Understanding Child Sexual Abuse: Making the Tactics Visible

By Sam
Handsell Publishing
ISBN 1 903199 10 7

This is a small book with a large aim – to
change the discourse about child sexual abuse through concepts that
connect social context, gender, abusers’ tactics and survivors’
construction of identity. Warner does this by reworking and
synthesising existing conceptual frameworks and by developing new
ideas informed by her work as a practitioner and trainer. She
recognises how child sexual abuse challenges our assumptive worlds
and calls for a paradigm shift in understanding of the experience
of child and adult survivors and the tasks of intervention and

A key focus is the deconstruction of the power
of abusers by making their tactics visible, although the author
does not seek to create an overarching theory that explains all
sexually abusive behaviour. Theory is built in a creative and
exploratory way. The author provides a strong challenge to the
medical model and to professionals who risk replicating the
dynamics of abuse.

The book is worth adding to the body of
literature already available. It is recommended as a practical
introductory text, which will be easily assimilated by
professionals needing to climb a steep learning curve, and as a
useful resource for training.

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

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.