Social Work - Research Publications

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    Child sexual abuse allegations in the context of divorce: issues for mothers
    Humphreys, Catherine (British Association of Social Workers, 1997)
    The investigation and assessment of allegations of child sexual abuse constitute a difficult and contentious area for practitioners involved in this process. When these allegations emerge in the context of divorce, the problems of assessment appear to be compounded. This paper argues that when mothers raise concerns about child sexual abuse during divorce proceedings these are often construed as vindictive or misguided. Such constructions of mothers have significant implications for the protection,or lack of protection of children in these circumstances. The way in which this ’knowledge’ about mothers has developed is explored and held up against the results of empirical studies which show that there is little basis for this construction of mothers. Possible explanations for this incongruity are suggested with a view to progressing child protection in this area.