Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Adult child sexual abuse victims-Psychology, Adult child sexual abuse victims-Rehabilitation, Parents of sexually abused children-Psychology, Sexually abused children-Rehabilitation, Object relations (Psychoanalysis), Psychic trauma, Theoretical, Childhood sexual abuse, Non-offending caregivers, Sexually victimized children, Survivors of childhood sexual abuse, Winnicott's object relations theory, Trauma theory


Childhood sexual abuse is a horrific crime and prevalent social problem within our society that requires multiple levels of intervention. Sexual victimization and sexual offending of children is not a new phenomenon. Although literature is available on childhood sexual abuse, much less is known about non-offending caregivers of sexually abuse children who have their own history of childhood sexual abuse. A consistent finding across research on childhood sexual abuse and non-offending caregivers is the importance of the child-caregiver relationship in facilitating recovery for both the child and caregiver. This theoretical study examined the phenomenological experiences of non-offending caregivers whose children disclose sexual abuse and responds to the question, Why is object relations theory and trauma theory a best practice option in the treatment of non-offending caregivers and their sexually victimized child? An indepth exploration and analysis of non-offending caregiver perceptions about their own victimization and reaction to their child's disclosure of sexual abuse, using object relations and trauma theory, offers a best practice approach for helping non-offending caregivers cope with past abuse, current distress, recovery and the preventative needs of their child. Using the Case of Mischa, this study shows how a child's disclosure of childhood sexual abuse to a non-offending caregiver with a trauma history of childhood sexual abuse greatly impacts the caregiver's somatic response to stimuli, internalized views of the self, capacity for interpersonal relatedness, conceptualization of power and trust and theoretical assumptions about the world.




ii, 75 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 71-75)