South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

The way forward

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The purpose of this article is to urge all of those working with children and adult survivors of sexual abuse to remember that women can and do sexually abuse. I know this is a challenging fact to confront, I am not wanting to minimise the significance of gender in our understanding of' child sexual abuse, nor distort facts. I simply want us to do all we can to prevent abuse and to allow those who are sexually abused to feel free to speak their truth, to be believed and helped to heal. Kathy Evert (Evert and Bijkerk 1987, p. 175) concluded her autobiography with the words:

I have, with careful help,
reclaimed my soul,
And my responsibility now
Is to go on with my life.
And our responsibility together, you and I
Is to help save as many others as we can along the way.

Clearly, the opportunities for further research and best practice need to be grasped.

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