Working with Adolescent Girls who have been Sexually Abused
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This part of the book explores the wider contexts and impact of intersecting harms (child sexual abuse [CSA], family violence and gender inequality) in regard to adolescent girls and teenage mothers. Our entry to the topic is the story of Melissa (not her real name). Ecological systems theory, as a basis for practice, would have us acknowledge that children are nested within family systems, which in turn are nested within community and societal systems, and that interventions that explore the inter-relationship of system dynamics can be particularly effective. We agree with and have written extensively about this, but Melissa’s story reminds us too that sometimes children are embedded in systems that are so destructive to their well-being that they must, for their survival, find themselves un-nested. Melissa represents the child whose family is so dangerous to her safety that she cannot remain a part of it or at most who lives on its periphery and therefore new systems of support need to be created.
KeywordsSexual Abuse Sexual Violence Attachment Style Insecure Attachment Teenage Mother
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