Applying Narrative Analysis to the Process of Confirming or Disregarding Cases of Suspected Sexual Abuse
2005 (English)In: Child & Family Work, ISSN 1356-7500 (print) 1365-2206 (online), Vol. 10, no 1, 57-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article analyses discourse about sexual abuse at a detention home for young women. At the centre of attention is staff members' struggle with the process of confirming or disregarding cases of alleged sexual abuse. The determining factor for establishing an act as sexual abuse was whether or not the act involved a person who was defined as a victim. A core issue in the process was an evaluation of the credibility of the alleged abused girl and the degree of consent. The unintended result was that many of the girls' narratives were never confirmed. The article argues that there is no objective 'given' regarding the definition of sexual abuse. To be involved in the process of understanding and establishing an act as sexual abuse means being involved in a process of social definition. To be able to handle such involvement constitutes a fundamental professional issue in social work. Adopting a narrative approach to the process of confirming or disregarding cases of suspected sexual abuse shifts the focus from developing categories of social problems and work on the basis of them to developing ways of listening to young people and allowing their narratives to provide a point of departure.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 10, no 1, 57-65 p.
detention home, narrative, sexual abuse, young women
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13449DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2005.00352.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13449DiVA: diva2:20764