a v a r i e t y o f a i l m e n t s . and  T h i s p e r c e p t i o n needs t o be e x p l o r e d  worked t h r o u g h b e f o r e t h e s e b l a m i n g a t t i t u d e s e n c r o a c h upon t h e  mother's own h e a l i n g  process.  Wattenberg a d d r e s s e s  this:  C l e a r l y , t h e a t t i t u d e o f t h e t h e r a p i s t i s p i v o t a l . The t h e r a p i s t ' s unstated p u r s u i t of evidence f o r the t h e r a p i s t ' s assumption o f the mother's c o l l u s i o n w i l l t h r e a t e n t h e e n t i r e p r o c e s s (1985, p. 2 0 9 ) .  Whatever a t t i t u d e s p r o f e s s i o n a l s not  turned i n t o pressuring  have, i t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t  t a c t i c s a g a i n s t the mothers.  they a r e  One woman i n t h i s  - 72 -  study claimed  t h a t t h e t h e r a p i s t she was w o r k i n g w i t h was n o t a l l o w i n g h e r  to f e e l c a r i n g and l o v e f o r h e r husband.  I t ' s p o s s i b l e that  t h e r a p i s t f e l t anger a t t h e p e r p e t r a t o r , and c o n s e q u e n t l y ,  this  could not a l l o w  the woman t o d i s p l a y any c a r i n g f o r him.  T h i s a t t i t u d e was o n l y  exacerbating  What was n e c e s s a r y  the anguish  o f t h i s woman.  for this  mother was someone t o h e l p h e r work t h r o u g h t h e c o n f l i c t u a l f e e l i n g s she had  r e g a r d i n g h e r husband.  she was e x p e r i e n c i n g .  She d i d n o t need someone t o j u d g e t h e f e e l i n g s  To a v o i d b e i n g j u d g e m e n t a l i t i s i m p o r t a n t  f o r the  t h e r a p i s t t o f i r s t e x p l o r e h i s o r h e r own f e e l i n g s towards t h i s i s s u e . A n o t h e r component o f m i c r o i s s u e s i s a l l o w i n g t h e s e women t h e i r feelings,  a l l o w i n g them t o p r o c e s s  them a l l w i t h o u t  i n t e r c e p t i o n . For  example, a mother needs t o f e e l g u i l t and a l l o w a l l h e r g u i l t t o s u r f a c e b e f o r e she c a n b e g i n t o r e l e a s e i t . As t h i s g u i l t a p p e a r s t o be i n g r a i n e d i n t h e i r s e l f h o o d , they may need c o n s t a n t  reinforcement,  as one mother  s a i d , t h a t they a r e n o t g u i l t y o r i n any way t o blame f o r t h e s e x u a l abuse of t h e i r c h i l d r e n .  I t may t a k e many a t t e m p t s a t e x p r e s s i n g g u i l t , and  c h a l l e n g i n g t h i s g u i l t before I t begins  t o appease.  O f f e r i n g an empathic r e s p o n s e and a l l o w i n g a mother t o e x p r e s s h e r m y r i a d f e e l i n g s around t h e abuse, does n o t equate w i t h v i e w i n g mothers as victims.  I t i s Important t h a t s o c i a l w o r k e r s do n o t f a l l  into or portray  d e t e r m i n i s t i c a t t i t u d e s r e g a r d i n g t h e i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f women's i n f e r i o r status i n society.  Hudson a d d r e s s e s t h i s i s s u e :  Empathy i s o b v i o u s l y i m p o r t a n t but so i s o f f e r i n g women c l i e n t s s t r a t e g i e s f o r a c t i o n b o t h a t a p e r s o n a l and a t a c o l l e c t i v e level. A f o c u s on women's r e s o u r c e s and s t r e n g t h s I s c r u c i a l i n f o r e s t a l l i n g t h e dangers o f h o o k i n g c l i e n t s i n t o a f a t a l i s m about t h e i r c i r c u m s t a n c e s (1985, p. 6 5 1 ) . T h i s s e c t i o n i s not t o argue t h e p o s i t i v e s o r n e g a t i v e s vs f a m i l y vs group c o u n s e l l i n g , b u t  of i n d i v i d u a l  t o s t a t e t h a t whatever m o d a l i t y i s  - 73 -  u s e d , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e a l i z e t h a t t h e mothers o f i n c e s t v i c t i m s have t h e i r own i s s u e s t h a t need t o be d e a l t w i t h .  T h e r e needs t o be  acknowledgment t h a t i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r them. acceptance of t h e i r f e e l i n g s , t h e i r process,  There needs t o be and they c e r t a i n l y need an  avenue t o v e n t i l a t e , and g u i d a n c e i n d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r own s t r e n g t h s . These needs a l l emerged d u r i n g  t h e i n t e r v i e w s w i t h t h e f i v e women i n t h i s  study. As one o f t h e themes t h a t emerged from t h e f i n d i n g s was t h e n o t i o n o f mother as p r o t e c t o r , t h i s i s s u e needs t o be a d d r e s s e d w i t h them a t length.  I t seemed i m p o r t a n t f o r t h e s e women t o r e e s t a b l i s h t h e m s e l v e s as  protectors, to f e e l confident again.  i n themselves i n f u l f i l l i n g  S e v e r a l o f t h e mothers s a i d t h a t they needed p r o f e s s i o n a l s u p p o r t  i n doing t h i s .  From a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , i n t e r v e n t i o n on t h i s  needs t o go f u r t h e r .  issue  Once t h e i s s u e o f p r o t e c t o r has been e x p l o r e d  n o n - j u d g e m e n t a l way, I t must be examined f u r t h e r . of t h e m s e l v e s u n r e a l i s t i c ?  Are they expecting  Where do t h e s e e x p e c t a t i o n s  come from?  t h e s e b e l i e f s and e x p e c t a t i o n s ? replace  this role  Are t h e i r  i na  expectations  t o o much o f t h e m s e l v e s ?  Do they want t o change o r r e p l a c e  I f s o , how would they l i k e t o change o r  them?  The o t h e r  theme t h a t emerged from t h e d a t a , t h a t o f r o l e d i s r u p t i o n ,  needs t o be a d d r e s s e d as t h e s e c o n f l i c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s appear t o be d i s t r e s s f u l f o r these women.  F o r those mothers who were l i v i n g w i t h  their  husbands a t t h e time o f d i s c l o s u r e they need a s s i s t a n c e i n s o r t i n g o u t t h e i r f e e l i n g s towards h i m . Do t h e y want t o r e m a i n w i t h him? want t o s e p a r a t e ?  Do they need time b e f o r e  t h o s e women, d e a l i n g w i t h t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p them.  Can they c o n t i n u e  Do t h e y  any d e c i s i o n i s made? F o r was a c o n f u s i n g  piece f o r  t o l o v e t h e s e men who have abused t h e i r c h i l d r e n ,  - 74 -  can they h a t e o r r e j e c t t h e s e men who they have l i v e d w i t h and l o v e d f o r so many y e a r s ?  T h i s I s a s i g n i f i c a n t a r e a f o r them and needs t o be  examined i n a non-judgemental ambivalence  towards  f a s h i o n a l l o w i n g t h e i r l o v e , hate o r  t h e i r husbands t o s u r f a c e .  F o r t h o s e women who had  s e p a r a t e d from t h e i r husbands p r i o r t o d i s c l o s u r e , t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p c a n a l s o be p r o b l e m a t i c .  W i t h t h o s e men who deny t h e abuse, i t may be  p a r t i c u l a r l y h a r d f o r t h e mother t o r e s o l v e h e r f e e l i n g s o r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h him. The m o t h e r s ' r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h t h e abused c h i l d a l s o need a t t e n t i o n . I t appeared  i m p o r t a n t t o t h e s e women t o a g a i n have a s t r o n g r e l a t i o n s h i p  with their children.  The mothers whose c h i l d r e n were o l d e r and e x p r e s s i n g  h o s t i l i t y a t them found t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t t o work on and r e b u i l d .  The mothers may need s u p p o r t i n d e a l i n g w i t h an abused  c h i l d ' s anger and h o s t i l i t y , and need g u i d a n c e i n r e b u i l d i n g o r r e e s t a b l i s h i n g a s t r o n g c o n n e c t i o n w i t h them. s t u d y e x p e r i e n c e d g u i l t and s e l f - b l a m e around  As a l l t h e mothers i n t h i s t h e abuse, m a i n t a i n i n g o r  r e b u i l d i n g s t r o n g t i e s w i t h t h e c h i l d may be a k e y t o r e l i n q u i s h i n g some of t h e g u i l t .  I f they f e e l c o n f i d e n t t h a t t h e c o n f l i c t i n t h i s  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a s s u a g i n g t h i s may l e s s e n t h e g u i l t t h e y e x p e r i e n c e . R e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h f r i e n d s and f a m i l y were a l s o c o n f l i c t u a l f o r some of t h e mothers i n t h i s s t u d y . r e l a t i o n s h i p s be examined. around  these r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  A g a i n , i t seemed i m p o r t a n t t h a t t h e s e  These mothers may need t o make d e c i s i o n s I f t h e r e i s a f r i e n d o r f a m i l y member who i s  a c c u s a t o r y how can t h i s be d e a l t w i t h ? need t o be severed?  A r e t h e r e some r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t a r e changing and  becoming c l o s e r t h r o u g h t h i s e x p e r i e n c e ? u t i l i z e d as s u p p o r t ?  A r e t h e r e some r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t  Can t h e s e be d e v e l o p e d more and  - 75 -  The  mothers have a l s o t a k e n on some new r o l e s as t h e i r environment  changes and they have t o d e a l w i t h systems t h e y have perhaps n e v e r d e a l t with before.  There appeared t o be much c o n f u s i o n  which i s evident  i n d e a l i n g w i t h systems,  o f t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s i n t a k i n g on t h i s new r o l e .  In  w o r k i n g i n many ways as t h e c h i l d ' s a d v o c a t e , how do t h e y d e a l w i t h police, courts, social services?  I t seems t h a t b a s i c i n f o r m a t i o n would be  h e l p f u l t o them i n t a k i n g on t h i s new r o l e . economic p r o v i d e r was a new one,  and p r o b l e m a t i c .  the economic i s s u e s o f t h e p r e s e n t r e c e i v i n g l o w e r pay)  F o r some women t h e r o l e o f Remaining c o g n i z a n t o f  s o c i e t y ( i e . l a c k o f j o b s , women  t h e r e a r e s t e p s t h a t c a n be t a k e n i n a s s i s t i n g  women i n t a k i n g on t h i s new r o l e .  these  Support and encouragement may be  h e l p f u l t o her i n gaining confidence  i n t h i s area, along with  basic  i n f o r m a t i o n on j o b t r a i n i n g , o r d i s c u s s i o n s o f l o n g - t e r m c a r e e r  planning.  T h i s theme o f r o l e o r r e l a t i o n s h i p d i s r u p t i o n a l s o p o i n t s t o t h e importance o f the t h e r a p e u t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p a t t h i s time.  This  r e l a t i o n s h i p may be one o f t h e few t h a t I s n o t i n f l u x o r c o n f l i c t u a l .  It  can be a s t a b i l i z i n g f o r c e f o r mothers when they f e e l s u r r o u n d e d by confusion. A n o t h e r component o f s o c i a l work i n t e r v e n t i o n s w i t h t h i s p o p u l a t i o n i s b e i n g aware o f t h e f a c t t h a t d i f f e r e n t t y p e s o f i n t e r v e n t i o n s may be c a l l e d f o r depending on t h e g r i e v i n g phase t h e c l i e n t Consequently, i t i s important i n d i v i d u a l when p l a n n i n g  t o be c o g n i z a n t  is in.  o f t h e phase o f t h e  i n t e r v e n t i o n s . F o r example, a woman who i s i n  phase one o f i n i t i a l awareness needs a s s i s t a n c e I n b a s i c i s s u e s o f h e r life.  There i s so much shock and c o n f u s i o n a t t h i s time t h a t she needs  someone who i s calm and c a n e x p l o r e w i t h h e r t h e p o s s i b l e s t e p s t o t a k e i n moving t h r o u g h t h e i n i t i a l  trauma.  She may need a s s i s t a n c e i n d e a l i n g  - 76 -  with a u t h o r i t i e s , or i n coping  with traumatized  f i n a n c i a l means f o r h e r s e l f and h e r f a m i l y .  c h i l d r e n , or i n f i n d i n g  F o r a mother who i s i n t h e  t h i r d phase of awareness of l o s s , she needs someone t o l i s t e n t o h e r and e x p l o r e w i t h h e r h e r deep f e e l i n g s o f a n g u i s h and g r i e f as she becomes f u l l y aware o f t h e r a m i f i c a t i o n s o f t h e abuse. be e x p e r i e n c i n g  F o r a woman who appears t o  S c h n e i d e r ' s phase f i v e , r e s o l v i n g l o s s , she may need  assistance i n planning  f o r t h e f u t u r e , o r e x p l o r i n g h e r d e s i r e s t o put t h e  event b e h i n d h e r and i n t o p e r s p e c t i v e . A t t e m p t i n g to a s c e r t a i n t h e phase a t w h i c h t h e mother i s a t c a n be h e l p f u l i n planning  the i n t e r v e n t i o n .  U t i l i z i n g a specific intervention  too soon c a n be u s e l e s s o r perhaps h a r m f u l t o a mother.  Challenging  a  mothers g u i l t when she i s i n t h e i n i t i a l phase o f g r i e f c a n be d e t r i m e n t a l to h e r p r o g r e s s .  What e x p e d i t e s  the process at that p o i n t i s b a s i c  i n f o r m a t i o n , g u i d a n c e , and s u p p o r t , n o t an e x p l o r a t i o n o f where h e r b e l i e f s come f r o m .  A mother who i s b e g i n n i n g  t o r e s o l v e t h e l o s s no  l o n g e r needs t h i s b a s i c a s s i s t a n c e as h e r l e v e l o f f u n c t i o n i n g would p r o b a b l y be c l o s e t o h e r p r e - d i s c l o s u r e  level.  S o c i a l w o r k e r s , i n w o r k i n g w i t h mothers whose c h i l d r e n were abused, need t o be aware of t h e i r own i s s u e s around i n c e s t as w e l l as t h e i s s u e s of these women such as p r o t e c t i v e n e s s ,  g u i l t / s e l f - b l a m e , problems i n  r e g a i n i n g t r u s t of o t h e r p e o p l e and t r u s t of t h e i r own judgement, and t h e r o l e d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n and r e s u l t i n g c o n f u s i o n  that f o l l o w s d i s c l o s u r e .  S o c i a l w o r k e r s a l s o need t o be aware of how e n v i r o n m e n t a l f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c e the g r i e v i n g process, a previous  s e x u a l abuse.  a l o n g w i t h a mother's s e l f i s s u e s such as  Whether a t h e r a p i s t s works w i t h i n d i v i d u a l s ,  f a m i l i e s o r groups, i t i s imperative  t h a t they have some awareness o f t h e  e x p e r i e n c e s o f t h e s e women, of t h e i s s u e s mothers o f s e x u a l l y abused  - 77 -  c h i l d r e n have t o contend w i t h f o l l o w i n g  disclosure.  LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY: One sample.  of the l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s research study i s the l i m i t a t i o n of the The sample i s s m a l l and p u r p o s i v e i n n a t u r e w h i c h , f r o m a  quantitative  perspective, l i m i t s g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y .  Some q u a l i t a t i v e  m e t h o d o l o g i s t s p r o f f e r a d e f i n i t i o n o f g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y t h a t does n o t connect a s t u d y ' s sample s i z e t o t h e a b i l i t y t o g e n e r a l i z e . G l a s e r and S t r a u s s , i n d i s c u s s i n g generality  F o r example,  grounded t h e o r y , c l a i m t h a t t h e l e v e l o f  of t h e c o n c e p t s d e r i v e d from t h e raw d a t a i s f l e x i b l e enough t o  be a p p l i c a b l e  to a v a r i e t y of s i t u a t i o n s .  To a c h i e v e a t h e o r y g e n e r a l enough t o be a p p l i c a b l e t o t h e t o t a l p i c t u r e , i t i s more i m p o r t a n t t o a c c u m u l a t e a v a s t number o f d i v e r s e q u a l i t a t i v e f a c t s on many d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s i n t h e a r e a . T h i s d i v e r s i t y f a c i l i t a t e s t h e development o f a t h e o r y w i t h b o t h a s u f f i c i e n t number of g e n e r a l c o n c e p t s r e l e v a n t t o most s i t u a t i o n s and p l a u s i b l e r e l a t i o n s among t h e s e c a t e g o r i e s t o account f o r much everyday b e h a v i o r i n t h e s i t u a t i o n s (1967, p. 2 4 3 ) . As n o t e d e a r l i e r , t h e s e women a r e f r o m v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s : v a r i e t y o f ages, a range of a b u s i v e b e h a v i o r , d i f f e r e n c e s  a  i n t h e s t a t u s of  the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e o f f e n d e r , a v a r i e t y o f ages o f t h e c h i l d r e n , a v a r i e t y of p e r s o n a l backgrounds from p r o f e s s i o n a l differences  i n the l e n g t h of time s i n c e  amount o f s u p p o r t r e c e i v e d from f a m i l y differences  t o homemakers,  disclosure,  differences  and t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l  i n the  community, and  i n the offenders admittance o r d e n i a l of the event.  these d i f f e r e n c e s ,  t h e emergent d a t a o f f e r s a l e v e l o f g e n e r a l i t y  With that  a c c o u n t s f o r much d i v e r s i t y and c o n s e q u e n t l y , a c e r t a i n l e v e l o f a p p l i c a b i l i t y to the general  population.  A l t h o u g h t h e r e i s d i v e r s i t y amongst t h e women, t h e r e a r e s i m i l a r i t i e s which l i m i t g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y .  These women a r e a l l from s e r v i c e - r i c h  - 78 -  environments.  They have a l l been i n v o l v e d i n some k i n d o f  treatment:  i n d i v i d u a l , c o u p l e / f a m i l y , o r group w h i c h l i k e l y makes t h e i r  experiences  d i f f e r e n t f r o m mothers who a r e i s o l a t e d and do n o t have s e r v i c e s a v a i l a b l e to them, o r women who a r e s u r r o u n d e d by s e r v i c e o r g a n i z a t i o n s b u t do n o t choose t o u t i l i z e them.  F o r t h e most p a r t , r e s e a r c h  studies of sexual  abuse a r e cases t h a t have come t o t h e a t t e n t i o n o f t h e " s y s t e m . "  Would a  p e r u s a l o f t h o s e cases t h a t n e v e r come t o t h e a t t e n t i o n o f t h e c o u r t s , p r o t e c t i o n s e r v i c e s , t h e r a p e u t i c a g e n c i e s o r p o l i c e , weave a v e r y different picture?  At t h i s p o i n t , i t i s i m p o s s i b l e  t o know.  In  a t t r a c t i n g cases t h a t have n e v e r been I n v o l v e d w i t h t h e system, i t would be i m p o s s i b l e  t o honour t h e i r c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y a s , by l a w i n B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a , cases o f s e x u a l abuse must be r e p o r t e d  to a u t h o r i t i e s . I n  a d d i t i o n , f r o m an e t h i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , one c o u l d n o t s i m p l y i n t e r v i e w o r s t u d y mothers o f s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d r e n w i t h o u t  suggesting,  encouraging  or o f f e r i n g therapeutic i n t e r v e n t i o n . These women were a l l C a u c a s i a n , b i a s i n g t h e d a t a i n terms o f ethnicity.  Would d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s d i s p l a y d i f f e r e n t e x p e r i e n c e s ?  Would  women who a r e from c u l t u r e s t h a t p l a c e g r e a t emphasis on extended f a m i l i e s have g r e a t e r d i f f i c u l t i e s  i n c o p i n g w i t h i n t r a - f a m i l i a l s e x u a l abuse?  Would women who come from c u l t u r e s t h a t a r e l e s s s e c u l a r than o u r s have differing  experiences?  A l t h o u g h t h e ages o f t h e mothers ranged from 24 t o 42, t h e t h r e e i n the m i d d l e were a l l i n t h e i r l a t e t h i r t i e s .  Would a g r e a t e r range o f ages  y i e l d d i f f e r e n t data? The  r e t r o s p e c t i v e nature  perceptions  o f t h e s t u d y c a n be seen as l i m i t i n g i n t h a t  o f t h e event and i n i t i a l  passage o f t i m e .  c r i s i s may have changed w i t h t h e  T h i s c o u l d a l s o be deemed a s t r e n g t h i n t h a t t h e p a s s i n g  - 79  of time has  allowed  -  some d i s t a n c e f r o m the i n i t i a l p a i n and  some i n t r o s p e c t i o n has  l i k e l y occurred.  were more a r t i c u l a t e and  consequently  I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e s e women  c l e a r i n r e l a t i n g t h e i r s t o r i e s as t h e r e has  been  some t i m e f o r g r i e v i n g . A n o t h e r l i m i t a t i o n i s the b i a s e s  of the i n v e s t i g a t o r .  s t u d i e s a r e done t h r o u g h the eyes o r p e r c e p t i o n s  of one  Most  research  person.  The  framework t h r o u g h w h i c h t h a t p e r s o n views l i f e i n f l u e n c e s the a n a l y s i s of the d a t a .  I t i s l i k e l y t h a t an i n v e s t i g a t o r who  was  not  coming from a  f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e would see d i f f e r e n t c a t e g o r i e s , d i f f e r e n t themes emerging f r o m the d a t a .  T h i s s t u d y can be deemed " o n e - s i d e d " , yet  s t a t e d by B e c k e r , "each o n e - s i d e d s t o r y w i l l p r o v i d e gradually enlarge  first  further studies  our g r a s p o f a l l r e l e v a n t f a c e t s " (1970, p.  I n l o o k i n g at how  as that  134).  t h i s s t u d y c o u l d have been done d i f f e r e n t l y ,  the  s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i s t h a t the sample c o u l d have been l a r g e r  and  more v a r i e d .  I t Is d i f f i c u l t  t o f i n d w i l l i n g mothers t o d i s c u s s , w i t h  a n o t h e r s t r a n g e r , such a p a i n f u l event i n t h e i r l i v e s . perhaps more mothers c o u l d have been f o u n d .  W i t h more  t o the d i v e r s i t y of the  time,  I t would a l s o have been  h e l p f u l t o f i n d mothers o f d i f f e r e n t e t h n i c backgrounds and range of ages t o add  yet  a  greater  population.  T h i s i n v e s t i g a t o r would a l s o make changes i n t h e i n t e r v i e w g u i d e i n terms of s i m p l i f y i n g i t . way  of the m o t h e r s ' own  I t seemed at times t h a t the q u e s t i o n s t e l l i n g of t h e i r s t o r i e s .  c e r t a i n p i e c e s as the s t o r y  When the c o d i n g was  I t appears t h a t a  would work b e s t a l l o w i n g f o r the i n t e r v i e w  f l o w i n a manner t h a t made sense t o the mother, w i t h the probing  i n the  These women were open  and w i l l i n g t o s h a r e many a s p e c t s of t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s . few v e r y b r o a d q u e s t i o n s  got  to  interviewer  unfolded.  begun i t became e v i d e n t  t h a t t h e r e c o u l d have been  - 80 -  more p r o b i n g o f c e r t a i n s t a t e m e n t s d u r i n g t h e i n t e r v i e w s t o c l a r i f y meaning.  their  I t was d i f f i c u l t t o code c e r t a i n p i e c e s o f t h e d a t a as t h e r e  was a lack, o f c l a r i t y i n t h e p o i n t o r statement made.  A l t h o u g h , i t may be  u n r e a l i s t i c t o expect more i n t e r v i e w probes as i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o remain aware of any u n c l a r i t y and a c t on i t w i t h a probe when a mother i s s t r u g g l i n g t o t e l l a d i s t r e s s i n g p i e c e , o r i s a n x i o u s and i s s p e a k i n g  very  quickly. I n f o c u s i n g on t h e a n a l y s i s o f t h e d a t a , i f t h e i n v e s t i g a t o r was b e g i n n i n g a g a i n she would c r e a t e a " s t a r t l i s t o f codes p r i o r t o f i e l d w o r k " ( M i l e s & Huberman, 1984, p. 5 7 ) . They d e f i n e t h i s  further:  That l i s t comes from t h e c o n c e p t u a l framework, l i s t o f r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s , h y p o t h e s e s , problem a r e a s , and k e y v a r i a b l e s t h a t t h e r e s e a r c h e r b r i n g s i n t o the study (p. 5 7 ) . W i t h t h e l a r g e amount o f d a t a t h a t needed t o be a n a l y z e d , t h e p r o c e s s would have been s i m p l i f i e d had a p r e l i m i n a r y c o d i n g l i s t been c o n s t r u c t e d p r i o r to the c o l l e c t i o n of d a t a .  I f t h i s method was u t i l i z e d , i t would  have been i m p o r t a n t t o remain open t o changes and r e v i s i o n s o f t h e original list  as t h e d a t a was c o l l e c t e d and a n a l y z e d .  have f a c i l i t a t e d  A start l i s t  would  t h e a n a l y s i s as l o n g as f l e x i b i l i t y i n t h e c o d i n g was  maintained. I n r e f l e c t i n g f u r t h e r on t h e p r o c e s s o f a n a l y s i s , i f b e g i n n i n g a g a i n the i n v e s t i g a t o r would be more s t r i n g e n t i n t h e p h r a s e s o r words used as codes.  I t appeared t h a t some o f t h e codes were not d e s c r i p t i v e enough  which was e v i d e n t when t h e t e x t would have t o be r e r e a d t o e s t a b l i s h a c l e a r e r meaning of t h e code.  A l t h o u g h t h e l e s s - d e s c r i p t i v e codes d i d not  b i a s o r a l t e r t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h i s s t u d y , they d i d make t h e p r o c e s s o f a n a l y s i s more time consuming t h a n i t needed t o be.  - 81  QUESTIONS FOR  -  FUTURE RESEARCH:  I n l o o k i n g at t h e s e women's e x p e r i e n c e s i n terms of a g r i e f model, i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t t h e i r p r o c e s s would be i n f l u e n c e d by p r e v i o u s l o s s e s . T h i s l e a d s to f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h f o c u s i n g on how l o s s e s and how  a woman coped w i t h p r e v i o u s  t h i s e f f e c t e d her process f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e .  i n t h i s area, may  h e l p c l i n i c i a n s i n knowing how  Research  to h e l p women make the  c o n n e c t i o n s between p a s t l o s s e s and p a s t c o p i n g mechanisms, and how can be u t i l i z e d  they  i n the present.  Would mothers have s i m i l a r r e s p o n s e s i f t h e p e r p e t r a t o r was o r more p e r i p h e r a l f a m i l y member?  a stranger  Having a b e t t e r understanding of the  d i f f e r e n c e s o r s i m i l a r i t i e s between these two would a s s i s t c l i n i c i a n s i n working w i t h these groups. was  I f a t h e r a p i s t worked w i t h a woman whose c h i l d  abused by a f a t h e r he/she would know what the mothers s p e c i f i c i s s u e s  were, as compared t o abuse by an u n c l e f o r example, and c o n s e q u e n t l y , know where t o f o c u s . As n o t e d e a r l i e r , as t h e s e women's h e a l i n g p r o c e s s e s were not  clearly  a r t i c u l a t e d i t would be i n t e r e s t i n g to do a f o l l o w - u p s t u d y o f t h e s e women i n a number of y e a r s to d e v e l o p a c l e a r e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of e x p e r i e n c e s once the i n i t i a l  trauma had s u b s i d e d .  their  Do t h e y e v e r r e l i n q u i s h  the g u i l t they f e e l f o r what has happened?  Do t h e y e v e r r e g a i n a sense of  c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e i r r o l e as p r o t e c t o r ?  do t h e y , i n the l o n g term,  r e o r g a n i z e o r s e t t l e t h e i r changing  How  r o l e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s ?  I n the  l o n g - t e r m , does the event a f f e c t t h e i r i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n any way? W i t h "mother as p r o t e c t o r " b e i n g one of the themes i n t h i s s t u d y , i t would be of b e n e f i t t o do an i n - d e p t h s t u d y comparing themselves protective.  mothers who  see  as p r o t e c t o r s w i t h those mothers whose a c t i o n s are not What b a r r i e r s d i d the n o n - p r o t e c t i v e mothers f a c e t h a t  - 82 -  p r o t e c t i v e mothers bypass?  What a r e t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f  t h e s e two groups? W i t h a p e r u s a l o f some o f t h e j u d g e m e n t a l  l i t e r a t u r e on mothers o f  i n c e s t v i c t i m s , and t h e l a c k o f i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e on t h e i r p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s , i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t mothers have i n t h e past been m i s u n d e r s t o o d  o r i g n o r e d by p r o f e s s i o n a l s . T h i s e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y  has examined t h e m o t h e r s ' p o s t - d i s c l o s u r e e x p e r i e n c e s , y e t I s o n l y a p r e l i m i n a r y l o o k a t mothers who must cope w i t h t h i s t y p e o f event i n t h e i r lives.  Consequently,  any r e s e a r c h - b a s e d  i n f o r m a t i o n on t h i s p o p u l a t i o n ,  f o c u s i n g on any a r e a o f t h e i r l i v e s o r e x p e r i e n c e s , would be h e l p f u l i n e x p a n d i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l knowledge i n t h i s a r e a , and t h e r e b y i n c r e a s i n g professional s k i l l In assisting  and empowering t h e s e women.  - 83 -  BIBLIOGRAPHY  A l e x a n d e r , Pamela C. ( 1 9 8 5 ) . A systems t h e o r y c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f i n c e s t . F a m i l y P r o c e s s , V o l . 24, March p. 79-88. Anderson, L o r n a M., & S h a f e r , G r e t c h e n ( 1 9 7 9 ) . 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I n a d i f f e r e n t l i g h t : a feminist perspective on the r o l e o f mothers i n f a t h e r - d a u g h t e r i n c e s t . Child Welfare, V o l . 64, No. 3 p. 203-211. W e t z e l , J a n i c e Wood ( 1 9 8 6 ) . A f e m i n i s t w o r l d v i e w c o n c e p t u a l framework. S o c i a l Casework, V o l . 67, No. 3 p. 166-173.  - 89 -  APPENDICES (A to F)  - 90 APPENDIX A  INTERVIEW GUIDE P a r t 1: 1. How d i d you i n i t i a l l y h e a r about t h e abuse o f y o u r d a u g h t e r ( s o n ) ? 2. What was y o u r i n i t i a l r e s p o n s e t o t h e d i s c l o s u r e ? (Probe f o r t h o u g h t s , feelings, actions.) 3. I n t h i s i n i t i a l r e s p o n s e , d i d you f e e l t h a t you had t o make a c h o i c e between s u p p o r t i n g y o u r husband o r y o u r c h i l d ? I f s o , how d i d you come t o t h i s d e c i s i o n ? Any a m b i v a l e n c e i n t h i s d e c i s i o n ? 4. D i d t h i s d e c i s i o n change o v e r time? I f s o , what f a c t o r s l e d t o t h e change i n who you would s u p p o r t ? ( P r o b e s f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g f a c t o r s : family, friends, professionals, financial.) 5. Whenever we make a d e c i s i o n , t h e r e a r e u s u a l l y p r o ' s and con's o f each c h o i c e . I n t h e d e c i s i o n s you made f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , what were t h e g a i n s and l o s s e s o f each? 6. What k i n d s o f t h i n g s / p e o p l e were h e l p f u l t o you i n making y o u r decisions? (Probes: f a m i l y , f r i e n d s , p r o f e s s i o n a l s , s p e c i f i c a d v i c e o r an e v e n t . ) 7. Some women f e e l t h a t m a r r i a g e i s f o r l i f e , o t h e r s f e e l t h a t i f t h i n g s get bad o r t o o d i f f i c u l t i t i s b e s t t o end t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p . How do you f e e l about m a r r i a g e and b e i n g a w i f e ? (Probe f o r l o y a l t y , commitment, sense o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . ) 8. Some mothers f e e l q u i t e p r o t e c t i v e towards t h e i r c h i l d r e n , o t h e r s f e e l t h a t a c h i l d ' s independence i s more i m p o r t a n t . What does b e i n g a mother mean t o you? Has t h i s changed s i n c e d i s c l o s u r e ? (Sense o f responsibility, protectiveness.) 9. F o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , d i d you f e e l at any t i m e t h a t y o u r r o l e s o f w i f e and mother were somehow c l a s h i n g ? I f s o , how? 10. What would have needed t o happen t h a t would have a l l o w e d you t o s t a y w i t h y o u r husband? (Leave y o u r husband?) 11. I f you had t o go t h r o u g h t h i s e x p e r i e n c e a g a i n , i s t h e r e a n y t h i n g t h a t you would do d i f f e r e n t l y ? 12. What a d v i c e would you g i v e o t h e r women who a r e f a c e d w i t h t h e same issues? 13. We have t a l k e d a l o t about y o u r e x p e r i e n c e s t o d a y , a r e t h e r e any a r e a s t h a t have n o t been d i s c u s s e d t h a t you would l i k e t o mention?  - 91 -  P a r t 2: A f t e r i n t e r v i e w c o m p l e t i o n , t h e f o l l o w i n g demographic/background w i l l be g a t h e r e d i f n o t r a i s e d i n t h e d i s c u s s i o n s of P a r t 1.  data  1. Date and d u r a t i o n o f abuse, amount of time s i n c e d i s c l o s u r e 2. V i c t i m :  age and s e x  3. Mother:  age  4. ( S t e p ) F a t h e r :  age  5. Other c h i l d r e n :  age and s e x  6. R e l a t i o n s h i p of o f f e n d e r 7. F a m i l y  reunification:  8. F a m i l y ' s economic 9. S t a t u s of o f f e n d e r : Charges pending?  to v i c t i m :  father, step-father,  common-law  y e s , no, p o s s i b l e  status Assumed r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ? Denied?  I n treatment?  -  92  -  APPENDIX B INTERVIEW CONSENT FORM Mothers o f d a u g h t e r s who have been s e x u a l l y abused a r e o f t e n f a c e d w i t h a d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n . To be a b l e t o h e l p such m o t h e r s , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t p r o f e s s i o n a l s u n d e r s t a n d t h i s . e x p e r i e n c e . The purpose o f t h i s i n t e r v i e w i s t o b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f mothers f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e o f f a t h e r - d a u g h t e r i n c e s t . By s h a r i n g a s p e c t s o f y o u r own p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s i n t h i s r e g a r d , you w i l l be c o n t r i b u t i n g t o a broadening of p r o f e s s i o n a l understanding i n t h i s area. The i n t e r v i e w m a t e r i a l i s f o r a r e s e a r c h s t u d y e n t i t l e d " E x p e r i e n c e s of t h e Mother as t h e N o n - O f f e n d i n g P a r e n t i n I n t r a - F a m i l i a l S e x u a l Abuse," w h i c h f o c u s e s on t h e p r o c e s s mothers go t h r o u g h f o l l o w i n g a d i s c l o s u r e o f s e x u a l abuse i n t h e f a m i l y . The i n t e r v i e w s a r e b e i n g u n d e r t a k e n by M a r t i n e C h a r l e s , a UBC g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t who i s w o r k i n g as a t h e r a p i s t i n t h e S e x u a l Abuse P r o j e c t w h i c h i s a s p e c i a l p r o j e c t c o o r d i n a t e d by t h e Family P r a c t i c e U n i t . C o n f i d e n t i a l i t y w i l l be r e s p e c t e d , w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f new d i s c l o s u r e s o f c h i l d abuse, w h i c h by l a w must be r e p o r t e d t o t h e M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s . No i d e n t i f y i n g i n f o r m a t i o n such as names o r a d d r e s s e s w i l l be used i n t h e r e s e a r c h s t u d y . I f you consent t o t h e i n t e r v i e w , you a r e f r e e t o w i t h d r a w a t any t i m e , o r t o r e f u s e t o answer any o f t h e q u e s t i o n s . Any such c h o i c e w i l l i n no way j e o p a r d i z e f u r t h e r t r e a t m e n t o r s e r v i c e s a t t h e F a m i l y P r a c t i c e U n i t . T h i s i n t e r v i e w w i l l t a k e one and a h a l f t o two h o u r s , and t o f a c i l i t a t e a c c u r a c y , w i l l be v i d e o - t a p e d . You may choose t o have t h e t a p i n g stopped at any t i m e . As you a r e aware from your t h e r a p y h e r e , w o r k i n g t h r o u g h t h e trauma f o l l o w i n g a s e x u a l abuse c a n be b o t h d i f f i c u l t and p a i n f u l . As t h e i n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n s a r e f o c u s e d on t h e p e r i o d d i r e c t l y f o l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e , s t r o n g emotions may be aroused i n you. These c a n e i t h e r be a d d r e s s e d as they a r i s e , o r i n a subsequent i n t e r v i e w w i t h your t h e r a p i s t at t h e F a m i l y P r a c t i c e U n i t . P l e a s e i n d i c a t e your f o r m a l consent t o b e i n g i n t e r v i e w e d and t o t h e u t i l i z a t i o n o f t h e i n t e r v i e w m a t e r i a l f o r t h e above n o t e d r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t . Your s i g n a t u r e a l s o acknowledges your r e c e i p t o f a copy o f t h e consent form. Signature  (mother)  Signature (Interviewer) Date  APPENDIX C  TRANSCRIPT OF SAMPLE INTERVIEW  I: M:  Interviewer Mother  I: I really this. M:  a p p r e c i a t e you b e i n g w i l l i n g  t o do  Oh, i t ' s no problem.  I: You must have been s u r p r i s e d t o g e t t h i s c a l l from Dr. H e r b e r t ? M: Ya, and i t was s t r a n g e because we had j u s t gone t o c o u r t on t h e 20th o f March. I:  And i t was j u s t a few days  later.  M: Ya, i t was j u s t t h e next week t h a t I g o t the c a l l . F i r s t I thought, i t was such a l e g a l nightmare so I thought oh no here we go.  Difficulties court  with  I: I have worked i n the area o f s e x u a l abuse f o r about s i x y e a r s now, m a i n l y working w i t h c h i l d r e n t h a t were abused o r a d u l t women who had been abused as c h i l d r e n and had never disclosed before. Nov/ I am doing a study o f mothers, and one o f t h e reasons I am d o i n g t h a t i s i f you look through t h e l i t e r a t u r e t h e r e i s v e r y l i t t l e i n f o r m a t i o n on mums, v e r y l i t t l e . There i s a l o t about what t h e c h i l d r e n go through and t h e r e i s a l o t o f s p e c u l a t i o n s on the o f f e n d e r , but mums t h e r e i s j u s t n o t much. M: I b e l i e v e t h a t j u s t from my own e x p e r i e n c e i n terms o f t r y i n g t o get some h e l p , someone t o t a l k t o about i t . I:  Ya, i t ' s a r e a l l y rough, r e a l l y rough t h i n g  Difficulties in g e t t i n g support  - 94 -  f o r mothers t o go t h r o u g h . And I don't t h i n k i t ' s acknowledged enough. I have a consent form t h a t I would l i k e you t o s i g n . M:  Do you want me t o d a t e i t ?  I: Yes. Here's a copy f o r you. There's my name i f f o r any r e a s o n you want t o g e t a h o l d of me a f t e r t h i s , you can c a l l me a t f a m i l y practice. I have a l i s t o f q u e s t i o n s t h a t I have been a s k i n g everyone. To s t a r t with I'd l i k e t o g e t an i d e a o f how you f i r s t heard about i t , about what had gone on. M: I went t o p i c k up my daughter Sue a t daycare, because she a t t e n d s f a m i l y d a y c a r e . I t was sometime between 4 and 4:30 i n the afternoon. When I got t h e r e t h e daycare mum t o l d me she wanted t o t a l k t o me and t o l d me she thought Sue was b e i n g s e x u a l l y abused. I don't remember e x a c t l y what terms she used, b u t b a s i c a l l y I b e l i e v e those were the terms, by her f a t h e r . So t h a t ' s how I found o u t . I:  Background r e disclosure  How o l d was she a t the time?  M: Sue was about f o u r and a h a l f , t h i s was the end o f J u l y .  Demographics: daughter f o u r and a half  I: What was your i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n when the teacher s a i d that? M: Um. I suppose shock, I don't know. You s o r t o f go i n t o a s h o c k - l i k e s t a t e . Shock and w e l l why do you t h i n k t h a t , because I hadn't had any i n d i c a t i o n . I hadn't seen a n y t h i n g t h a t I c o u l d put t o g e t h e r p r i o r t o t h a t . And I suppose because I work i n a - d e l e t e - f i e l d and t h e r e i s so much of i t going around and the f a c t t h a t I had s o r t o f missed i t . So I guess t h a t my f i r s t r e a c t i o n was one o f shock and d i s b e l i e f t h a t i t had happened. I:  Initial No p r i o r  reaction knowledge  I n i t i a l reaction, disbelief  What k i n d s of t h i n g s c l u e d her i n t o t h a t ?  M: W e l l b a s i c a l l y what had happened. Sue had been s c r a t c h i n g a t her g e n i t a l area and she had asked h e r why, and Sue made t h e comment t h a t her bum was sore, and L i a n n e , t h a t ' s the d a y c a r e worker, had s a i d I wonder why t h a t i s , and Sue s a i d my dad poked me, and L i a n n e s a i d oh you mean i n your tummy. And she s a i d no, i n my p r i v a t e zone. Which was not a term t h a t I used w i t h her, b u t a term used i n the d a y c a r e .  Background r e disclosure: told daycare worker  - 95 -  B a s i c a l l y , I guess t h a t was about i t . There was p r o b a b l y a b i t more d i s c u s s i o n about i t b e f o r e I came l i k e I t h i n k we b e t t e r t e l l your mum and she s a i d no because she had been t o l d not t o t e l l . Sue a l s o r e i n t e r a t e d the s t o r y t o the husband o f t h e daycare worker who happened to be home from work. I: What happened a f t e r t h a t ? D i d you come home w i t h h e r and c o n f r o n t your husband? M: Well a t t h a t time I wasn't l i v i n g with my husband. We had been s e p a r a t e d and he was s e e i n g Sue once a week on a c c e s s v i s i t s . So I f e l t p r e t t y , l i k e I d i d n ' t know q u i t e what t o do so I c a l l e d t h e man who i s now my husband, we were l i v i n g t o g e t h e r a t t h e t i m e . And t o l d him on t h e phone r o u g h l y what happened. The d a y c a r e worker and I t a l k e d b r i e f l y t o Sue there. We sent Sue away t o g e t her coat w h i l e she t o l d me t h i s . And then she came back and she k i n d o f s a i d Sue I t h i n k we b e t t e r t e l l your mum what happened. So Sue stuck her f i n g e r i n her mouth and t w i r l e d her h a i r and d i d n ' t say much o f a n y t h i n g . I c a l l e d my f i a n c e e a t the time and a l s o c a l l e d a f r i e n d . I wasn't sure what t h e n e x t s t e p was. Was I supposed t o c a l l Human Resources, was L i a n n e supposed t o c a l l Human Resources? I just wasn't sure what t o do and I f e l t t h a t I wanted a few minutes t o t h i n k so I arranged t o take Sue t o my f r i e n d s house so I c o u l d come home and t a l k t o Don about whether we s h o u l d w a i t t i l l tommorrow, whether we should do i t tonight. I wasn't sure what t h e p r o p e r procedure was. I knew i t had t o be r e p o r t e d , but I d i d n ' t know i n what a r e a . I was aware through my job t h a t the law had changed and t h a t any i n c i d e n c e o f abuse had t o be r e p o r t e d to t h e p o l i c e as w e l l . I wasn't t h i n k i n g p o l i c e , I was j u s t t h i n k i n g Human R e s o u r c e s . I got t o my f r i e n d s house dropped Sue o f f , came here. By t h e time I got here Don t o l d me t h a t he had c a l l e d the Emergency S e r v i c e s l i n e a t the M i n i s t r y o f Human Resources and w i t h o u t t e l l i n g them our names he o u t l i n e d the s i t u a t i o n and wanted t o know what we should do. The person he t a l k e d t o s a i d t h a t I should c a l l as soon as I g o t home, which I d i d . I t o l d them what I had been t o l d , he t o l d me t h a t I s h o u l d take Sue t o the h o s p i t a l t o have her checked. And t h a t when we got back I should c a l l him and we would s e t up an i n t e r v i e w time, a time when one of them would see Sue.  Demographics: s e p a r a t e d from husband Confusion re actions  Gathering  support  Confusion re actions  P r o t e c t i v e of c h i l d  Confusion re actions  Called authorities  - 96 -  I: So t h e r e was n o t the concern t h a t you would be coming home t o him because you had a l r e a d y been s e p a r a t e d . M:  That's  right.  I:  How l o n g had you been  separated?  M: We s e p a r a t e d i n 1985, so o v e r a y e a r and a half. I:  How l o n g ago was the d i s c l o s u r e now?  M:  That was J u l y , J u l y o f '86.  Demographics  Demographics  I: How l o n g had i t been g o i n g on do you f i g u r e , was i t when you were s t i l l t o g e t h e r ? M: No, I don't b e l i e v e s o . We r e a l l y haven't been a b l e t o d i s c e r n how l o n g i t was g o i n g on, except t h a t i t o c c u r r e d d u r i n g t h e access visits. That's about a l l we were a b l e t o p i n down. I t ' s d i f f i c u l t when you a r e d e a l i n g w i t h a v e r y young c h i l d because t h e i r concepts o f time a r e so d i f f e r e n t . So i t was r e a l l y difficult. But I had no i n d i c a t i o n . t h a t i t had been g o i n g on. I had l e f t my husband a f t e r he had b e a t me s e v e r e l y and t h r e a t e n e d t o k i l l me w i t h a shotgun. We had an a b u s i v e s o r t of relationship. And I had s t a y e d about f i v e weeks i n a t r a n s i t i o n house a f t e r l e a v i n g . And I know a t t h a t p o i n t t h e c o u n s e l l o r s t h e r e had t a l k e d t o me about whether t h e r e was any i n d i c a t i o n o f t h a t because as we were t r y i n g t o d e c i d e what I s h o u l d do about custody and a c c e s s because t h e c o u n s e l l o r s t r y and h e l p you work through some f o your thoughts on i t . And they q u e s t i o n e d me whether I had any i n d i c a t i o n of any problems and I had none. There c o u l d have been, b u t I sure had no i n d i c a t i o n t h a t t h e r e was a n y t h i n g going on.  No p r i o r knowledge Description of p r i o r relationship  I: What was t h a t l i k e f o r you f i n d i n g o u t and s o r t o f t h i n k i n g oh my God I never saw t h a t ? M: W e l l i t makes you f e e l g u i l t y because t h e r e had been some t h i n g s t h a t had happened d u r i n g May - June, p r e c e d i n g t h i s J u l y d i s c l o s u r e , Sue b e i n g l e s s w i l l i n g t o get out of the c a r . We had a meeting p l a c e arranged, I d i d n ' t r e a l l y want him coming t o the house. I feel, the p o l i c e f e e l t h a t he i s a v e r y v i o l e n t and dangerous person, and I j u s t wanted him as f a r away from the t h i n g s t h a t were r e a l l y c l o s e t o  G u i l t - searching f o r missed c l u e s  - 97 -  me as I c o u l d . And h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Sue had seemed okay t o me. I t seemed t o be g o i n g well. D u r i n g the i n i t i a l time o f s e p a r a t i o n he d i d n o t see h e r f o r e i g h t months. And d u r i n g t h a t e i g h t months she had asked on numerous o c c a s s i o n s t o see h e r f a t h e r , o r where was her father, that kind of t h i n g . And then when the a c c e s s v i s i t s f i n a l l y began she was always q u i t e happy t o go. In f a c t she l o o k e d forward to i t . She'd jumped up and down and say y a y . Around May o r June t h a t changed. She no l o n g e r asked about h e r f a t h e r . She no l o n g e r v e r b a l i z e d w i t h o u t any k i n d o f prompting, no l o n g e r l o o k e d forward t o g o i n g . She never s a i d she d i d n ' t want t o go. But a l l o f a sudden what had been a r e a l excitement j u s t changed f o r h e r and she seemed n o t as t h r i l l e d w i t h g o i n g . And t h e r e were a c o u p l e o f i n s t a n c e s i n May - June when she was v e r y r e l u c t a n t t o g e t o u t o f t h e c a r and I j u s t k i n d o f coaxed h e r o u t . And a g a i n she never r e f u s e d t o go. She never came back from s e e i n g him c r y i n g o r anything. But I s t i l l f e l t maybe I s h o u l d have been p a y i n g more a t t e n t i o n t o what was g o i n g on. Maybe, I don't know what I would have done d i f f e r e n t l y ... I t j u s t never ever ever o c c u r r e d t o me t h a t he would do something l i k e that. I mean I can imagine a l o t o f r e a l l y bad t h i n g s about him because o f h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h me b u t t h a t goes beyond what you t h i n k p e o p l e t h a t you know a r e c a p a b l e o f .  Q u e s t i o n s own judgement  G u i l t f o r missing clues  Not i n h e r r e p e r t o i r e of what p e o p l e do  I: E s p e c i a l l y someone t h a t you- were m a r r i e d to... M: Yes, t h a t ' s r i g h t . I suppose I f e l t a l i t t l e b i t g u i l t y t h a t maybe I hadn't pursued t h i s not wanting t o get out o f the c a r a l i t t l e b i t more. And an overwhelming f e e l i n g o f  G u i l t f o r missing clues  disbelief.  Disbelief  J u s t not b e l i e v i n g  I:  What do you t h i n k t h a t was  M:  The f e e l i n g o f d i s b e l i e f ?  I: of  it. about?  Yes, because you thought he wasn't c a p a b l e d o i n g something l i k e t h a t ?  M: W e l l i t seems l i k e such an awful t h i n g t o me. A f o u r and a h a l f year o l d c h i l d not t h a t you can ever understand something l i k e i n c e s t , but you can maybe see something i f the c h i l d i s k i n d of c l o s e r t o b e i n g a woman, a t e e n a g e r . But a l i t t l e g i r l , i t j u s t goes beyond a n y t h i n g  Reactions:  anguish  - 98 -  t h a t I c o u l d imagine. You can imagine i t i n a t h e o r e t i c a l sense I guess b u t i t ' s very hard when i t ' s ... I:  When you see t h i s  little  Not i n h e r r e p e r t o i r e o f what p e o p l e do  child...  M: T h i s l i t t l e c h i l d , she's a v e r y l i t t l e c h i l d , she's j u s t l i k e a baby. So i t wasn't per se t h a t I d i d n ' t t h i n k he was c a p a b l e I c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t anyone you know c o u l d be capable of that kind of behavior with a c h i l d . And a g a i n a young c h i l d ' s d i s c l o s u r e i s v e r y d i f f e r e n t than an o l d e r c h i l d who can be r e a l l y p r e c i s e about what happened, and when i t happened. With a c h i l d t h e i n d i c a t o r s a r e d i f f e r e n t , the s t o r i e s are d i f f e r e n t . And you t e n d t o wonder c o u l d she be f a n t a s i z i n g o r something l i k e t h a t . Kind o f a f e e l i n g o f shock as you a r e g o i n g through a l l t h e motions of a l l t h e t h i n g s you have t o do. I f the s o c i a l worker says go t o t h e h o s p i t a l you go t o the h o s p i t a l . I t ' s l i k e your b r a i n i s n ' t functioning a t i t s usual l e v e l . You a r e k i n d of s a y i n g okay you guys know what t o do and I don't know what t o do i n t h i s c a s e .  Not i n h e r r e p e r t o i r e of what p e o p l e do  Questions c h i l d ' s story Questions c h i l d ' s story I n i t i a l reaction, shock  Loss of c o n t r o l , confusion  I: Right. When do you t h i n k i t changed from the d i s b e l i e f t o ya t h i s i s r e a l l y happening? M: I suppose i t went on and o f f f o r s e v e r a l months. When t h e s o c i a l worker i n t e r v i e w e d Sue the next day, and I l i s t e n e d t o the s t o r y Sue t o l d , because i t was t h e f i r s t time t h a t I h e a r d Sue t e l l t h e s t o r y . A g a i n t h e r e i s t h i s f e e l i n g t h a t you a r e s t a n d i n g back t h e r e k i n d of g o i n g , t h i s h a s n ' t r e a l l y happened. And I t a l k e d t o t h e s o c i a l worker a f t e r w a r d s and she b a s i c a l l y s a i d t h a t young c h i l d r e n don't l i e about t h e s e t h i n g s because t h e y s h o u l d n ' t have any knowledge of them. Because I q u e s t i o n e d her a c t u a l l y on the f a n t a s y i s s u e , c o u l d she have f a n t a s i z e d because Sue has a d o l l f o r i n s t a n c e t h a t she c a l l s h e r l i t t l e s i s t e r and she t r e a t s t h a t d o l l very much l i k e a baby. And t h e s o c i a l worker s a i d t h a t l i t t l e k i d s don't f a n t a s i z e about t h i s because they don't have t h a t k i n d o f knowledge. They can f a n t a s i z e about a d o l l being a baby because t h a t ' s something t h a t i s i n t h e i r l i f e experience. But they don't f a n t a s i z e about p e o p l e p o k i n g t h e i r f i n g e r s i n s i d e them because t h a t s h o u l d n ' t be happening t o a l i t t l e c h i l d . So I guess t h a t was, I guess when I began t o a c c e p t i t a l i t t l e more. But again i t went on  I n i t i a l reaction, shock Disbelief  Questions c h i l d ' s story  Ambivalence r e believing  - 99 -  and o f f f o r a p e r i o d of t i m e . Sue saw a p s y c h o l o g i s t l a s t f a l l f o r ten v i s i t s . P a r t of i t was to get what's c o n s i d e r e d e x p e r t e v i d e n c e f o r the c o u r t , and the o t h e r p a r t was t o look at whether Sue had any l a s t i n g trauma from this. Her c o n c l u s i o n s were v e r y d e f i n i t e l y t h a t i t had o c c u r r e d and yes i t was her f a t h e r t h a t had done i t . And t h a t was a g a i n r e i n f o r c i n g to my b e l i e f as opposed t o my disbelief.  Sought t h e r a p y f o r child  Ambivalence r e believing: professional assistance  I: D i d your ex-husband deny i t when they first...? M:  Yes,  Demographics  he c o n t i n u e s t o deny i t .  I: When was your f i r s t i t a l l came out?  c o n t a c t w i t h him  after  M: W e l l I saw him f o r the f i r s t time a t the p r e l i m i n a r y c o u r t h e a r i n g i n September. I: Oh, so a f t e r you heard from the daycare had no c o n t a c t w i t h him?  you  M: I had no c o n t a c t with him. He c a l l e d here, the d i s c l o s u r e happened on Tuesday-, the p o l i c e became i n v o l v e d and c o n t a c t e d me l a t e r t h a t day. They wanted t o , they d i d n ' t have any p h y s i c a l m e d i c a l e v i d e n c e , t h e r e had been an a b r a s i o n t h a t the d o c t o r i n emergency had n o t i c e d , and he c o u l d n ' t say yes or no. And I l a t e r found t h a t t h a t ' s q u i t e normal i n cases like this. So they wanted to have her a s s e s s e d , seen by p e o p l e e i t h e r a t Shaunnessy, or Dr. H e r b e r t . And Dr. H e r b e r t happened t o be on h o l i d a y s a t t h a t p o i n t . Our f a m i l y was j u s t about t o go on h o l i d a y s . We had a camping t r i p t o Oregon p l a n n e d . And so they c o n v i n c e d us t h a t we s h o u l d go ahead with C a r o l H e r b e r t see h e r . And they f e l t i t was okay f o r us t o go ahead on h o l i d a y s . We would be back i n two weeks, and i t would a l l be a r r a n g e d , the time would be s e t up f o r a f t e r we got back. There was a problem w i t h the upcoming Saturday a c c e s s because they d i d not want ... A c t u a l l y we went round and round w i t h t h i s because the s o c i a l worker had t o l d me t h a t I a b s o l u t e l y c o u l d not l e t Sue see her f a t h e r . And i f I d i d t h a t i t would become a p r o t e c t i o n i s s u e . Because i t was not a p r o t e c t i o n i s s u e a t t h i s p o i n t because I have c u s t o d y . So as long as I d i d n ' t l e t her go w i t h her f a t h e r , i t wasn't a p r o t e c t i o n i s s u e , t h e r e was n o t h i n g they c o u l d  Background r e disclosure  Frustrations system  with  - 100  -  do. Which was one of the r e a l l y f r u s t r a t i n g t h i n g s t o me. Because I had always assumed t h a t MHR c o u l d do more than they a c t u a l l y do i n those c a s e s . They c o u l d do n o t h i n g u n l e s s I l e t her go w i t h her f a t h e r . In which case they c o u l d take a c t i o n a g a i n s t me f o r a l l o w i n g i t . Not t h a t I'd l e t her go anyway, but they c o u l d take no a c t i o n o r a n y t h i n g a g a i n s t the f a t h e r . And they themselves don't l a u n c h i n v e s t i g a t i o n s o f those s o r t s of t h i n g s i n t h i s k i n d of a s i t u a t i o n . A g a i n which was d i f f e r e n t about what my e x p e c t a t i o n was, and v e r y f r u s t r a t i n g . Because they a r e s a y i n g we b e l i e v e her and t h i s i s what you have to do, but we c a n ' t do a n y t h i n g f o r you i s what they a r e s a y i n g , which i s v e r y frustrating. I was a d v i s e d t o go t o my lawyer and have the a c c e s s removed. Which I did.. I c o n t a c t e d my lawyer the day b e f o r e we were t o go on h o l i d a y s . The p o l i c e d i d n ' t even want me to make t h a t s t e p because i t would a l e r t him, t h e y d i d n ' t want him a l e r t e d . They d i d n ' t want him a l e r t e d u n t i l they were p r e p a r e d t o do something. But I f e l t , I d i d not want t o go on h o l i d a y s w i t h o u t having the a c c e s s t h i n g i n the process. I j u s t f e l t uncomfortable with t h a t . So the l e g a l p r o c e s s was s t a r t e d w h i l e we were away on h o l i d a y s , t o have the a c c e s s changed. And we got no a c c e s s f o r one month b a s i c a l l y a t t h a t time u n t i l t h e r e was f u r t h e r investigation. So I had no c o n t a c t w i t h him. He c a l l e d h e r e . The p o l i c e t o l d me t o , t h a t I s h o u l d t e l l him he c o u l d n ' t see Sue on Saturday f o r one r e a s o n o r another, but not t o t e l l , not to g i v e away why. So a c t u a l l y my husband, my f i a n c e e a t the time c a l l e d , because I a c t u a l l y f e l t t h a t i f I got my ex on the phone t h a t he would argue w i t h me. And I thought i t would be s i m p l e r i f my f i a n c e e phoned because I thought t h e r e was l e s s of a chance of a p r o l o n g e d argument. And g o i n g back to the f a c t t h a t I am s t i l l v e r y v e r y s c a r e d o f my ex-husband. We l i t e r a l l y were p a c k i n g our van to l e a v e , t o get out of here as soon as the message had been l e f t with my ex-husband t h a t he c o u l d n ' t see Sue, because I thought he might ... He d i d n ' t have the address, but I d i d n ' t know f o r sure whether he d i d or d i d n ' t . L i k e I'd never g i v e n i t to him but I d i d n ' t know. I: What was i t l i k e f o r p r e l i m i n a r y hearing?  you s e e i n g him a t the  P r o t e c t i v e of  child  C o n f u s i o n re systems  Took p r o t e c t i v e actions  Protective actions  Abusive  relationship  - 101  -  M: I t was yucky! L i k e I c o u l d n ' t h a r d l y even l o o k a t him. I t was a chambers h e a r i n g and i n a chambers h e a r i n g a l l the lawyers show up a t q u a r t e r t o t e n and i t j u s t goes each case by each c a s e . I t ' s not l i k e you have your own thing. The l o n g e r the a p p l i c a t i o n i t was expected to be, the l a t e r i n the day your case would be h e a r d . Our case was not heard u n t i l three o'clock. So we d i d n ' t even go i n the courtroom u n t i l t h e n . My f i a n c e e was w i t h me. And we j u s t s t a y e d o u t s i d e , we walked around, we had c o f f e e , we s a t . My ex-husband s a t i n the courtroom a l l day. I j u s t found t h a t I c o u l d n ' t even l o o k a t him. I just couldn't even l o o k a t him.  Court process  Support of p a r t n e r  Feelings offender  towards  I: D i d you e v e r have a sense t h a t you s t i l l had some l o y a l t y t o your ex-husband and you had to make a c h o i c e o r not b e l i e v e your daughter, or not b e l i e v e what was happening because he had been your husband and you c o u l d n ' t t h i n k t h a t of someone who was once your husband? M: W e l l , I never f e l t t h a t I had t o make a choice. I never had t h a t s e n s a t i o n . I guess because we were l i v i n g a p a r t and because the f e l i n g s between he and I were not p a r t i c u l a r l y w o n d e r f u l , I never f e l t I had t o make a choice. There were times when I f e l t I don't know i f s o r r y f o r him i s q u i t e the r i g h t phrase. I guess t h e r e were times when I had some doubts about i t , t h a t I thought i t must be awful f o r him i f he d i d n ' t do i t . S o r t of the anger towards him ebbed up and down t o o . But I never f e l t t h a t t h e r e was ever any c h o i c e t o be made. I f e l t t h a t t h e r e was a p a t h t h a t had t o be f o l l o w e d . So I never had any second thoughts about i t o r f e l t t h a t I s h o u l d be d o i n g o t h e r w i s e , or wanted to p r o t e c t him, i f t h a t s o r t o f answers your q u e s t i o n . I:  Yes.  M: I can understand f o r women who were s t i l l i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e i r husband t h a t i t would be, t h e r e would be f a r more of t h a t tendency. But I d i d n ' t r e a l l y have t h a t feeling. I: What was i t l i k e w i t h the people around you l i k e f a m i l y , f r i e n d s or p r o f e s s i o n a l s ? I'm wondering i f they were p u s h i n g you i n any way, or e n c o u r a g i n g you i n any way t o do t h i s or t o do t h a t , or t e l l i n g you you s h o u l d have done t h i s , or s h o u l d have known t h a t ?  No c h o i c e  Feelings offender  issues  towards  Determination re protective actions  - 102  -  M: No, I d i d n ' t sense t h a t w i t h Don. He's j u s t l i k e a rock. He's j u s t one of those p e o p l e who i s steady as a rock, and he i s j u s t the most s u p p o r t i v e p e r s o n , he's so supportive. He never pushed, he was most h e l p f u l i n d e a l i n g ... he k i n d of gave me c o n f i d e n c e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n d e a l i n g w i t h the p o l i c e , because a t f i r s t we had some d i f f i c u l t y with them because they had wanted us to w a i t t h i s p e r i o d of time b e f o r e we proceeded w i t h a n y t h i n g and I was bound and determined t h a t I was not g o i n g t o w a i t . So j u s t h a v i n g h i s support r e a l l y helped there. Our c l o s e s t f r i e n d s , a m a r r i e d c o u p l e a c t u a l l y , t h a t both my ex-husband and 1 had known, but they had b a s i c a l l y been more my f r i e n d s and had s t a y e d f r i e n d s w i t h me. Both of them had q u i t e a sense of d i s b e l i e f t h a t he c o u l d have done i t . Not, j u s t l i k e they c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t a f a t h e r would do t h a t . And a g a i n I t h i n k i t stems from t h a t you can't b e l i e v e someone you know would do something l i k e t h a t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t i s something t h a t you y o u r s e l f would not do. I t ' s h a r d t o imagine t h a t somebody e l s e would do i t . So I would f i n d t h a t even the l e a s t l i t t l e b i t of d i s b e l i e f e x p r e s s e d by o t h e r p e o p l e would s h a t t e r me. L i k e I wanted p e o p l e t o say yes we b e l i e v e . Because I guess of my own sense of s h a k i n e s s about what was happening. So they know because t h a t was where I had t a k e n Sue t h a t o r i g i n a l day. I didn't t e l l anybody e l s e f o r a l o n g p e r i o d of t i m e . I d i d n ' t t e l l my mother. I don't t h i n k I told my mother u n t i l about the end of August, and then I t o l d h e r . And a g a i n a tremendous amount of shock on her p a r t , r e a l shock.- P r o b a b l y l e s s d i s b e l i e f , j u s t more k i n d of h o r r o r t h a t t h i s could be happening. She had no i d e a t h a t my marriage was as a b u s i v e or v i o l e n t as i t was u n t i l the marriage broke up. As I began t o t e l l her the k i n d s of t h i n g s t h a t had been g o i n g on, t h a t was j u s t beyond her c a p a c i t y t o accept. So t h i s was another one of s o r t of sheer shock.  Partner helpful  supportive,  Self-determination re protective actions  Not i n r e p e r t o i r e of what people do  Need f o r s u p p o r t belief  Secrecy  Family's  reactions  I: You say your f r i e n d s had a l o t of d i s b e l i e f and t h a t t h a t r e a l l y shook you up, d i d you s t a r t to q u e s t i o n then w e l l maybe I s h o u l d n ' t be b e l i e v i n g , they are r i g h t ? M: I suppose I d i d . You know, I suppose I had some q u e s t i o n about, I guess I never r e a l l y q u e s t i o n e d t h a t I had done the r i g h t t h i n g by c a l l i n g the s o c i a l worker. That was one of the  re  Ambivalence believing  re  - 103 -  other things I b e l i e v e d . I had a s t r o n g sense, I guess some o f t h i s even came through my j o b , t h i s i s t h e law and t h i s i s what the law r e q u i r e s t h a t anybody do. And so I have t o do this. I was going v e r y much on t h e i r e s t i m a t i o n o f t h e s i t u a t i o n , because I f e l t unable t o make a judgement. Sue i s n o t a c h i l d t h a t l i e s a l o t . You know I had no r e a s o n t o t h i n k t h a t she would l i e . But I f e l t t h a t I was t o t a l l y over my head. L i k e how do I make a judgement? I guess t o some e x t e n t you don't want t o b e l i e v e something l i k e t h a t c o u l d happen. So when my f r i e n d s would e x p r e s s , and they d i d n ' t do i t v e r y much, b u t r i g h t around the time o f d i s c l o s u r e t h e r e was a c e r t a i n sense on t h e i r p a r t t h a t I can't b e l i e v e i t , I j u s t c a n ' t b e l i e v e he c o u l d have done something like that. And then t h a t would r e i n f o r c e t h a t I c a n ' t b e l i e v e he has done i t . I b e l i e v e d somebody e l s e had done i t . I t was hard t o a c c e p t t h a t i t had happened.  Belief i n legal system  Loss o f judgement  Loss o f c o n t r o l Ambivalence r e b e l i e f  Need f o r support r e believing Ambivalence r e b e l i e f  I: With t h e s e p e o p l e around you was t h e r e anyone who was s o r t o f q u e s t i o n i n g you or angry a t you f o r n o t s e e i n g i t and n o t knowing? M: No, no. None o f t h a t . So i n t h a t way everyone was r e a l l y s u p p o r t i v e . Everyone was j u s t r u n n i n g around i n t h i s s t a t e o f shock. The p e o p l e t h a t knew, and a g a i n n o t t h a t many p e o p l e knew because i t was something I r e a l l y d i d n ' t want t o t e l l v e r y many p e o p l e . I:  Need f o r support vs need f o r p r i v a c y  Why do you t h i n k t h a t i s ?  M: I don't know. I f e l t the same way when t h e m a r r i a g e ended, i t was hard t o t a l k about being s e p a r a t e d . And i t was r e a l l y hard f o r a w h i l e to t a l k about what had happened, because i t ' s not n i c e . I t ' s n o t , l i k e okay i f your m a r r i a g e breaks down because you a r e f i g h t i n g o r i n c o m p a t i b l e , o r even perhaps i f someone i s h a v i n g an a f f a i r . But the f a c t t h a t you have been s e v e r l y beaten, almost k i l l e d , i t ' s n o t nice. I r e a l i z e t h e r e i s a tendency of people t h i n k i n g t h a t i t o n l y happens t o s o r t o f low income. You know, I know b e t t e r , I have been t o t h e workshops I have r e a d t h e s t u d i e s . But you get the i d e a t h a t i t j u s t doesn't happen i n n i c e f a m i l i e s . I guess I'm assuming, I never r e a l l y thought i t through a l o t . But I know I had t h a t r e a c t i o n a t t h e time o f s e p a r a t i o n , i t was very d i f f i c u l t t o t a l k t o people about what had happened. And t h i s a g a i n became a t h i n g .  Fear o f stigmatization  - 104  -  i t was almost l i k e i t was d i r t y . L i k e you d i d n ' t want t o have p e o p l e have you a s s o c i a t e d with i t .  Fear of stigmatization  I: So somehow what had happened t o your daughter was r e f l e c t i n g on you? M: W e l l , I wouldn't say i t was r e f l e c t i n g on me. But t h a t , I suppose you c o u l d l o o k a t i t t h a t way, but i t was more l i k e , I don't know. I d i d n ' t s o r t o f see i t as a r e f l e c t i o n e x a c t l y , but I guess I was u n c e r t a i n how p e o p l e wouldrespond t o i t o r what they would t h i n k . The p e o p l e t h a t d i d know, my c l o s e f r i e n d s , i t was t h a t f e e l i n g o f shock. So anyone t h a t i s f a r t h e r away from you i n terms of your f r i e n d s h i p c i r c l e , how a r e they g o i n g t o r e a c t with i t ? I: What were your f e a r s i n how react?  Concern r e responses of f r i e n d s / f a m i l y  someone might  M: I don't know. I guess I k i n d of wanted t h i n g s t o be normal w i t h p e o p l e . I d i d n ' t want t h a t to become a major t o p i c o f c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h everybody. And I f i g u r e d , c e r t a i n l y i n my c i r c l e of f r i e n d s , t o the b e s t o f my knowledge nobody's c h i l d had been abused by anybody. So i t would be a shock t o p e o p l e . I t ' s a shock when someone you know goes through an experience l i k e that. So t h a t i t becomes a t o p i c of conversation. I d i d n ' t want i t t o become a t o p i c of c o n v e r s a t i o n , l i k e I d i d n ' t want p e o p l e t o know about i t . I wanted e v e r y t h i n g t o be normal. I d i d n ' t want i t t o be t h e t h i n g t h a t everybody t a l k e d about when I saw them. I t was a p r e t t y tumultuous time and I k i n d of wanted as much as p o s s i b l e t o be as normal as p o s s i b l e . A l t h o u g h i t was on my mind a l o t and Don and I t a l k e d about i t a l o t , I d i d n ' t want every p l a c e I went i t t o be the t o p i c of conversation. I wanted t o be a b l e t o get away from i t . I: Yes. I t h i n k i t ' s a time when you f e e l so out o f c o n t r o l because you don't know what i s going on, or how the system works, and as you s a i d you f e l t over your head w i t h i t , so t r y i n g to get t h a t normalcy i n your l i f e i s a way of f e e l i n g some c o n t r o l over ...  Need f o r normalcy  Concern r e responses of f r i e n d s  Need f o r p r i v a c y  Need f o r normalcy Need t o t a l k i t out Need t o escape  M: Yes. I guess t h a t ' s i t . I wanted e v e r y t h i n g o u t s i d e what was g o i n g on to be normal and I f e l t t h a t the more p e o p l e t h a t knew, the more apt i t was to be t a l k e d about. And I j u s t d i d n ' t want t h a t , c e r t a i n l y not at that point. Now t h a t changed a b i t l a t e r on. But c e r t a i n l y through most of l a s t f a l l I r e a l l y d i d n ' t want t o share t h a t w i t h too many people.  Need f o r normalcy Maintaining  control  Need f o r p r i v a c y  I: T r y i n g to keep t h a t sense of normal around you was p r o b a b l y a r e a l l y h e a l t h y t h i n g f o r you to do f o r the f a m i l y at t h a t t i m e . M: Yes, and I guess I d i d n ' t want anybody t o respond d i f f e r e n t l y to Sue e i t h e r , t h a t she be t r e a t e d any d i f f e r e n t l y by anybody. I just wanted to be normal. L i k e normal. And t h e r e were times when I j u s t wanted to~ wish the whole t h i n g away, wish i t had never happened. P a r t i c u l a r l y d u r i n g some of the more f r u s t r a t i n g moments of d e a l i n g w i t h systems.  Concern f o r daughter Need f o r normalcy Need to escape Frustrations systems  of  I: I t h i n k some mothers f e e l a c e r t a i n amount of p r o t e c t i v e n e s s towards t h e i r c h i l d r e n , as w e l l as f e e l i n g l i k e you want them t o be independent and l e a r n some independence, and I'm wondering what b e i n g a mother means to you w i t h t h a t b a l a n c e of p r o t e c t i v e n e s s and independence, and a sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as a mum? M: I:  A s i d e from t h i s  s i t u a t i o n , just i n general?  Yes.  M: I guess I wouldn't say t h a t I was o v e r l y p r o t e c t i v e of h e r . Sometimes i t ' s hard to see t h a t your k i d s are growing up and t h a t t h e i r c a p a b i l i t i e s are changing. I f i n d f o r me I have a tendency to sometimes to c o n t i n u e to t r e a t her as though she were younger than she r e a l l y were because i t ' s hard f o r me on a day t o day b a s i s t o r e a l i z e t h a t she i s growing up. And my e x p e c t a t i o n s of her need to change. I t h i n k I have a d e l a y e d r e a c t i o n t o that. I'm behind where I should be. I have never been a mum t o push much. I enjoy l i t t l e children. I'm not sure t h a t I enjoy o l d e r c h i l d r e n as much. I'm sure I ' l l l o v e my own daughter. But what I am s a y i n g i s t h a t I l i k e b a b i e s and p r e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n and I'm not as sure i n g e n e r a l t h a t I l i k e 7, 8, 9 year o l d s as w e l l as a group. And so I haven't been i n  Awareness of mothering i s s u e s  - 106  -  any h u r r y f o r her t o grow up. L i k e a l o t of my f r i e n d s are p u s h i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n t o activities. L i k e they are i n t h i s and they are i n t h a t , and they are d o i n g t h i s and they are d o i n g t h a t , and they are i n 50 m i l l i o n t h i n g s . And they are t e a c h i n g them how t o read when they are f o u r . And I j u s t never ever been i n t o t h a t k i n d of t h i n g . I have a b e l i e f t h a t c h i l d r e n k i n d of grow a t t h e i r own r a t e . I suppose t h a t I have f e l t a l i t t l e p r o t e c t i v e of her because over the l a s t two y e a r s , s i n c e the marriage ended i t ' s been v e r y d i f f i c u l t f o r me. And I'm sure i t ' s been d i f f i c u l t f o r her because we have l i v e d i n so many p l a c e s we moved so many times d u r i n g those two y e a r s . And then I keep t h i n k i n g o f the f a c t t h a s t she was l i v i n g i n a home w i t h a f a t h e r , mother, and grandmother, and she goes to bed one n i g h t and she gets up the next morning and mums gone, dads gone, and baba's s t i l l t h e r e . But I remember her t a l k i n g t o me about baba c l e a n i n g up the b l o o d on the f l o o r . So she o b v i o u s l y saw something. And then i n the a f t e r n o o n her mother comes and p i c k s her up and her mother i s u n r e c o g n i z a b l e , j u s t beaten and b r u i s e d . And p i c k s her up out of a nap, packs a few bags of c l o t h i n g and o f f we go t o a s t r a n g e house where t h e r e are a l l k i n d s of mothers and k i d s . Just a whole mass of change, and mum i s upset, and s i c k . And t h e r e i s a homemaker coming i n t o take care of her, because you are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t a k i n g c a r e of your own k i d a t the t r a n s i t i o n house. And because I was so i l l , I had some s o r t of a b r a i n problem so I was d i z z y , so I had to be i n bed f o r about t h r e e or f o u r days. I couldn't get up or I would be d i z z y and v o m i t i n g . So they had a homemaker coming i n and she d i d n ' t want the homemaker, she wanted mum. And mum t r i e d t o keep her w i t h her and read, but how do you keep a t h r e e year o l d who wants t o run a l l o v e r the p l a c e . And then we moved up t o Richmond and l i v e d f o r a w h i l e , and then we were h o u s e s i t t i n g f o r a w h i l e . I was r e a l l y upset d u r i n g t h i s time. A l o t of r e a l e m o t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s myself d e a l i n g w i t h the ending of the marriage, g e t t i n g out on my own. I was r e a l l y u p s e t . I t h i n k perhaps h a r s h e r w i t h her than I n o r m a l l y would have been. What I'm s a y i n g i s I have a tendency even now t o k i n d of want to make i t up to h e r . I: • For?  P r o t e c t i v e of  child  D e s c r i t i o n of p h y s i c a l l y abusive marriage and r e s u l t i n g stay i n t r a n s i t i o n house  Attempt to make i t up to c h i l d  - 107  -  M: For a l l the trauma of t h a t t i m e . Of a l l the changes. I look a t o t h e r k i d s who live n i c e normal s t a b l e l i v e s , and t h a t ' s b a s i c a l l y most o f my f r i e n d s because t h a t ' s the s o r t of c i r c l e that I l i v e with. My f r i e n d s a r e n ' t the p e o p l e who are g o i n g through t h a t s o r t of stuff. I r e a l i z e p e o p l e do, c e r t a i n l y I see i t i n my job a l l the t i m e . But I a l s o see the e f f e c t s of i t [ i n my job.] I see what happens t o k i d s when t h e r e are l o t s of moves, l o t s of u p h e a v e l , l o t s of d i s r u p t i o n . I t ' s r e a l l y h a r d f o r them t o get t h e i r f e e t p l a n t e d , and t o do well in school. B a s i c a l l y f o r a p e r i o d of time I saw Sue's development j u s t s t o p . She c o n t i n u e d to grow a b i t , a l t h o u g h she went one whole y e a r w i t h o u t g a i n i n g a n y t h i n g . She went from t h r e e to f o u r w i t h o u t g a i n i n g even h a l f a pound. She got a b i t t a l l e r , but she d i d n ' t gain anything. Her development i n terms of her f i n e motor s k i l l s , e v e r y t h i n g j u s t seemed t o come to a s t o p . And s o c i a l l y I f e l t she r e g r e s s e d a b i t . And I f e l t r e s p o n s i b l e f o r that. And i t ' s l i k e k i n d of wanting to make i t up t o her, t o make e v e r y t h i n g okay f o r her. And maybe i n some ways m a t e r i a l l y because I'm able. Maybe tended t o buy a l o t more f o r her than I might n o r m a l l y have. J u s t somehow t r y i n g t o make i t okay f o r h e r . And then of course t h i s whole trauma now w i t h her f a t h e r .  Stigma  Responsible f o r c h i l d ' s l a c k of growth  Attempts to make i t up t o c h i l d  I: How d i d t h a t i n f l u e n c e t h i n g s i n your way of t h i n k i n g of y o u r s e l f as a mother and sense of p r o t e c t i v e n e s s when you heard about the sexual a s s a u l t ? M: W e l l , a c t u a l l y , I t h i n k i n i t i a l l y t h e r e was t h i s f e e l i n g of wanting t o p r o t e c t h e r . I know t h a t the p s y c h o l o g i s t we saw put i n her r e p o r t and she t o l d me a l s o t h a t she d i d n ' t sense i n me t h a t o v e r p r o t e c t i v e n e s s t h a t shows up i n a l o t of mothers. She thought I was d e a l i n g w i t h t h i n g s v e r y very w e l l , which was r e a s s u r i n g to me. But what I have found i s tended t o make me much more s u s p i c i o u s of s t r a n g e s i t u a t i o n s i f she i s not r e a c t i n g e x a c t l y r i g h t . For i n s t a n c e Sue i n i n daycare now. And the woman has a 20 y e a r o l d son t h a t l i v e s at home. Normally t h a t k i n d of t h i n g would not have e n t e r e d my mind. I am not a p e r s o n who goes around s e e i n g sexual abusers under every bush. I know a l o t of p e o p l e f o c u s i n on i t , but I choose to b e l i e v e t h a t the m a j o r i t y of people are not g o i n g to do t h a t k i n d of t h i n g . But now I f i n d I am v e r y , I look at t h i n g s more  P r o t e c t i v e of  child  Suspicious  T r u s t vs  suspiscion  - 108 -  c a r e f u l l y , which may be p a r t i a l l y good. But I f i n d t h a t I am m o r e s u s p i c i o u s i n g e n e r a l o f s t r a n g e s i t u a t i o n s , or t h i n g s t h a t I cannot a b s o l u t e l y account f o r . And y e t t h e a s s a u l t o r the abuse o f Sue was not w i t h a s t r a n g e r . But I guess because I missed t h e o r i g i n a l s i g n a l s , the r e l u c t a n c e suddenly t o go w i t h her f a t h e r . A l o t o f d i s c u s s i o n o f tummy aches, she used t o haave tummy aches i n the mornings when she used t o go see her dad. And I knew t h a t sometimes those tummy aches came up when she d i d n ' t want t o do something. Sometimes when you asked h e r to p i c k up her t o y s she'd d e v e l o p a tummy ache. But I d i d n ' t p u t i t t o g e t h e r . I didn't put i t t o g e t h e r f a s t enough. So t h a t has made me a l i t t l e more s e l f - d o u b t i n g o f me, which has made me a l i t t l e more s u s p i c i o u s o f a n y t h i n g , I t e n d t o l o o k a l o t more c a r e f u l l y now.  Self-doubting, q u e s t i o n s judgement  I: That must have been r e a l l y hard a t t h a t p o i n t as you s a i d when you became more s e l f - d o u b t i n g o f y o u r s e l f , t h a t must have been a rough p i e c e f o r you ... M: Ya, because I was a l r e a d y f e e l i n g ... You know I d i d n ' t l e a v e t h e m a r r i a g e by c h o i c e although I l e f t . But I somehow f e l t , I j u s t f e l t b a d l y f o r h a v i n g t o p u t h e r through a l l the t h i n g s t h a t happened, and t h a t j u s t r e i n f o r c e d i t a g a i n , t h a t here she was g o i n g through something. And then a g a i n a c e r t a i n amount o f g u i l t i n s o r t o f a broad sense, how c o u l d I have p i c k e d a man t h a t would have done something l i k e t h i s ? So I r e a l l y screwed up, even b e f o r e she was even b o r n . That wasn't a major f o c u s , b u t i t , you know ...  G u i l t f o r marrying, self-blame Q u e s t i o n s judgement  I: T h a t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t you say t h a t because t h e l a s t woman I i n t e r v i e w e d s a i d t h e exact same t h i n g about, I should have known when I m a r r i e d t h i s one, I mean i t ' s i m p o s s i b l e to know something l i k e t h a t . M: I f e l t g u i l t y t o o because Sue and I had l e f t when Sue was o n l y about a year o l d a f t e r another i n c i d e n t when I had been h i t s e v e r a l times, not damaged, not b a d l y b r u i s e d , but h i t s e v e r a l t i m e s . And I had been h i t b e f o r e Sue was born but I kept t h i n k i n g t h a t i t would get o v e r , t h a t somehow ... I was very- t y p i c a l l y a t the time the abused w i f e , I kept t h i n k i n g t h a t I c o u l d do something t o change i t . I c o u l d be more p e r f e c t , I c o u l d ...  D e s c r i p t i o n of p h y s i c a l l y abusive marriage  - 109 -  If  I was b e t t e r t h i n g s would change  M: That's r i g h t . I f I could j u s t stop doing t h i n g s t h a t i r r i t a t e d him so much. Even though they were s t u p i d t h i n g s . I f I c o u l d j u s t l e a r n what they were, even though they a r e s t u p i d , and s t o p them then i t wouldn't happen. So t h e r e had been the abuse p r i o r t o Sue's b i r t h . And t h e m a r r i a g e had been a b i t r o c k y . Sue was born when I was 32 o r 33. My husband and I had been m a r r i e d s i n c e I was 20, i t was a l o n g term marriage. And t h e r e i s a c e r t a i n amount o f g u i l t t h a t I had gone ahead and had a c h i l d i n a s i t u a t i o n t h a t I knew wasn't the b e s t . And then we l e f t when she was. about a y e a r o l d . And then I came a g a i n , and I brought her back i n t o t h e s i t u a t i o n w i t h me. L i k e her f a t h e r had never been p h y s i c a l l y a b u s i v e w i t h h e r but I guess I f e l t I was e x p o s i n g h e r t o a l l the trauma. I f e l t g u i l t y f o r h a v i n g her when I knew t h e s i t u a t i o n wasn't good. I mean- I never expected the s i t u a t i o n would t u r n out. t o do what he d i d . But c e r t a i n l y t h e r e were i n d i c a t i o n t h a t t h i n g s weren't g r e a t and y e t I went ahead and had h e r and l e f t and came back. A l l along f e e l i n g g u i l t y f o r , that philosophy h e r e ' s t h i s i n n o c e n t c h i l d brought i n t o t h e w o r l d and e v e r y t h i n g s h o u l d be w o n d e r f u l f o r them, and t h i n g s a r e r e a l l y h e l l i s h . And i t ' s not f a i r t h a t she s h o u l d have t o go through t h i s , she's g o i n g through them because o f me, not because o f a n y t h i n g t h a t she has done, but because o f me. And I suppose w i t h t h e abuse, I f e l t a c e r t a i n amount o f g u i l t t h a t I s h o u l d have p i c k e d up t h e s i g n a l s , b u t more g u i l t a g a i n t h a t because she was born and t h i s was her f a t h e r .  Self-blame re p h y s i c a l abuse  Guilt f o r giving b i r t h t o daughter  Sexual abuse not i n her r e p e r t o i r e o f what people do  Takes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r s e x u a l abuse  G u i l t re missing signals  I: I'm c u r i o u s as t o why you say t h a t she's gone through a l l t h i s because o f you and n o t t h a t she's gone through a l l t h i s because of him? M: That's something t h a t I s t i l l , I suppose remnants o f me f e e l i n g t h a t i t ' s my r e s p o n s i b i l i t y somehow. C e r t a i n l y I had a l o t of c o u n s e l l i n g a f t e r t h e marriage ended t r y i n g to d e a l with the f a c t t h a t i t ' s n o t your fault. You d i d n ' t do i t , and you d i d n ' t cause it. But those a t t i t u d e s are r e a l l y hard t o t o t a l l y g e t r i d o f on an e m o t i o n a l l e v e l . You can v e r b a l i z e i t , yes I know.  Takes r e s p o n s i b l i t y f o r s e x u a l abuse  Difficult guilt  to r e l e a s e  - 110 -  I: What was h e l p f u l f o r you i n t r y i n g t o g e t r i d o f some o f t h a t s e l f - g u i l t ? I t h i n k every woman t h a t ' s been i n a b a t t e r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p and every woman t h a t has had a c h i l d who was s e x u a l l y abused by a f a t h e r o r s t e p - f a t h e r t a k e s i t on as t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . And I'm wondering what you c o u l d t e l l me about what i s h e l p f u l , o r what was h e l p f u l f o r you i n changing t h a t ? M: C o u n s e l l i n g i n terms o f h e a r i n g i t over and o v e r a g a i n t h a t i t i s n o t your f a u l t , i t ' s n o t h i n g t h a t you d i d . Reading d i f f e r e n t a r t i c l e s , g e t t i n g i t from d i f f e r e n t s o u r c e s , not j u s t one person t e l l i n g you. You almost have t o bombard t h e p e r s o n i n a g e n t l e way, b u t c o n s t a n t r e i n f o r c e m e n t from a n y t h i n g around h e r , as much as you can do. I t ' s n o t h e r fault. And i t needs t o be. The t h i n g I found f o r me i s t h a t i t r e a l l y has t o be c o n s t a n t . I t ' s amazing, I used t o go i n and see my p s y c h i a t r i s t and t a l k and t a l k and t a l k , and then we'd have t h i s r e f l e c t i v e time a t t h e end and she'd go over a g a i n t h e same o l d s t u f f . And then I ' d come next week w i t h why I f e l t i t was my f a u l t a g a i n . And she'd go over i t again. So t a l k i n g , v e r b a l i z i n g I f o u l d r e a l l y h e l p f u l j u s t i n d i s s i p a t i n g t h e t e n s i o n . But j u s t t h e c o n s t a n t r e i n f o r c e m e n t from every p o s s i b l e s o u r c e t h a t you can g e t t h a t i t ' s n o t your f a u l t and you a r e r e a l l y an okay p e r s o n . Because you b e g i n t o f e e l l i k e a n o t okay person. I t h i n k i f you a r e i n an a b u s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p you r e a l l y b e g i n t o f e e l l i k e you are a n o t okay p e r s o n . And w i t h t h e abuse, the same t h i n g t h a t you d i d n ' t s e t i t up, even subconsciously. I c o u l d see how, i n my case i t wasn't, b u t I c o u l d see from some o f t h e emotions I went through t h a t i f i t was somebody you were r e a l l y w i t h t h a t you c o l d have f e e l i n g s t h a t s u b c o n s c i o u s l y maybe you condoned i t o r s e t i t up. You can g e t t h a t k i n d o f r e i n f o r c e m e n t from some o f t h e s t r a n g e s t places. L i k e g o i n g through t h e c o u r t system I have seen some a r t i c l e s t h a t have been w r i t t e n t h a t say mums have these p s y c h i a t r i c problems and they import t h i s on t o t h e i r k i d . And when you g e t t h a t k i n d o f r e a c t i o n from t h e a u t h o r i t y so t o speak, i t r e a l l y r a t t l e s y o u . I remember, one o f my a f f i d a v i t , I had gone through what happened and I had mentioned t h a t my ex-husband had been a r r e s t e d , t h a t he was charged. J u s t b a s i c a l l y what I had been t o l d by t h e p o l i c e and t h e judge had a f i t , and  Support n e c e s s a r y t o abdicate g u i l t  Need t o v e r b a l i z e  Strong f e e l i n g s of guilt  Need f o r s u p p o r t , acceptance  Self-doubt  Court  - Ill  -  a c t u a l l y awarded t h e c o s t o f d e f e n d i n g t h a t t o my ex-husband because somehow I s h o u l d n ' t have done t h a t , I don't know. I don't remember what word he used b u t you g e t the f e e l i n g t h a t everyone t h i n k s you are an o v e r r e a c t i v e mum. And t h e way t h e c o u r t systemworks, t h e c o u r t system, I c o u l d understand i n a c r i m i n a l case why t h e r e c o u l d be some problems because you t a l k i n g about t a k i n g away someone's freedom. But ours was s t r i c t l y a c i v i l a c t i o n , an attempt t o a l t e r the a c c e s s p r o v i s i o n o f t h e divorce. I:  So he was never  charged w i t h s e x u a l ...  M: Yes he was charged, b u t t h e charges were s t a y e d because Sue was .... They v i d e o t a p e d the i n t e r v i e w w i t h h e r . The p o l i c e d i d . They showed i t t o t h e crown c o u n c i l . She f e l t t h a t Sue's e v i d e n c e , l i k e she was coming a c r o s s as what she was, a v e r y young c h i l d . And you get i n t o t h i s i s s u e o f too young t o be sworn, n o t believable basically. So she f e l t t h a t they had no c a s e . A l t h o u g h t h e p o l i c e t o l d me t h a t they were c o n v i n c e d t h a t he had done i t , they t o l d me a f t e r t h e t h i n g t h a t when they showed hira t h e v i d e o they f e l t he was on t h e verge of c o n f e s s i n g b u t j u s t c o u l d n ' t g e t i t o u t . So the charges were s t a y e d a g a i n s t him, they weren't dropped, b u t they were s t a y e d . Now t h i s l a s t judge t h a t we had on the 20th, b e l i e v e d t h a t he had done i t . H i s d e c i s i o n was very d e f i n i t i v e . I: So t h i s was the c o u r t you went t o i n March, was j u s t f o r a c c e s s . M:  That's  right.  I:  So he has no a c c e s s .  M: He has no a c c e s s , and he c a n ' t even reapply. Because you know a c c e s s l i k e a n y t h i n g under the d i v o r c e a c t , a c c e s s and maintenance can change, you can r e a p p l y a t any p o i n t t o have i t a l t e r e d . And the judge removed i t and s a i d he c o u l d n ' t even r e a p p l y f o r 18 months. And t h a t when he r e a p p l i e d , i f he r e a p p l i e d , t h e r e was a heavy burden o f p r o o f on him t o show t h a t he had ... I:  I t must have been a b i g r e l i e f  f o r you.  Concern r e r e a c t i o n s of o t h e r s Court process  - 112  -  M: Phenomenal. Because t h i s whole t h i n g s t a r t e d l a s t J u l y and then we had a p r e l i m i n a r y h e a r i n g i n September and then the c o u r t i n September o r d e r e d t h a t i t be heard not i n chambers but by a judge, and by w i t n e s s e s , not a f f i d a v i t , because most of t h i s k i n d of s t u f f i s done by a f f i d v a i t , not s e x u a l abuse but maintenance and a l l t h a t k i n d of s t u f f . So we got a c o u r t date f o r the 12th or 13th of February. So we went to c o u r t on the 12th or 13th of F e b r u a r y . We needed more time and the next a v a i l a b l e date we were a b l e t o get was the 20th of March. So i t was a t h r e e day t h i n g . And t h a t was r e a l l y v i n d i c a t i n g . I: It's like happened?  Protective actions bring r e l i e f Court p r o c e s s  someone i s acknowledging what  M: Yes, because a l l a l o n g the c o u r t i n September was so much the r i g h t s of the f a t h e r , the r i g h t s of the f a t h e r , the r i g h t s of the father. And I kept on s a y i n g what about her? He was awarded s u p e r v i s e d a c c e s s i n September when we asked f o r no a c c e s s . W e l l he never saw her because we c o u l d never agree on a supervisor. He suggested h i s mother, I s a i d no. We had a s u g g e s t i o n and he s a i d no, and t h a t was the end o f t h a t . But I thought Sue doesn't want t o see her f a t h e r . She t o l d me she d i d n ' t want t o see him. Nobody i s c o n s i d e r i n g how she f e e l s i n t h i s at a l l . That was a n o t h e r of my r e a l l y s t r o n g f e e l i n g s i n d e a l i n g with the c o u r t system was t h a t NOBODY seemed t o be p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned w i t h her and how she f e l t . . I t was made i n t o a b a t t l e somehow between her f a t h e r and me and t h a t wasn't the i s s u e at a l l . How I f e l t or d i d n ' t f e e l about him was not the i s s u e but of course t h a t was what they were t r y i n g t o make the i s s u e , t h a t I was some k i n d of v i n d i c t i v e mother out to get him. Nobody seemed the l e a s t b i t concerned w i t h her. And t h a t r e a l l y I found f r u s t r a t i n g . R e a l l y angered me.  Concern f o r advocate  child,  F r u s t r a t i o n with c o u r t system  I: I wonder i f t h a t has to do w i t h her age too, t h a t she i s j u s t too young to bother a s k i n g her? M: Ya, i t was l i k e a t o t a l d i s r e g a r d f o r her, l i k e she had no f e e l i n g s or no r i g h t to any feelings. We went through ten s e s s i o n s with a p s y c h o l o g i s t d u r i n g which we were a s s e s s i n g and d o i n g some treatment, or r a t h e r the p s y c h o l o g i s t was. And my ex-husband was  Concern f o r  child  Sought treatment child  for  - 113 -  i n v i t e d t o take p a r t i n t h a t because the p s y c h o l o g i s t r e a l l y wanted t o see the i n t e r a c t i o n , she thought i t would be h e l p f u l i n her d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f what was g o i n g on. And he chose not t o . And then a t the end o f January l i k e two weeks b e f o r e we a r e g o i n g t o c o u r t he goes t o c o u r t i n a chambers h e a r i n g and wants her t o see another p s y c h o l o g i s t , - t h e i r psychologist. And t h e c o u r t s a i d okay. So a f t e r Sue has been through a l l t h i s now she has to go, I was so angry. Because i t ' s hard on l i t t l e k i d s , i t ' s h a r d on anybody t o have t o t e l l those k i n d o f s t o r i e s . And the c o u r t o r d e r was such t h a t I was n o t a l l o w e d t o even wait i n t h e w a i t i n g room w h i l e she was b e i n g i n t e r v i e w e d by t h e p s y c h o l o g i s t because t h a t was thought t o be i n f l u e n c i n g what she was g o i n g t o t e l l . . Which i n f u r i a t e d me because t o take your c h i l d and d e l i v e r h e r t o a s t r a n g e d o c t o r , and n o t even be i n t h e w a i t i n g room. I mean how i s t h a t going t o make her f e e l . Oh I was f u r i o u s . Because nobody c a r e d . X mean we've got t o g i v e t h i s man every p o s s i b l e chance. What about Sue? Oooh, I g o t r e a l l y hot when I t h i n k about i t even now.  Frustration/anger at c o u r t system Concern f o r c h i l d  Concern f o r c h i l d  Anger a t c o u r t process  I: I f you had t o go through t h i s a l l a g a i n i s t h e r e a n y t h i n g t h a t you would do d i f f e r e n t l y ? M: W e l l , I suppose the one t h i n g t h a t I can t h i n k of i s t h a t and a g a i n t h i s was done on advice. I asked a s o c i a l worker what h o s p i t a l to go t o and he t o l d me t o go t o the one c l o s e s t t o here. And t h a t i s t h e one t h i n g t h a t I would change, I would go the C h i l d r e n ' s because they have t h e f a c i l i t i e s t h e r e . We would have a v o i d e d a l l the running around, we would have seen proper d o c t o r s who had some s k i l l i n t h i s k i n d o f area t o begin w i t h . Because t h e r e was a l o t o f s c r a m b l i n g w i t h t h a t , which caused some f i d d l e f a d d l e i n the trial. That i s something I would d e f i n i t e l y do d i f f e r e n t l y now. I would go t o C h i l d r e n ' s t o get t h e a p p r o p r i a t e p e o p l e t o d e a l w i t h . Without spending a long time t h i n k i n g about i t I t h i n k t h a t i s t h e o n l y t h i n g t h a t I would have done d i f f e r e n t l y . I: Is t h e r e any p a r t i c u l a r a d v i c e t h a t you would g i v e t o o t h e r women g o i n g through a similiar experience?  Importance of knowledgable professionals  - 114 -  M: W e l l , t h e s o r t o f s t a n d a r d a d v i c e . But i f t h e r e i s anybody they f e e l i s a r e a l l y s t r o n g support f o r them t h a t they s h o u l d keep t h a t l i n k r e a l l y r e a l l y s t r o n g d u r i n g t h a t time because t h e r e a r e l o t s o f times when you f e e l j u s t overwhelmed w i t h what's g o i n g on and i f you have got somebody who i s s u p p o r t i v e and s t r o n g and i s w i l l i n g t o l i s t e n t o you. Don i s a real listener. Don i s a - d e l e t e - so he has some c o u n s e l l i n g a b i l i t i e s . So sometimes he would j u s t l i s t e n t o me go on and on and on. And a g a i n h a v i n g somebody t h e r e , and t r y i n g t o surround y o u r s e l f as much as p o s s i b l e w i t h p e o p l e t h a t make you f e e l okay about what you a r e d o i n g . I f people make you f e e l n o t okay about i t , t r y and n o t p u t y o u r s e l f i n t h a t s i t u a t i o n because you have enough doubts and f e a r s and w o r r i e s as you a r e g o i n g through i t . w i t h o u t h a v i n g o t h e r people d o i n g i t t o y o u . L i k e a c o u p l e o f times even my mother would say gee I know t h i s i s r e a l l y awful but gee I j u s t remember how n i c e B r i a n , t h a t ' s my ex-husband, used t o be t o me. And those k i n d s o f t h i n g s r e a l l y s t i r r e d up f e e l i n g s i n me. And t h e o t h e r t h i n g i s t o get some k i n d o f c o u n s e l l i n g for yourself. I t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g about g e t t i n g h e l p f o r t h e c h i l d but we g e t i n t o t h i s what t h e mother i s l e f t w i t h , what t h e f e e l i n g s you have l e f t . And I s t i l l haven't found a g r e a t d e a l t h a t has been p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l i n t h a t area f o r me. I guess t h e r e a r e t h i n g s around, b u t o f c o u r s e I've been l u c k y because the p s y c h o l o g i s t t h a t Sue saw, we d i d some talking. But I t h i n k t h a t would be t h e o t h e r t h i n g because you j u s t have so many f e e l i n g s you need t o have some h e l p s o r t i n g them o u t because o t h e r w i s e they j u s t s i t i n t h e r e . And the o t h e r t h i n g I would warn any mother a t the onset i s not t o t a l k t o your c h i l d v e r y much about what has happened because l e g a l l y you can get i n t o phenomenal d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h t h a t because so much o f the t a c k seems t o be t h a t the mother i s c o n v i n c i n g the c h i l d , b r i b i n g t h e c h i l d , coaching the c h i l d . And so t h e f a c t i s t h a t I never t a l k e d t o Sue about i t because, except on j u s t a c o u p l e o f o c c a s s i o n s and j u s t b r i e f l y , because I j u s t I d i d n ' t know what t o say. I d i d n ' t have t h e s k i l l . But i n terms o f the l e g a l s i t u a t i o n , the more you t a l k t o your c h i l d , t h e more i n t r o u b l e you can g e t .  Importance o f s u p p o r t  Need t o be l i s t e n e d to  Importance o f s u p p o r t  Loyalties  Importance o f p r o f e s s i o n a l support Concern f o r c h i l d Difficulties in g e t t i n g support f o r self  Need t o v e r b a l i z e  Court  process  Self-doubt re t a l k i n g to c h i l d  - 115  I : I wonder i f t h a t would i n your s i t u a t i o n because s e p a r a t e d . I don't know i as much w i t h someone t h a t  -  have happened more so the two o f you were f they would do t h a t was s t i l l t o g e t h e r .  M: They might n o t . But t h e r e r e a l l y i s a major t h i n g r i g h t now. I don't know how many d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s my ex-husband's lawyer kept coming up w i t h about c l a i m s of s e x u a l abuse i n the n o n - c u s t o d i a l p a r e n t . I can b a r e l y say the words, n o n - c u s t o d i a l p a r e n t . About how 35 t o 55 per cent of the c l a i m s were f a l s e . I t h i n k i f you were l i v i n g w i t h the p e r s o n then i t would be doubly important to get some c o u n s e l l i n g f o r y o u r s e l f because i t would be even h a r d e r t o a c c e p t . And your f e e l i n g s of g u i l t would be s t r o n g e r because p r o b a b l y you would t h i n k i t had been g o i n g on i n your home, and you never saw i t , and what's wrong w i t h you.  Awareness of o t h e r s situations  I: And you are s t i l l w i t h t h i s man you had no r e a s o n t o l e a v e them and a l l o f a sudden you are f o r c e d w i t h t h i s d e c i s i o n , s h o u l d I l e a v e him f o r t h i s r e a s o n or s t a y and t r y and work i t out. M: Ya. Of course i n the case where two p e o p l e v/ould be l i v i n g t o g e t h e r . Human Resources would be a l i t t l e b i t more i n v o l v e d i n the whole s i t u a t i o n because they might d i c t a t e . . . I: Say someone has while...  to l e a v e f o r a  M:  got t o l e a v e .  Ya,  someone has  little  I: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e t h a t you t h i n k i s important t h a t I would know or t h a t you wanted t o add? M: Not r e a l l y . I guess I s t i l l wish t h a t t h e r e was p r o b a b l y , i t ' s hard, even f o r me. I understand t h a t t h e r e are some p l a c e s t o go as the p a r e n t t o get some h e l p and some c o u n s e l l i n g . But I f i n d i t even with me, w i t h my s o r t o f p r o f e s s i o n a l l e v e l and the f a c t t h a t I r e a l i z e on one l e v e l t h a t i t i s not a stigma and i t ' s okay t o get h e l p and I have always been a person t h a t never h e s i t a t e d t o get help. I f i n d i t r e a l l y hard t o go t o some of these p l a c e s . But I guess I kept f e e l i n g t h a t because of e v e r y t h i n g t h a t has- happened, maybe t h e r e i s n ' t v e r y much t h a t anybody can g i v e me a t t h i s p o i n t . We have been through the l e g a l  Difficult help  F e a r of  to go f o r  stigma  - 116 -  t h i n g , s o r t have gone through a l l the s t e p s . And I don't f e e l t o o bad now, I've had a chance to work a l o t of i t t h r o u g h . But maybe t h a t ' s because o f my s i t u a t i o n . Becase I have t h i s s u p p o r t i v e husband now. We d i d see a p s y c h o l o g i s t t h a t worked w i t h Sue. My c l o s e f r i e n d s a r e extremely s u p p o r t i v e , and have l i s t e n e d and have been s u p p o r t i v e . I guess one of t h e t h i n g s t h a t I ' l l j u s t throw out now, t h a t I f e l t g u i l t y about, i t j u s t f l a s h e d through my mind, was t h a t I had never ever t a l k e d t o Sue about t h i s s u b j e c t b e f o r e . We t a l k e d about n o t g o i n g w i t h s t r a n g e r s , don't go with s t r a n g e r s , you know t h a t whole i s s u e . A t the d a y c a r e theyhad done a l i t t l e u n i t , t h e r e i s a l i t t l e v i d e o c a l l e d "Too Smart F o r S t r a n g e r s " o u t i n t h e s t o r e s , and i t ' s f o r use f o r young k i d s . L i a n n e , the d a y c a r e worker had done a s h o r t program w i t h t h e k i d s about i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o u c h i n g which i s where the term p r i v a t e zone came from. But I f e l t a c e r t a i n amount o f g u i l t . L i k e e v e r y t i m e somebody asked me "Have you e v e r t a l k e d t o your c h i l d about t h i s - what have you t o l d h e r ? " And I'd say "NO", and I'd always f e e l embarrassed and guilty. Not a g a i n t h a t I c o u l d have p r e v e n t e d i t t h a t way, b u t t h a t I s h o u l d have done i t and d i d n ' t , so I f e l l down as a mother because I hadn't t a l k e d t o h e r about i t .  Processing  of issues  Husband/close f r i e n d s helpful i n processing issues  G u i l t f o r not t a l k i n g to c h i l d about s e x u a l abuse  G u i l t f o r not t a l k i n g to c h i l d about s e x u a l abuse  Inadequate as a mother  I: We were r a i s e d on t h a t so much, "Don't t a l k t o s t a n g e r s , don't take candy from a s t r a n g e r " , t h a t i t i s so i n g r a i n e d i n us ... M: Yes. W e l l i t ' s so easy t o t a l k about s t r a n g e r s , i t ' s much h a r d e r t o g e t i n t o the i s s u e o f i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o u c h by p e o p l e you know - t h a t ' s a hard one. I've g o t t e n a l o t b e t t e r from w a t c h i n g t h a t program on t v and t a l k i n g t o the p s y c h o l o g i s t about t h e r e b e i n g p a r t s o f your body t h a t nobody has a r i g h t t o ... t h e a s s e r t i v e n e s s t r a i n i n g f o r k i d s , the r i g h t t o say no. The p s y c h o l o g i s t . Dr. Camponi, she i s g o i n g t o do some more work w i t h Sue on s a y i n g no, s a y i n g no l i k e a l i o n . Because she s a i d t h a t a tremendous amount of abuse can be stopped i f the c h i l d can say no very d e f i n i t e l y . Sue s a i d she s a i d no, but no l i k e a young c h i l d might say t o a p a r e n t . A c h i l d t o say no, and to t e l l " I w i l l t e l l " . A l l but the r e a l l y s t r o n g - h e a r t e d abuser w i l l back o f f i n t h a t c a s e . So she i s going t o do some work with Sue on those two i s s u e s .  Importance of assertion for child  - 117 -  I: The i n f o r m a t i o n you have g i v e n me, you have shared w i t h me, i s r e a l l y h e l p f u l . M: W e l l , my s i t u a t i o n i s a l o t d i f f e r e n t because a g a i n i t wasn't somebody I was l i v i n g w i t h . The age of t h e c h i l d i s hard because as the younger a c h i l d g e t s , i t g e t s h a r d e r and h a r d e r t o d e a l w i t h and u n d e r s t a n d . I:  How o l d i s she now?  M:  She i s f i v e .  I:  How o l d a r e you?  M:  I'm 38, s h o r t l y  I:  How o l d i s your ex-husband?  M:  He i s a l s o 38.  I:  And t h e r e a r e no o t h e r c h i l d r e n ?  39.  M: No o t h e r c h i l d r e n . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, and I don't know how p e r t i n e n t i t i s , b u t you know my husband d i d n ' t l i k e women. And one o f the concerns I had when I was w i t h him a f t e r Sue was born, a f t e r I came back t h e f i r s t time, I had some concerns about t h a t , because he d i d n ' t l i k e women. He v e r b a l i z e d i t . He had no use f o r most women. I was one of t h e o n l y women he had any use f o r . And I o f t e n used t o wonder, not i n terms o f him h u r t i n g her, b u t i n terms of h e r s e l f esteem. I f he has such a n e g a t i v e o p i n i o n o f women, h a v i n g a daughter, I used t o worry about t h a t . I never thought a n y t h i n g e l s e would happen b u t I used t o worry about what k i n d s o f messages he c o u l d be g i v i n g h e r actually. I: Do you have any guesses on what t h a t was about f o r him - not h a v i n g any use f o r women? M: No, I don't r e a l l y know. He d i d n ' t g e t on r e a l w e l l w i t h h i s mother. He was an o n l y c h i l d and h i s mother t r e a t e d him l i k e a k i n g as f a r as I c o u l d s e e . But he j u s t never seemed t o have any use f o r women. I t h i n k he would say t h a t i n moods when he was angry a t women f o r t h i s or t h a t or the other t h i n g . He had t r i e d to form a b u s i n e s s w i t h a woman and t h a t hadn't worked o u t , and he was r e a l l y p i s s e d o f f about t h a t . But I don't remember the b a s i s of i t .  Demographics  Misogynist  ex-husband  Concern f o r c h i l d ' s s e l f esteem  - 118 -  But I remember that because t h a t had been a concern i n terms of Sue's s e l f esteem, because he was v e r y d e r o g a t o r y towards women, not n e c e s s a r i l y me but women i n g e n e r a l . I: I wonder i f i t was a d i s a p p o i n t m e n t when she was born t h a t i t wasn't a s o n .  Concern r e c h i l d ' s s e l f esteem  then  M: He d i d n ' t seem t o be d i s a p p o i n t e d . He was v e r y happy w i t h h e r . He was never v e r y i n v o l v e d w i t h h e r . When she was young, he wasn't i n v o l v e d w i t h h e r . But he never s a i d he wanted a son anymore than a d a u g h t e r . She was b a s i c a l l y a h e a l t h y baby and he seemed q u i t e happy w i t h h e r . I never sensed any disappointment. I:  How i s she d o i n g now?  M: She seems t o be d o i n g q u i t e w e l l now a c t u a l l y . We have r e a l l y n o t i c e d a phenomenal change i n h e r b a s i c a l l y , s i n c e she stopped s e e i n g h e r dad. I:  So a l o t o f improvement ....  M: Ya. D e v e l o p m e n t a l l y she i s growing by l e a p s and bounds. I had made t h e d e c i s i o n t o h o l d h e r out o f k i n d e r g a r t e n l a s t y e a r because she seemed so immature f o r h e r age. I mean t h e d i f f e r e n c e between h e r then and now ... and s o c i a l l y she i s v e r y o u t g o i n g now. She i s c o m f o r t a b l e i n new s i t u a t i o n s . B e f o r e , she'd go i n and h i d e and n o t l o o k a t p e o p l e , suck h e r thumb. So a phenomenal d i f f e r e n c e i n h e r a t t i t u d e and b e h a v i o u r ... I: That must f e e l r e a l l y that.  good f o r you t o see  M: Ya. Even her h e a l t h has been b e t t e r t h i s year. I t has been most g r a t i f y i n g . And i t was e v i d e n t t o us by September. And t h a t was another r e i n f o r c e m e n t t h i n g t o me because you c o u l d see such a change i n h e r and t h e r e had t o be some r e a s o n f o r t h a t change. I: K i d s can bounce back so q u i c k l y , and I a l s o t h i n k how they bounce back depends on how t h e i r p a r e n t responds t o them when something l i k e t h i s happens. And i t sounds l i k e you d i d a r e a l l y good job of i t . You handled i t r e a l l y w e l l , and i t makes i t so much e a s i e r f o r her t o bounce out o f i t .  Importance o f s e e i n g c h i l d improve  - 119 -  M: And I t h i n k too the daycare worker, L i a n n e , was r e a l l y good, and she never f o r a second doubted h e r . One of t h e t h i n g s she t o l d Sue from t h e b e g i n n i n g was t h a t " I t ' s good t h a t you t o l d and we a r e g o i n g t o make sure t h a t nobody h u r t s you. anymore."- And Sue was b e l i e v e d by everybody t h a t she t o l d , and I t h i n k t h a t ' s p r o b a b l y s i g n i f i c a n t t o o f o r a k i d t o f e e l they are b e i n g b e l i e v e d . I:  But a l s o p a r t i c u l a r l y  by t h e mother  M: Yes, and because we d i d t h o s e t h i n g s , we took s t e p s t o ... And o f c o u r s e once she t o l d us she has never seen h e r f a t h e r s i n c e . Not even i n a s u p e r v i s e d c a p a c i t y . So i t ' s been r e a l l y r e i n f o r c i n g t o h e r t h a t something was done. I:  And she never t a l k s  Concern f o r c h i l d , importance o f b e l i e v i n g her  Protective  actions  about him?  M: On t h e odd o c c a s s i o n we w i l l go t o some p l a c e where she was w i t h him and s h e ' l l mention oh I was here w i t h my f a t h e r . She never asks tosee him. She now c a l l s him B r i a n . She doesn't c a l l him dad, she used t o c a l l him d a d . I:  Does she c a l l  Don dad?  M: Not most o f t h e time, sometimes. We t r i e d to d i s c o u r a g e t h a t i n i t i a l l y because Don and I when we were f i r s t l i v i n g t o g e t h e r , weren't married. And I have seen t o o many k i d s who have gone through dads and u n c l e s . And we s t a r t e d l i v i n g t o g e t h e r a y e a r ago and we d e c i d e d t h e f i r s t o f June t h a t we were- g o i n g t o get m a r r i e d . I j u s t never encouraged i t . We never d i s c u s s e d i t . And she never c a l l e d him dad. I t was always Don. M a t t e r of f a c t t h a t was one o f t h e b i g c o n t e n t i o n s a t the t r i a l was t h a t she c o u l d have been r e f e r r i n g t o Don. But she never c a l l e d Don dad, we had everybody t e s t i f y i n g to that. And when q u e s t i o n e d by t h e p s y c h o l o g i s t when t h a t i s s u e was brought o u t she s a i d no v e r y s p e c i f i c a l l y , my dad B r i a n . But now sometimes she c a l l s Don dad, but most of the time she s t i l l c a l l s him Don. Because I have g o t t e n i n the h a b i t o f c a l l i n g him Don t o her. I: With the e x p e r i e n c e w i t h your f i r s t husband do you ever have any concerns now about Don, s o r t of i n the back of your mind, a twinge o r a c o n c e r n t h a t something might happen?  Court p r o c e s s  - 120  -  M: A c t u a l l y no. He had t h r e e grown c h i l d r e n . You'd almost have t o meet my ex-husband and meet Don to see the d i f f e r e n c e i n terms of t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t i e s . Don i s v e r y g e n t l e . They are j u s t so d i f f e r e n t . And the f a c t t h a t h i s c h i l d r e n know about what happened. He had a l o n g m a r r i a g e t h a t broke down because they grew apart. There i s j u s t no a b s o l u t e i n d i c a t i o n t h e r e a t a l l i n him t h a t t h e r e c o u l d be any problem. I suppose you could- say t h a t I have looked a t i t because I'mable to t e l l you these t h i n g s . But i n l o o k i n g a t i t I've^not come up w i t h any i n d i c a t i o n at a l l t h a t t h e r e i s a n y t h i n g amiss or t h a t I even have the f e a r t h a t t h e r e c o u l d be a n y t h i n g amiss. But I t o l d you i n terms of the e x t e r n a l , l i k e the 2 0 - y e a r - o l d son t h a t ' s i n the daycare I wonder about. But you have to have some f a i t h and b e l i e f i n people i n t h i s world. I t h i n k you can be c a r e f u l , and maybe I would be a l o t more c a r e f u l i n r e a d i n g s i g n s i n Sue i f I s t a r t e d noticing things. I would p r o b a b l y be- a l o t q u i c k e r to r e s p o n d . And a g a i n , I f e e l you have t o have some t r u s t . You c a n ' t go through your l i f e not l e t t i n g your c h i l d near a man. You c a n ' t do t h a t , i t ' s not h e a l t h y . L i k e one of the r e a s o n s I wanted her to work through i t w i t h a p s y c h o l o g i s t i s because I want her t o grow up and be able to have a h e a l t h y r e l a t i o n s h i p someday w i t h a man. Again I t r i e d not to expose her through t h i s too much to any o f my own doubts.. L i k e we t r i e d not t o t a l k about i t i n f r o n t of her. L i k e I won't say i t ' s never happened, but we t r i e d - r e a l l y h a r d . D u r i n g the t r i a l i n F e b r u a r y , I had her s t a y i n g w i t h my mother f o r about a two-week p e r i o d because I thought i t would be b e s t , because I knew I would be ... And I wanted to f e e l f r e e to t a l k about i t and I d i d n ' t want her to see. I: A l s o , now she's got a l o t more s k i l l s t h a t she d i d n ' t have b e f o r e , having gone through t h i s experience. She's l e a r n e d a l o t of t h i n g s and would p r o b a b l y be much more i n c l i n e d to say something immediately or say no ... M: Ya, I t h i n k s so, because she has had a good r e a c t i o n t h i s time t o t e l l i n g , where a c h i l d t h a t d i d n ' t have t h a t might c e r t a i n l y have a d i f f e r e n t outcome. I:  Well,  you  have been a tremendous  help.  F a i t h i n people caution  vs  Importance of trust/faith  Hopes f o r daughter Concern f o r daughter Protective daughter  of  Protective  actions  - 121 -  M: Well I hope t h a t something's been t h e r e . I have n e v e r had a chance t o t a l k t o any o t h e r mothers who went through a s i m i l a r e x p e r i e n c e . I have t a l k e d t o women who have t o l d me t h e y have been abused. But I have never had a chance t o t a l k t o o t h e r mothers. A c t u a l l y , I wonder sometimes i f t h a t might be h e l p f u l i s some s o r t o f group, because groups a r e h e l p f u l to so many p e o p l e . I : There a r e some groups i n town, mom's groups. M:  Who runs i t ?  I:  There i s a p l a c e c a l l e d A c t I I .  M:  Do they? I have heard o f A c t I I .  I: was was it,  They do. One of the women I i n t e r v i e w e d i n t h a t group and t h a t was what she s a i d a b i g p a r t of h e r h e a l i n g o r g e t t i n g over was t h e s u p p o r t o f t h e o t h e r women.  M: Ya, I can r e a l l y see t h a t a c t u a l l y , because you don't f e e l so a l o n e . END OF TAPE  Need f o r support  Need f o r s u p p o r t , n o t alone  - 122  -  APPENDIX D PRELIMINARY CLUSTERING OF TRANSCRIPT CODES  Reactions  to D i s c l o s u r e ( b e l i e f s , f e e l i n g s , a c t i o n s  taken):  Ambivalence re b e l i e v i n g Not i n h e r r e p e r t o i r e of what p e o p l e do Questions c h i l d ' s s t o r y I n i t i a l r e a c t i o n , shock, d i s b e l i e f , a n g u i s h F e e l i n g s of g u i l t , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y / D i f f i c u l t i e s i n r e l e a s i n g No c h o i c e i s s u e s L o s s of c o n t r o l / M a i n t a i n i n g c o n t r o l Q u e s t i o n s ( l o s s of.) judgement, s e l f - d o u b t s P r o c e s s i n g of i s s u e s Inadequacy as mother C o n f u s i o n re a c t i o n s P r o t e c t i v e of c h i l d / P r o t e c t i v e a c t i o n s , c a l l e d a u t h o r i t i e s Self-determination re p r o t e c t i v e actions Changing R o l e s / R e l a t i o n s h i p s (New family/friends, partner, c h i l d ) :  r o l e w i t h s y s t e m s , changes w i t h  Court - process, b e l i e f i n system, d i f f i c u l t i e s / f r u s t r a t i o n s F r u s t r a t i o n s o r c o n f u s i o n w i t h systems F e e l i n g s towards o f f e n d e r , m i s o g y n i s t Family's r e a c t i o n s / l o y a l t i e s Stigma Concern r e r e s p o n s e s of f a m i l y and f r i e n d s C o n c e r n f o r d a u g h t e r , hopes f o r d a u g h t e r Awareness of m o t h e r i n g i s s u e s Healing  Process:  Gathering s u p p o r t / D i f f i c u l t i e s i n gathering support, Partner supportive Need f o r s u p p o r t r e b e l i e v i n g Need f o r n o r m a l c y Need t o v e r b a l i z e Need t o escape A t t e m p t s t o make i t up t o c h i l d T r u s t ( f a i t h ) vs s u s p i c i o n  help  I n c l u d e d i n d e s c r i p t i o n of sample: Background of d i s c l o s u r e Demographics No p r i o r knowledge D e s c r i p t i o n of p r i o r r e l a t i o n s h i p , a b u s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p  

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