Author(s): Rosaleen McElvaney
Children need to be able to disclose their experiences of sexual abuse in order to stop the abuse and get help. Practical and accessible, this book offers guidance on how professionals can identify potential abuse cases and create safe opportunities for children to talk about sexual abuse. The book explores challenges in facilitating and responding to disclosures of abuse, such as: how to recognise the signs, ask the right questions and react to a disclosure. It also draws on research carried out with children who have experienced sexual abuse, to convey how experiences of disclosure feel to those making them and what informs a decision to tell or not tell. Helping Children to Tell About Sexual Abuse will be suitable for any professional working with a child or young person, including social workers, psychologists, child/family therapists, health care workers, school nurses, school counsellors, health visitors, police and youth workers.
Accessible guidance on how to help children to disclose experiences of sexual abuse
For too long we have failed to recognise the early warning signs that a child may be sexually abused, placing the onus on the child to 'disclose' their experience of sexual abuse, rather than on the practitioner to recognise the signs that the abuse is occurring. This book helps us to challenge these failures, to better understand the nature of child sexual abuse and to help children explain what has happened to them. It is essential reading for all those working to protect children from sexual abuse. -- Jenny Pearce, Professor of Young People and Public Policy, University of Bedfordshire
Rosaleen McElvaney is a clinical psychologist who has worked in the public health services in Ireland for many years, primarily in services for children or adults who have experienced sexual abuse. She has served on the boards of Crime Victims Helpline, the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland and One in Four. She is currently a lecturer in psychotherapy at Dublin City University and lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Chapter 1: Introduction. Chapter 2: Child sexual abuse and its impact. Chapter 3: Containing the secret. What we know about child abuse disclosure. Chapter 4: Believing children. Chapter 5: Recognising the signs. Chapter 6: Asking questions. Chapter 7: Understanding self-blame and shame. Chapter 8: Helping friends tell. Chapter 9: After first disclosure.