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NCJ Number: 228461 Find in a Library
Title: Perils and Possibilities in Disclosing Childhood Sexual Abuse to a Romantic Partner
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:July-August 2009  Pages:386-404
Author(s): Darren Del Castillo; Margaret O'Dougherty Wright
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 19
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The objective of this study was to focus on the forms, process, and meanings of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) disclosure involved in seven women's experiences disclosing CSA to their romantic partners.
Abstract: Ten themes were produced from this analysis, which were grouped into 3 domains: (1) struggling in private about disclosure: prior to disclosing, participants described concerns that arose in the context of their romantic relationships; (2) the experience of disclosing: participants described when and how they disclosed and the thoughts and feelings accompanying disclosure; and (3) the aftereffects of disclosure: after disclosing, participants described the impact it had on the self as well as on the relationship with their romantic partner. The study was an important contribution to understanding the long-term impact of CSA in adulthood. Disclosing CSA to a romantic partner could evoke multiple abuse-related concerns such as identity, intimacy, sexuality, and recovery, and the findings that were described convey some aspects of their complex interrelationship. Disclosing CSA can lead to relief and social support, but it may also lead to further distress for many survivors. Research has also indicated the importance of disclosure characteristics over abuse characteristics in predicting the long-term effects of CSA in adulthood. In an attempt to increase understanding of the forms such disclosures take, the multidimensional process involved, and the meaning of women's CSA disclosures have in their lived experience, this study interviewed seven women about their experiences of disclosing CSA to romantic partners. Table and references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Behavior patterns; Child abuse; Child victims; Female victims; Interpersonal relations; Long term health effects of child abuse; Psychological victimization effects; Sexually abused adolescents
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