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NCJ Number: 162247 Find in a Library
Title: Child Sexual Abuse: Awareness and Backlash
Journal: Future of Children  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer-Fall 1994)  Pages:224- 232
Author(s): J R Conte
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 9
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Efforts to address child sexual abuse are examined with respect to the historical development of awareness about child sexual abuse and the backlash that this increasing awareness has prompted.
Abstract: Although child sexual abuse has been a problem both over time and across cultures, complex psychological, cultural, and political processes are involved in recognizing and responding to it. Denial, minimization, and rationalization have always had a central role in the societal response to child sexual abuse, because the issue generates strong emotions. The backlash is characterized by extreme positions, lack of supporting research data, and near total rejection of the knowledge and experiences of childhood sexual abuse. The backlash has little chance of long-term success because it is inherently reactive and oppositional, has a single-issue focus, and draws membership mainly from two groups that lack real power: (1) accused parents and other caretakers of children and (2) attorneys. Nevertheless, valid criticism should be encouraged. It is essential to continually improving both professional and societal responses to the problem of child sexual abuse. Needed actions include a new discussion that involves all segments of society, research on public attitudes and the operation of the relevant service systems, resistance to efforts to merge the consideration of child sexual abuse with that of other childhood problems, and professional interventions based on well-established principles and ideas. 24 reference notes (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse situation remedies; Child Sexual Abuse; Public Opinion of Crime
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