Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Midwifery Practice: CSA, Birth and Powerlessness

  • ISBN 9781846194245

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Many midwives will care for women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) whether these women disclose this or not. Pregnant and birthing women commonly experience their bodies becoming 'public property' a variety of sometimes intimate medical procedures and limited choices on where and how care is provided. For CSA survivors who have suffered loss of ownership over their bodies as children and may experience recurring feelings of powerlessness and loss of control these factors can combine with impersonal and medicalised settings and practices to deeply traumatic effect. 'Sexual abuse is all about power not sex.' - interviewee Many midwives also experience powerlessness and loss of control as professionals as a result of these same settings and practices and those midwives who are themselves CSA survivors bring a particularly acute awareness of this and of the needs of survivor mothers. This unique study sets out to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of these mothers by exploring them alongside the parallel experiences of survivor midwives.
It explores the insights and reflections they together bring to midwifery and the positive results of more collaborative personal communicative and ultimately empowering practices for all involved.
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