Treating Nonoffending Parents in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: by Jill S. Levenson

By Jill S. Levenson

This booklet is helping pros to make trained, research-based exams of threat, delivering innovations for helping and instructing households in which sexual abuse has happened. with out truly advocating reunification, the authors offer a special method for operating with non-offending mom and dad and companions who desire to paintings in the direction of re-unification of the kinfolk.

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Additional info for Treating Nonoffending Parents in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: Connections for Family Safety

Example text

Gently explain that mothers must fully acknowledge their partner's offenses to successfully complete the program, because mothers who don't believe that sexual abuse took place will not take necessary precautions. Let her know that she will be given time to accept the difficult truths about her partner, but that if she is still denying the abuse at the end of the program, reunification cannot be recommended. Women can be encouraged to acknowledge their partners' behaviors by empathizing with their shock, validating their need to see their partners in a positive light, and reflecting the conflicting feelings they have.

Similarly, any therapists treating any affected children should be involved in assessing the appropriateness of reunification. All treating professionals should be fully informed of the progress (or lack thereof) of each family member. Entering the World of the Nonoffending Parent Spend some time at the end of the session alone with the nonoffending parent. Because many nonoffending parents (like abusers) are referred for counseling by the courts, a child protection agency, or a probation officer, they are 30 TREATING NONOFFENDING PARENTS often suspicious and resentful.

Unless the Connections therapist can earn the trust of the client by genuinely empathizing with her, she will retreat into defensiveness. The sexual abuse has become a reflection of the nonoffending parent's own ability to parent and to choose a mate and threatens her self-worth. If someone she loves abused her own child, she feels inadequate for not seeing it coming. She is ashamed of being unable to protect her child. If someone she loves abused someone else's child, she must justify why she chooses to stay with a partner who has betrayed her.

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