Hooper, Carol-Ann; Humphreys, Catherine
(British Association of Social Workers, 1998)
Women whose children have been sexually abused have been the subject of a polarized debate between feminist practitioners/writers and family therapists. This paper explores the development of that debate, outlining the key characteristics of work which was informed by family systems perspectives and the contrasting understandings which feminist perspectives brought to analysis and practice. Both feminist perspectives and family therapy have changed since the original debate erupted. This article explores issues which may have been obscured within feminist perspectives. These are, first, the difficulties in the mother-child relationship and, second, the contribution which aspects of family therapy can make to progressing the interests of women and children in the aftermath of child sexual abuse.