An explorative study of parental experiences after the disclosure of child sexual abuse

  • Abigail Lakey
  • Nicolette V. Roman


Child sexual abuse is a well-documented social crime that influences every aspect of the survivor and their family’s lives. The ‘expectation’ is that parents are able to cope with the child’s behavior that may include scholastic challenges, antisocial behavior, sexual explorative behavior as well as adult mannerisms, while at the same time coping with their own feelings of guilt. The aim of the study was to explore parental coping with childcare post the disclosure of child sexual abuse. This study used a qualitative approach with a sample of 12 parents, who were purposively sampled.  Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Themes which evolved from the analysis were parents’s emotional responses to the disclosure of child sexual abuse, parental coping post the disclosure of child sexual abuse and available resources. These findings are discussed in the context of the needs and challenges of the parents, and offers recommendations regarding provisions that can be made for parents.


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