Mothers of Sexually Abused Children

Edited by Martin Calder, Anne Peake and Kate
Russell House Publishing
ISBN 1 898924 77 5

is an excellent source book for anyone engaged with mothers. It explains what
it is like to become an object of professional scrutiny and to feel marginalised
and disempowered. It brings together a large body of literature and research
within a critical framework, which focuses on mothers’ strengths. Drawing on
the best of practice research and wisdom, the authors explore strategies for
intervention and assessment that can strengthen the mother/child relationship
and restore the bonds disrupted by abuse.

bullet points and practical exercises are used to make the material as
accessible as possible to practitioners and professionals. The material is rich
in detail and so it is frustrating that there is no index. To obtain most value
from its contents, the book itself needs to be approached strategically by
tailoring the material to individual needs.

would provide excellent support to any training or project initiative, provided
that the agency concerned can face the book’s challenges. These challenges are
to establish perceptions of mothers in their wider social context and the need
for a supportive environment for both mothers and workers if safe care for
children is to be achieved.

Richardson is a psychotherapist, trainer and co-author of Creative Responses to
Child Sexual Abuse (Jessica Kingsley, 2001.)

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