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Memorable life events and disclosure of child sexual abuse: possibilities and challenges across diverse contexts

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This article examines the relationship between memorable life events (MLEs) and disclosure of sexual abuse in childhood. The findings derive from a larger thematic and phenomenological analysis of MLEs across the life course of 12 adults with self-reported histories of child sexual abuse (CSA). Participants were recruited from the UK, but represent a diverse group in terms of age, gender, country of origin, sexuality and disability. In-depth interviews and Life History Calendars (LHCs) were used to collect a range of contextual and event-based data. Varied and unique MLEs were found to promote disclosure of sexual abuse in childhood, although this was highly contingent on context. A conceptual framework is offered as a way of navigating this relationship and contexts that can inhibit, alter or reverse decisions to disclose abuse. This research is the first known in-depth analysis of MLEs and CSA, and therefore makes an original contribution to the field.
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Keywords: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE; DISCLOSURE; LIFE COURSE; LIFE EVENTS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: July, 2017

This article was made available online on February 9, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Memorable life events and disclosure of child sexual abuse: Possibilities and challenges across diverse contexts".

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