ERIC Number: ED305564
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Ethics and Therapeutics: The Treatment of Victims of Child Sexual Abuse.
Chiariello, Michael V.; Chiariello, Judith M.
This paper examines the moral presuppositions of public policy and professional practice concerned with the sexual victimization of children by adults. It begins with an overview of the problem of child sexual abuse and a set of 10 generalizations drawn from research on both clinical and non-clinical samples of victims. Three responsibilities which need to be undertaken by researchers and clinicians are proposed: (1) that they develop a better understanding of the moral-ideological background of current interest in the problem of child sexual abuse; (2) that they acknowledge those facts which might conflict with their own moral presuppositions and challenge those beliefs which impede a proper understanding of the victim; and (3) that they put the victim's needs and perceptions at the head of their treatment priorities, thereby challenging themselves to be more critical of their professional response to reports of child sexual abuse. Research is reviewed in the areas of moral-ideological background, the question of harm, treatment issues, and implications for moral theory. The report concludes that professionals who work with victims of child sexual abuse must respect the personhood of the child as a moral absolute, must always work to minimize the harm which a child suffers from abuse, and must ensure that the child's opinions and perceptions of victimization are respected. (NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Counseling and Development (Boston, MA, March 15-18, 1989).