The struggles and triumphs of non-offending mothers in dealing with the sexual abuse of their children : an exploratory study.
Child abuse continues to be a major challenge in South Africa. Much of the research has focused on helping children who have been abused and more recently focus has been placed on the perpetrator. Understanding the needs of the mother of the abused child has largely been neglected. This study explored how mothers of abused children are also affected by the child's trauma and how her survival contributes to the healing of the family. Using a qualitative research approach, data was gathered from case files, groupwork notes and in-depth interviews with eight women whose children had been abused. A feminist approach guided the study. This research described the experiences of women and provided insight into their struggles and triumphs as they assisted their children in the healing process.