In this outspoken and challenging book, Sarah Nelson argues that progress in addressing childhood sexual abuse has been in fearful or complacent retreat and that change is urgently needed in order to prevent abuse occurring, and to better support survivors.
From this starting point, she puts forward radical suggestions for new models of practice. These are designed to provide perpetrator-focussed child protection, to encourage community approaches to prevention, and to better support those who have survived abuse.
As revelations of widespread child abuse continue to emerge at an unprecedented rate, this book campaigns for change, offering policy makers and practitioners solutions for new ways in tackling sexual abuse, working alongside survivors to reduce its prevalence and impact.
Dr Sarah Nelson, University of Edinburgh, has written and presented widely for decades on sexual abuse issues. Her research includes the voices of young survivors, critiques of current child protection systems and community prevention, media representations of abuse cases, and adult survivors’ experiences of mental health services. She is a former Scottish Government and Scottish Parliamentary Adviser.
Part 1: The Barriers to Progress;
From rediscovery to suppression?;
Lies and deception in backlash theories;
Part 2: Children and Young People;
Fact, myth and legacy in notorious child abuse cases: Orkney in context;
Stigmatised young people: from ‘abuse fodder’ to key allies in child protection;
Models for more effective child protection (with Liz Davies);
Community prevention of CSA: a model for practice (with Norma Baldwin);
Part 3: Adult Survivors of sexual abuse;
Physical ill health: the serious impacts of sexual violence;
Producing radical change in mental health: implications of the trauma paradigm;
Pathways into crime after sexual abuse: the voices of male offenders;
Rethinking sex offender programmes for survivor-perpetrators.
"An exploration of the social, political and personal nature of sex crime that interrogates established practice and offers new ways forward." Malcolm Cowburn, Emeritus Professor of Applied Social Science, Sheffield Hallam University
"Nelson and her co-authors have produced a lively, detailed and refreshing critique of current knowledge, services and debates and make a strong case for some radical and challenging new approaches to reducing CSA and CSE and its highly toxic effects for individual victims and survivors and for society as a whole." - NOTA (National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers)
"For anyone interested in tackling sexual abuse, this book fills a void, is an essential read and offers new theories and radical solutions which will stimulate debate towards positive change." Laurie Matthew, Manager and Founder of Eighteen And Under
"Sarah Nelson is one of our clearest thinkers about child sexual abuse - she brings scrupulous research, clear and committed politics, and wisdom accumulated over decades to one of the big issues of our time." Beatrix Campbell OBE