Justice for Survivors: An Elusive Goal
VIOLATING TRUST – PROFESSIONAL SEXUAL ABUSE, C. Boeckenhauer, L. Michael, N. Ormerod, A. Wansbrough, eds., Wild & Woolley Pty Ltd, 1998
Posted: 24 Mar 2010
Date Written: 1998
It has been speculated that the effects of sexual assault on victims are exacerbated by non-disclosure. It is therefore important to explore the reasons why survivors do not disclose or make formal reports. This chapter looks at some of the factors that have stopped many survivors of sexual assault or exploitation by health professionals from reporting sexual assault. A sense of shame is the principal deterrent; this is coupled with other factors derived from the nature of the relationship – the inequality and trust inherent between the patient and practitioner and, in counselling contexts, possibly the added power inequity in transference. Those who do report may have an unsatisfactory experience as evidenced in an Australian case.
Keywords: sexual assault, report
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