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Abstract

Existing clinical literature on childhood sexual abuse (csa) typically explores the topic from an etic or ‘outside-in’ perspective. This is done through the use of diagnostic labels and theories that seek to describe the outcomes of csa from the clinician’s, researcher’s, or observer’s point of view. While there is merit in understanding the problem from an objective lens, the experience of sexual abuse is an intimate and personal one. As such, explorations of the topic must include an emic, phenomenological, or ‘inside-out’ perspective. Failure to privilege survivors’ voices within the scholarly discourse on csa results in a sanitized conversation about a topic that is inherently dangerous. To better understand the problem of csa, we have to be willing to write dangerously and read dangerously. This chapter explores the impact of sexual abuse from the dangerous lens of the survivor’s lived experience. First-person vignettes from the author’s own life are interwoven with excerpts from Lewis Carroll’s novel Through the Looking-Glass.

In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations
This volume addresses trauma not only from a theoretical, descriptive and therapeutic perspective, but also through the survivor as narrator, meaning maker, and presenter. By conceptualising different outlooks on trauma, exploring transfigurations in writing and art, and engaging trauma through scriptotherapy, dharma art, autoethnography, photovoice and choreography, the interdisciplinary dialogue highlights the need for rethinking and re-examining trauma, as classical treatments geared towards healing do not recognise the potential for transfiguration inherent in the trauma itself. The investigation of the fissures, disruptions and shifts after punctual traumatic events or prolonged exposure to verbal and physical abuse, illness, war, captivity, incarceration, and chemical exposure, amongst others, leads to a new understanding of the transformed self and empowering post-traumatic developments.

Contributors are Peter Bray, Francesca Brencio, Mark Callaghan, M. Candace Christensen, Diedra L. Clay, Leanne Dodd, Marie France Forcier, Gen’ichiro Itakura, Jacqueline Linder, Elwin Susan John, Kori D. Novak, Cassie Pedersen, Danielle Schaub, Nicholas Quin Serenati, Aslı Tekinay, Tony M. Vinci and Claudio Zanini.
In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations
In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations
In: Topography of Trauma: Fissures, Disruptions and Transfigurations