Main Article Content
This paper defines the practice of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) specifically, explaining the choice of words and giving accepted definitions, as well as offering a definition of its own, i.e. that CSA is the disempowering and overpowering of children through sexual means. The paper aims to give an overview of the societal factors contributing to how CSA is framed and received in mainstream society. Throughout this piece of writing the concept of a taboo is used as an analytical category. The paper aims at presenting a wide-ranging view of the practice of CSA, using the writer’s main societal reference point, that of the Anglo world, specifically calling on examples from the United Kingdom (UK) to contextualise the argument. The discussion frames CSA as a taboo, illustrating this through historical inquiry, with a focus on the evolution of morality surrounding the sexuality of children and the nature of acceptable sexual relations during the period of childhood. A (CSA) survivor perspective is offered in the form of personal biographical confession, as well as survivor narratives that are explored more broadly, pointing to those that society deems acceptable, or not. A triangulation between the taboo nature of the practice, the stigma it generates and the effect it has on childhood is drawn up. The impending effects of shame in processing CSA are explored in respect to disclosure and rehabilitation for those disclosing, but also for those being disclosed to, and society at large. Finally, a nuanced postcolonial approach is proposed, whereby CSA is framed as an invasion or overpowering of a body in much the same way one nation-state invades, land-grabs or takes legislative and governmental control over another landmass during the process of colonisation.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Manuscript authors are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions for any copyrighted materials included within manuscripts. The authors must provide permission letters, when appropriate, to the Society Register Editors.
In addition, all published papers in Society Register are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported License.
1.1 The Author hereby warrants that he/she is the owner of all the copyright and other intellectual property rights in the Work and that, within the scope of the present Agreement, the paper does not infringe the legal rights of another person. The owner of the copyright work also warrants that he/she is the sole and original creator thereof and that is not bound by any legal constraints in regard to the use or sale of the work.
1.2. The Publisher warrants that is the owner of the PRESSto platform for open access journals, hereinafter referred to as the PRESSto Platform.
2. The Author grants the Publisher non-exclusive and free of charge license to unlimited use worldwide over an unspecified period of time in the following areas of exploitation:
2.1. production of multiple copies of the Work produced according to the specific application of a given technology, including printing, reproduction of graphics through mechanical or electrical means (reprography) and digital technology;
2.2. marketing authorisation, loan or lease of the original or copies thereof;
2.3. public performance, public performance in the broadcast, video screening, media enhancements as well as broadcasting and rebroadcasting, made available to the public in such a way that members of the public may access the Work from a place and at a time individually chosen by them;
2.4. inclusion of the Work into a collective work (i.e. with a number of contributions);
2.5. inclusion of the Work in the electronic version to be offered on an electronic platform, or any other conceivable introduction of the Work in its electronic version to the Internet;
2.6. dissemination of electronic versions of the Work in its electronic version online, in a collective work or independently;
2.7. making the Work in the electronic version available to the public in such a way that members of the public may access the Work from a place and at a time individually chosen by them, in particular by making it accessible via the Internet, Intranet, Extranet;
2.8. making the Work available according to appropriate license pattern CC BY-NC 4.0 as well as another language version of this license or any later version published by Creative Commons.
3. The Author grants the Publisher permission to reproduce a single copy (print or download) and royalty-free use and disposal of rights to compilations of the Work and these compilations.
4. The Author grants the Publisher permission to send metadata files related to the Work, including to commercial and non-commercial journal-indexing databases.
5. The Author represents that, on the basis of the license granted in the present Agreement, the Publisher is entitled and obliged to:
5.1. allow third parties to obtain further licenses (sublicenses) to the Work and to other materials, including derivatives thereof or compilations made, based on or including the Work, whereas the provisions of such sub-licenses will be the same as with the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Creative Commons sub-license or another language version of this license, or any later version of this license published by Creative Commons;
5.2. make the Work available to the public in such a way that members of the public may access the Work from a place and at a time individually chosen by them, without any technological constraints;
5.3. appropriately inform members of the public to whom the Work is to be made available about sublicenses in such a way as to ensure that all parties are properly informed (appropriate informing messages).
6. Because of the royalty-free provision of services of the Author (resulting from the scope of obligations stipulated in the present Agreement), the Author shall not be entitled to any author’s fee due and payable on the part of the Publisher (no fee or royalty is payable by the Publisher to the Author).
7.1. In the case of third party claims or actions for indemnity against the Publisher owing to any infractions related to any form of infringement of intellectual property rights protection, including copyright infringements, the Author is obliged to take all possible measures necessary to protect against these claims and, when as a result of legal action, the Publisher, or any third party licensed by the Publisher to use the Work, will have to abandon using the Work in its entirety or in part or, following a court ruling in a legal challenge, to pay damages to a third party, whatever the legal basis
7.2. The Author will immediately inform the Publisher about any damage claims related to intellectual property infringements, including the author’s proprietary rights pertaining to a copyrighted work, filed against the Author. of liability, the Author is obliged to redress the damage resulting from claims made by third party, including costs and expenditures incurred in the process.
7.3. To all matters not settled herein provisions of the Polish Civil Code and the Polish Copyright and Related Rights Act shall apply.
- Adams, James Truslow. 1931. The Epic of America. Boston: Little, Brown & co.
- Andresen, Sabine. 2014. "Childhood Vulnerability: Systematic, Structural, and Individual Dimensions." Child Indicators Research 7: 699-713.
- Andresen, Sabine. 2018. "Revisiting the Child from Back Then. Reports on Sexual Abuse in Childhood and Systematic Perspectives on Vulnerability." Childhood Vulnerability Journal 1: 51-66.
- Andresen, Sabine, Andrea Pohling & Nina Schaumann. 2021. "AufWirkungTP1: Disclosure oder die (Un)Sagbarkeit sexualisierter Gewalt." Abschlusstagung des Verbundprojektes Auf-Wirkung (Conference). Retrieved August 11, 2021 from: http://auf-wirkung.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/TP1_AufWirkung-Abschlusstagung_Praesentation_19.04.2021.pdf
- Ariès, Philippe. 1962. Centuries of Chidhood. New York: Vintage Books.
- Ashcroft, Bill. 2001. "“Primitive and Wingless”: the colonial subject as child." Pp. 36-53 in On Post-Colonial Futures, Transformations of Colonial Culture, edited by B. Ashcroft. London & New York: Continuum.
- Bryant, Lisa. 2020. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich. TV Documentary Series. USA: Radical Media, James Patterson Entertainment & Third Eye Motion Picture Company.
- Boesen, Jakob Kirkemann & Tomas Martin. 2007. Applying a Rights-Based Approach. An Insprirational Guide for Civil Society. Copenhagen: The Danish Institute of Human Rights.
- Cantwell, Nigel. 1992. "The Origins, Development and Significance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child." Pp 19-30 in The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A Guide to the 'Travaux Préparatoires' edited by S. Detrick. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
- Conolly, Mark & Judith Ennew. 1996. "Introduction: Children out of place." Childhood 3: 131–145.
- Cook, Daniel Thomas. 2009. "Editorial: When a child is not a child, and other conceptual hazards of childhood studies." Childhood 16 (1): 5-10.
- Cukor, George. 1964. My Fair Lady. Motion Picture. United States: Warner Brothers.
- Cunnington, Claire. 2019. Adults Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Salutogenic Approach. Doctoral Thesis. Sheffield: The University of Sheffield. Retrieved August 11, 2021 (https://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/26956/)
- Cunnington, Claire. 2021. "Victim, Survivor or me? Defining the Self after Childhood Sexual Abuse." Pp 11 in Researching Representations of Child Sexual Abuse in Contemporary Culture (Symposium). Retrieved August 11, 2021 (https://csainculture.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2021/05/CSA-Symposium-Programme-Final.pdf)
- Ennew, Judith. 1986. The Sexual Exploitation of Children. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Fanon, Frantz. 1952/2008. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press. (Original book published in 1952 by Éditions du Seuil).
- Hallett, Sophie. 2016. "'An Uncomfortable Comfortableness': 'Care', Child Protection and Child Sexual Exploitation." British Journal of Social Work 46: 2137-2152.
- Hickle, Kristine & Hallett, Sophie. 2016. "Mitigating Harm: Considering Harm Reduction Principles in Work with Sexually Exploited Young People." Children & Society. 30: 302-313.
- Hodgetts, Darrin & Ottilie Stolte. 2014. "Abjection." Pp 1-3 in Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology, edited by T.Teo. New York: Springer Science + Business Media.
- Invernizzi, Antonella. 2017. "Understanding children’s sexual exploitation and protecting human rights." Pp. 137–156 in Children Out of Place’ and Human Rights. Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research, edited by A. Invernizzi, M. Liebel, B. Milne & R. Budde. Cham: Springer International Publishing AG Switzerland.
- Jud, A. 2014. "Sexueller Kindesmissbrauch – Begriffe, Definitionen und Häufigkeiten." Pp. 41–49 in Sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen. Ein Handbuch zur Prävention und Intervention für Fachkräfte im medizinischen, psychotherapeutischen und pädagogischen Bereich, edited by J. M. Fegert, U. Hoffmann, E. König, J. Niehues, & H. Liebhardt. Heidelberg: Springer.
- Kehily, Mary Jane & Heather Montgomery. 2003."Innocence and Experience." Pp.221-265 in Understanding childhood: an interdisciplinary approach edited by M. Woodhead and H. Montgomery. Chichester: Wiley.
- Kincaid, James R. 1992. Child-Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture. New York/London: Routledge.
- Kitzinger, Jenny. 2004. Framing Abuse: Media Influence and Public Understanding of Sexual Violence Against Children. London: Pluto press.
- Krishna, Srikanth. 2021. "Kevin Spacey bags a project, four years after #MeToo allegations." News Bytes, May 26. Retrieved August 17, 2021 (https://www.newsbytesapp.com/news/entertainment/metoo-accused-kevin-spacey-making-a-comeback/story)
- Kristeva, Julia. 1982. POWERS OF HORROR. An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Locke, John. 1689. An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. London: Thomas Basset.
- Mangan, Dan. 2021. "Fallen Film Producer Harvey Weinstein ordered extradited from New York to Los Angeles to face sexual assault charges." CNBC News, June 15. Retrieved 17 Aug, 2021 (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/15/harvey-weinstein-ordered-extradited-to-los-angeles-to-face-sex-charges.html)
- Maywald, Jörg. 2015. Sexualpädagogik in der Kita-Kinder schützen, stärken, begleiten. Freiburg/Basel/Wien: Herder.
- McRobert, Korinna. 2009. Breaking and Entering. Film. Cyprus: Independent Film. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIJ_qb5LEqI)
- McRobert, Korinna. 2019. "Young survivors of sexual abuse as 'children out of place'" Pp. 143- 157 in Intersectionality and Difference in Childhood and Youth. Global Perspectives edited by N. von Benzon & C. Wilkinson. London: Routledge.
- McRobert, Korinna. 2020. Between Agency and Abuse: A Look at the Representation of Childhood Sexuality Through Media and Art. Frankfurt am Main: Wochenschau/Debus.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2021. "Taboo". Retrieved Aug 17, 2021 (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taboo)
- Montgomery, Heather. 2001. "Imposing rights? A case study of child prostitution in Thailand" Pp.80-101 in Culture and Rights, Anthropological Perspectives edited by J.K. Cowan, M.B. Dembour & R. A. Wilson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Montgomery, Heather. 2003. "Childhood in Time and Place" Pp.45-84 in Understanding childhood: an interdisciplinary approach edited by M. Woodhead and H. Montgomery, Chichester: Wiley.
- Montgomery, Heather. 2008. "Buying Innocence: child-sex tourists in Thailand." Third World Quarterly, 29 (5): 903-917.
- Montgomery, Heather. 2011. "Defining Child Trafficking and Child Prostitution: The Case of Thailand." Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Understanding Human Trafficking and its Victims, 9 (2): 775-811.
- Nieuwenhuys, Olga. 2013. "Theorizing childhood(s)-Why we need postcolonial perspectives." Childhood, 20 (1): 3-8.
- One in Four. 2015. Survivors’ Voices. Breaking the silence on living with the impact of child sexual abuse in the family environment. Retrieved Aug 17, 2021 (http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2015/11/Survivors_Voices_Report_November_2015-2.pdf)
- Our Voices. 2021. Our Voices University Network Challenging sexual violence against children and youth (OVUN). Safer Young Lives Research Centre: University of Bedfordshire. Retrieved Aug 17, 2021 (https://www.our-voices.org.uk)
- Oxford Dictionaries: Lexico. 2021. "Primitivism." Retrieved Aug 17, 2021 (https://www.lexico.com/definition/primitivism)
- Pasura, Dominic, Jones, Adele D., Hafner, James AH, Nathaniel-De-Caires, Karene, Johnson & Emmanuel Janagan. 2012. "Competing meanings of childhood and the social construction of child sexual abuse in the Caribbean". Childhood 20 (2): 200-214.
- Piper, Christine. 2000. "Historical Constructions of Childhood Innocence: Removing Sexuality" Pp.26-45 in Of Innocence and Autonomy-Children, sex and human rights edited by Eric Heinze. Aldershot/Burlington: Dartmouth Publishing Company Limited/Ashgate Publishing Company.
- Reid, Joan A. 2018. "The Imprint of Childhood Abuse on Trauma-Related Shame in Adulthood." Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence. 3 (1). Retrieved Aug 17, 2021 (https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dignity/vol3/iss1/4)
- Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1762. Emile, or On Education/ Émile, ou De l'éducation. Paris: La Haye, J. Néaulme.
- Rubenson, Brigitta, Hanh, Bengt Le Thi, Höjer & Eva Johansson. 2005. "Young Sex-Workers in Ho Chi Minh City Telling their Life Stories." Childhood. 12 (3): 391-411.
- Russel, Amy M. 2013. "Embodiment and Abjection: Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation." Body & Society. 19 (1): 82-107.
- Said, Edward W. 1978/2003. Orientalism. London: Penguin Group (Original book published in 1978 by Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.)
- Sanderson, Christiane. 2010. The Warrior Within: A One in Four handbook to aid recovery from childhood sexual abuse and violence. London: One in Four.
- Save the Children. 2005. Child Rights Programming. How to Apply Rights-Based Approaches to Programming. A Handbook for International Save the Children Alliance Members. Second Edition. Stockholm/London: Save the Children Sweden/International Save the Children Alliance.
- Schroeder, Jonathan E. 2008. “Fetishization” Pp.1803-1808 in International Encyclopedia of Communication, Volume 4 edited by Wolfgang Donsbach. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from: http://www.academia.edu/3068327/Fetishization
- Spyrou, Spyros. 2018. Disclosing Childhoods: research and knowledge production for a critical childhood studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Stainton-Rogers, Rex & Stainton-Rogers, Wendy. 1992. Stories of Childhood: Shifting Agendas in Child Concern. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
- UNICEF. 2020. Action to End Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. A Review of the Evidence. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/media/89096/file/CSAE-Report-v2.pdf
- United Nations. 1948. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/pdf/udhr_booklet_en_web.pdf
- United Nations. 1989. The Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved from: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx
- United Nations. 2002. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (Optional Protocol). Retrieved from: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/OPSCCRC.aspx
- Van der Kolk, Bessel. 2014. The Body Keeps the Score. Mind, brain and body in the transformation of trauma. UK: Penguin Books.
- Wallace, Jo-Ann. 1994. "De-scribing The Water Babies: the child in postcolonial theory" Pp. 171-184 in Describing Empire edited by Chris Tiffin & Alan Lawson. London & New York: Routledge.
- Woodiwiss, Jo. 2009. Contesting stories of childhood sexual abuse. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Woodiwiss, Jo. 2014. "Beyond a single story: The importance of separating 'harm' from 'wrongfulness' and 'sexual innocence' from 'childhood' in contemporary narratives of childhood sexual abuse." Sexualities. 17 (1-2): 139-158.