Adult Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse

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This chapter will demonstrate what is meant by child sexual abuse, by giving definitions that are set out in the literature and the law. It will then describe how adult survivors of child sexual abuse have been affected


Literature from different countries will be accessed and comparisons drawn between studies to establish whether there are cross-cultural similarities and differences. As far as possible, the most recent literature, largely from the past decade, will be accessed. Older literature will be used to draw comparisons in areas that have not been recently examined. It is important to access both quantitative and qualitative studies, so that statistical data can be presented, and underlying reasons and problems can be discussed, which only qualitative data can represent.This area is topical and fast-movchanging, as more cases are brought to light, especially in the area of institutional abuse, which has in the past gone unexamined but is now investigated and widely publicised. Due to stigma and trauma, it may be the case that the true prevalence and nature of this type of abuse is only now becoming known. For ease of reading, Child Sexual Abuse will be referred to as CSA throughout this review.The definitions of CSA vary across literature and in legal terms over time and geographically. Historically, rape alone was considered to be abusive, and this may have been difficult to prove as it relied on the belief in the victim's assertion of an absence of consent. Many children who are abused may not define their experiences as abusive as they see what happened as too trivial to report (McGee et al., 2002: xxxvii). ...
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