NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ834948
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Child Abuse: Betrayal and Disclosure
Foynes, Melissa Ming; Freyd, Jennifer J.; DePrince, Anne P.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v33 n4 p209-217 Apr 2009
Objective: The current study tested several hypotheses about disclosure of childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse derived from Betrayal Trauma Theory [Freyd, J. J. (1996). Betrayal trauma: The logic of forgetting childhood abuse. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press]. We predicted that the duration of time from abuse to its disclosure would vary as a function of victim-perpetrator closeness. Methods: Data collected from 202 undergraduate participants using a survey methodology were submitted to logistic regression analyses. The relative variance explained by other variables was also examined. Results: Compared to survivors of emotional abuse (EA) who were in not very close (NVC) victim-perpetrator relationships, EA survivors in very close (VC) victim-perpetrator relationships were significantly more likely to wait 1 or more years to disclose, or never to disclose, than to wait a period of time less than 1 year (OR = 2.65). Further, survivors of physical abuse (PA) in VC victim-perpetrator relationships were significantly more likely to wait 1 or more years to disclose their abuse, if it was disclosed at all, than PA survivors of NVC victim-perpetrator relationships (OR = 3.99). Results for sexual abuse were not significant. Conclusions: For EA and PA, VC victim-perpetrator relationships predicted longer durations of time from abuse to its disclosure than NVC victim-perpetrator relationships. Practice implications: Although delayed disclosure may support necessary (albeit abusive) attachments with caregivers, it may also prolong the abuse and prevent receipt of support. Increased awareness that VC victim-perpetrator relationships may predict longer durations of time from abuse to its disclosure, and that these delays may serve a functional purpose, can help guide supportive and empathic responses to traumatic disclosures. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A