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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50875 Find in a Library
Title: INCESTUOUS ABUSE OF CHILDREN - THE NEED FOR AN OBJECTIVE VIEW
Journal: CHILD WELFARE  Volume:57  Issue:6  Dated:(JUNE 1978)  Pages:355-364
Author(s): C E GENTRY
Corporate Author: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
Washington, DC 20036
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESPONSES TO INCESTUOUS ABUSE OF CHILDREN ARE CONSIDERED FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF THE CHILD, THE ABUSER, THE FAMILY, AND SOCIETY, AND PREVENTION AND TREATMENT ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE INCESTUOUSLY ABUSED CHILD OFTEN IS INITIALLY FASCINATED BY THE EXPERIENCE BECAUSE OF THE PHYSICAL CLOSENESS AND SEXUAL STIMULATION. LATER RESPONSES ARE GUILT, FEAR OF REJECTION BY THE FAMILY OR THE ABUSER, AND FEAR OF PUNISHMENT. THE ABUSERS USUALLY BECOME INCESTUOUSLY INVOLVED BECAUSE OF CURRENT STRESSES IN THEIR LIVES AND PANIC AFTER A FEW INCESTUOUS EXPERIENCES. INCEST IS MORE LIKELY WHEN ONE ADULT HAS LOST A JOB, WHEN THE WIFE HAS RECENTLY ENTERED THE JOB MARKET, OR WHEN MARITAL CONFLICTS ARE STRAINING THE FAMILY RELATIONS. FAMILY RESPONSES TO INCEST ARE OFTEN DENIAL, JEALOUSY, AND FEAR THAT THE FAMILY WILL BREAK UP. SOCIETY'S RESPONSE IS MAINLY DENIAL ACCOMPANIED BY REPUGNANCE, FEELINGS OF GUILT BY ASSOCIATION, ANGER, AND POSSIBLY FASCINATION. SOCIAL WORKERS, POLICE, AND COURTS WHO INTERVENE IN AN INCEST SITUATION MUST BE TRAINED TO UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF THE OFFENDER, VICTIM, AND FAMILY AND REALIZE THAT THE CHILD HAS A GREAT NEED FOR NONSEXUAL AFFECTION. INCEST VICTIMS ARE BENEFITTED BY DISCUSSING THEIR FEELINGS WITH UNDERSTANDING, WELL TRAINED ADULTS, OR, POSSIBLY, PEER GROUP INCEST VICTIMS. THE CASEWORKER SHOULD EXPLAIN SOCIETY'S DISAPPROVING ATTITUDE, PROVIDE ROLE MODELS FOR THE CHILD, AND HELP THE CHILD ESTABLISH OPEN COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS AND SIBLINGS. THE OFFENDER SHOULD BE PRESENTED WITH THE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE CASE AND BE TOLD THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF INCEST. THE ABUSER SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO CONTINUE RELATIONS WITH THE FAMILY, ACCEPT COUNSELING, AND BE TAUGHT TO RELIEVE FRUSTRATION AND ANGER THROUGH ACCEPTABLE ACTIVITIES AND COMMUNICATION. FAMILY COMMUNICATION SHOULD BE STRESSED, AND DISSOLUTION OF FAMILY TIES IS TO BE DISCOURAGED. PRIMARY PREVENTION IS ATTAINED THROUGH EDUCATION OF FAMILIES, SCREENING OF HIGH RISK FAMILIES, AND BETTER SERVICES FOR NEEDY FAMILIES. PREDICTORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE ARE LISTED. OVERALL SOCIAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS INCEST CONSTITUTE BARRIERS TO PREVENTION AND TREATMENT. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Child abuse prevention; Child abuse treatment; Crime prevention measures; Domestic relations; Family counseling; Incest; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Treatment
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