Lovely way to start the day as my first journal article has been published online in Qualitative Social Work. It’s open access – so anyone can read it. It’s based on my doctoral research, co-authored with my supervisor Dr Tom Clark, and looks at how people respond to adults disclosing childhood sexual abuse. Spoiler – not that well! It argues that from family to professionals people can respond by using techniques called neutralisation – denying that anyone was a victim (‘it was just experimenting’), that there wasn’t any harm done (‘it wasn’t that bad’) and appealing the wider loyalty (‘you’ll bring shame on the family’).
There is evidence that perpetrators use these arguments to justify what they want to do but this article argues that it is a much wider problem.
The article includes some of the evidence that influenced the creation of the film ‘Flow’ to try to start us thinking about this.