What do survivors of child sexual abuse believe will facilitate early disclosure of sexual abuse?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Psychiatry. 2021, 12, 639391. 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.639341
The purpose of this study was to explore what adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) believe will facilitate early disclosure of sexual abuse. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 adult survivors of CSA aged 18–57 years, and analyzed the transcripts using reflexive thematic analysis. Our analysis resulted in three main themes: Adults making it possible to tell; Adults daring to consider the unthinkable; and Conveying knowledge of CSA that facilitates understanding. The findings highlighted the importance of adults facilitating disclosure and making it possible for survivors to tell about their experiences, but also the responsibility adults have to dare to consider the possibility of CSA when children struggle. Another important finding was the significance of enhancing the general population's understanding of the complexity of CSA, including why disclosure is difficult, so adults are given the tools needed to understand and know what to do when they suspect CSA. The findings also have important implications for the planning and implementation of interventions to facilitate early disclosure of CSA.