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Synopsis

Child sexual abuse is a global problem that negatively affects many women and girls. As such, it has long been of concern to feminists, and more recently mental health activists. This book draws on this revolutionary legacy, feminism and post-structuralism to critically examine current perceptions of women, girls and child abuse in psychology, psychiatry and the mass media, and to re-evaluate mainstream and feminist approaches to this subject.

The book aims to contribute to the ongoing development of a knowledge-base for working with abused women and girls, and demonstrates the need to question the use of formulaic methods in working with abused women and girls. It calls for an explicit concern with politics, principles and ethics in the related areas of theory, research and practice.

Using research into women who have been sexually abused in childhood, and who are detained in maximum security mental health care, Sam Warner explores and identifies key principles for practice. A social recovery model of intervention is developed, and case study examples are used to demonstrate its applicability in a range of practice areas. These include abuse psychotherapy; expert witness reports in child protection; with mothers of abused girls; and with women and girls in secure care contexts.

This thorough investigation of this emotive issue provides a clear theoretical and practical framework for understanding and coping with child sexual abuse. This book will be of interest to anyone who works with children and adults who have been abused. This includes clinical psychologists, therapists and other professionals that work in mental health, psychotherapy and social services; and legal settings within both community and secure care contexts. It should also be essential reading for students and academics in this area.

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