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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93863 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Violence - The Unmentionable Sin
Author(s): M M Fortune
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 248
Sponsoring Agency: Pilgrim Press
Cleveland, OH 44115-1100
Sale Source: Pilgrim Press
700 Prospect Ave. East
Cleveland, OH 44115-1100
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book develops an ethical perspective on sexual violence drawing upon the traditional ethical sources of Christianity, followed by a discussion of an effective and compassionate pastoral response to victims and perpetrators of sexual violence.
Abstract: The discussion of an ethical perspective on sexual violence focuses on the Christian tradition and its neglect of sexual violence as an ethical issue. The societal context and the confusion about sexual activity and violence provide the backdrop for a critique of the theological and ethical tradition. From this critique, the ethical issue is restated; the categories of ethical discussion are redefined; and a new ethical framework for understanding and responding to sexual violence is presented. Sexual violence is considered to be a sin against the victim, not because of its sexual nature per se, but because it is an exploitative and abusive violation of the victim's bodily integrity, and it violates the personhood of the victim. The assault humiliates, dominates, degrades, overpowers, and violates a person through the most vulnerable dimension fo the self, the sexual self. For the offender, sexual violence is a sin against the self, as it is a denial of one's own sexuality. The discussion of the helping response to sexual assault victims portrays the state of mind of the victim and the stages of adjustment through which the victim passes. Counseling advice is designed to help the counselor bring the victim through the adjustment period with as few long-term negative effects as possible. Particular attention is given to help for the child victim of sexual abuse. The section on response to the offender presents profiles of various types of sexual offenders and offers guidance for the counselor in intervening with offenders, although it is acknowledged that successful treatment of sex offenders is rare. Some theological considerations are considered as well, including making sense out of the victimization, explaining suffering, guilt and shame, and abandonment by God. The final chapter summarizes strategies for action. Chapter notes are included.
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Code of ethics; Counseling; Rape; Rape counseling; Sexual assault; Sexual assault victims; Sexual behavior; Violence
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