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Contesting Stories of Childhood Sexual Abuse


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Table of Contents

Introduction A Story for Our Time Beyond the Recovered Memory Wars Choosing a Story: Making Sense/Finding Evidence Making Contact: Knowledge and the Inner Child Life with the Inner Child Problems with the Children The Contradictory Self Healing and Growing Up 'Compulsory Sexuality': Sexing the Story of Childhood Sexual Abuse A Role for the Storytellers Bibliography

About the Author

JO WOODIWISS is Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Huddersfield, UK, and a feminist activist. She has worked in the field of sexual violence and abuse for over a decade. She has published widely on childhood sexual abuse in relation to women's narratives, adult victims, and recovered memories.


'This is a challenging book written from a feminist perspective. Contesting Stories is really about 'the self' and how therapeutic discourses shape and limit the ways in which we make sense of our lives - particularly in the context of abuse...a thought provoking book which must surely be widely read for the challenges to conventional thinking that it embodies.'

- Carol Smart, Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester

'Contesting Stories of Childhood Sexual Abuse argues that the tellers of 'stories' about such abuse are as much, or even more so, the victims of the limited and limiting stories of therapy, harm and recovery in circulation in contemporary culture...a significant and indeed provocative contribution to this intense debate.'

- Jeff Hearn, Universities of Huddersfield, UK and Linkoeping, Sweden

'This important book illuminates the ways in which the homogenous discourses of false memory syndrome and child sexual abuse represent adult women as victims while simultaneously demanding that they engage in active reconstruction of the self... this book offers vivid examples of the active, creative and agentic woman in therapy, as she mobilises many apparently fixed notions to suit her own chosen biography.'

- Dr Gail Hawkes, School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Science, University of New England, Australia

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