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


Although there is an increasing amount of literature on the area of child sexual abuse, there is a dearth of information on the experiences of mothers following disclosure. Illuminating the issues of mothers following disclosure is necessary in formulating therapeutic procedures with these women and their families. This qualitative study explored the experiences of five mothers whose children were sexually abused by a father or step father. One and a half to two hour videotaped interviews were conducted utilizing a general interview guide. The findings were categorized into three areas: Reaction to Disclosure, Changing Social Relationships, and Healing Process. Emerging from these three categories were two themes that appeared to link the categories. These themes were the importance these women placed on their role as protector of their children, and the struggles with role or relationship disruptions.

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