Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 680–694 | Cite as

Mothers’ Experiences with Pastoral Care in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse

  • Jane F. GilgunEmail author
  • Gwendolyn Anderson
Original Paper

Abstract

This article reports on case study research with four mothers who asked for help from their pastors when they learned, or had reason to believe, that their husbands had sexually abused children in their families. In their own words, mothers gave accounts of how the pastors responded. Some were helpful and knowledgeable, some appeared bewildered, and others were hostile and blaming toward the women. This article will sensitize pastors and other pastoral counselors to issues that child sexual abuse raises. In addition, the research responds to Mahoney’s (J Marriage Fam 72:805–827, 2010) observations about the scarcity of knowledge on whether religion helps or harms families during times of stress.

Keywords

Religion and family life Child sexual abuse Case study research Qualitative research Pastoral counseling Narrative research 

References

  1. Alaggia, R. (2004). Many ways of telling: Expanding conceptualizations of child sexual abuse disclosure. Child Abuse and Neglect, 28, 1213–1227.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. American Association of Pastoral Counselors. (2010). AAPC code of ethics. https://aapc.org/content/ethics
  3. Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (2007). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theories and methods (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  4. Bolen, R. M., & Lamb, J. L. (2004). Ambivalence of nonoffending guardians after child sexual abuse disclosure. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(2), 185–211.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Briere, J., & Elliott, D. M. (2003). Prevalence and psychological sequelae of self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse in a general population sample of men and women. Child Abuse and Neglect, 27, 1205–1222.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bulmer, M. (1984). The Chicago School of Sociology: Institutionalization, diversity, and the rise of sociological research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Campbell, A. M. (2009). False faces and broken lives: An exploratory study of the interaction behaviors used by male sex offenders in relating to victims. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 28, 428–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, J. C., Webster, D. W., & Glass, N. (2009). The danger assessment: Validation of a lethality risk assessment instrument for intimate partner femicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24, 653–674.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2010). Clergy as mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect: Summary of state laws. Retrieved from www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/clergymandated.cfm
  10. Deegan, M. J. (1990). Jane Addams and the men of the Chicago School, 1892–1918. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
  11. Everson, M. D., Hunter, W. M., Runyon, D. K., Edelsohn, G. A., & Coulter, M. L. (1989). Maternal support following disclosure of incest. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 59, 197–207.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Faris, R. E. L. (1967). Chicago sociology 1920–1932. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Finkelhor, D. (2009). The prevention of child sexual abuse. The Future of Children, 19(2), 169–194.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., Ormrod, R., & Hamby, S. L. (2009). Violence, abuse, and crime exposure in a national sample of children and youth. Pediatrics, 124, 1411–1423.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Frederick, T. V. (2009). Models of psychotherapy: Implications for pastoral care practice. Pastoral Psychology, 58, 351–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gengler, S. W., & Lee, J. W. (2002). Ministers’ understanding of battered women: Differences among Catholic male priests, Protestant female ministers and Protestant male ministers. Journal of Religion & Abuse, 3, 41–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gilgun, J. F. (1988). Self-centeredness and the adult male perpetrator of child sexual abuse. Contemporary Family Therapy, 10, 216–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilgun, J. F. (1991). Resilience and the intergenerational transmission of child sexual abuse. In M. Q. Patton (Ed.), Family sexual abuse: Frontline research and evaluation (pp. 93–105). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gilgun, J. F. (1994a). Avengers, conquerors, playmates, and lovers: A continuum of roles played by perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Families in Society, 75, 467–480.Google Scholar
  20. Gilgun, J. F. (1994b). A case for case studies in social work research. Social Work, 39, 371–380.Google Scholar
  21. Gilgun, J. F. (1995). We shared something special: The moral discourse of incest perpetrators. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 265–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gilgun, J. F. (1996a). Human development and adversity in ecological perspective, Part 2: Three patterns. Families in Society, 77, 459–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gilgun, J. F. (1996b). Human development and adversity in ecological perspective: Part 1: A conceptual framework. Families in Society, 77, 395–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gilgun, J. F. (1996c). The phenomenology of family violence. Paper presented at the preconference workshop on theory construction and research methodology, National Council on Family Relations, Kansas City, MO, November 5.Google Scholar
  25. Gilgun, J. F. (1998). A comprehensive theory of family violence. A paper presented at the 28th preconference workshop on theory construction and research methodology, National Council on Family Relations, Milwaukee, WI.Google Scholar
  26. Gilgun, J. F. (1999a). CASPARS: New tools for assessing client risks and strengths. Families in Society, 80(5), 450–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gilgun, J. F. (1999b). Fingernails painted red: A feminist, semiotic analysis of “hot” text. Qualitative Inquiry, 5, 181–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gilgun, J. F. (1999c). In their own words: Men talk about their violence. A paper presented at the 29th preconference workshop on theory construction and research methodology, National Council on Family Relations, Irvine, CA.Google Scholar
  29. Gilgun, J. F. (2000). A comprehensive theory of interpersonal violence. Paper presented at the paper presented at the conference on the victimization of children and youth: An international research conference, Durham, NH, June 25–28, 2000.Google Scholar
  30. Gilgun, J. F. (2002). Social work and the assessment of the potential for violence. In T. Ngoh Tiong & I. Dodds (Eds.), Social work around the world II (pp. 58–74). Berne, Switzerland: International Federation of Social Workers.Google Scholar
  31. Gilgun, J. F. (2004). Fictionalizing life stories: Yukee the wine thief. Qualitative Inquiry, 10(5), 691–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gilgun, J. F. (2006). Children and adolescents with problematic sexual behaviors: Lessons from research on resilience. In R. Longo & D. Prescott (Eds.), Current perspectives on working with sexually aggressive youth and youth with sexual behavior problems (pp. 383–394). Holyoke, MA: Neari Press.Google Scholar
  33. Gilgun, J. F. (2008). Lived experience, reflexivity, and research on perpetrators of interpersonal violence. Qualitative Social Work, 7(2), 181–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gilgun, J. F. (2010a). Reflections on 25 years of research on violence. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 16(4), 50–59.Google Scholar
  35. Gilgun, J. F. (2010b). Methods for enhancing theory and knowledge about problems, policies, and practice. In K. Briar, J. Orme, R. Ruckdeschel, & I. Shaw (Eds.), The Sage handbook of social work research (pp. 281–297). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gilgun, J. F. (2011). Child sexual abuse: From harsh realities to hope (2nd ed.). Amazon.Google Scholar
  37. Gilgun, J. F. (2012a). Enduring themes in qualitative family research. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 4, 80–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gilgun, J. F. (2012b). Hand into glove: Grounded theory, deductive qualitative analysis and social work research and practice. In A. E. Fortune, W. Reid, & R. Miller (Eds.), Qualitative methods in social work (2nd ed., pp. 107–134). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Gilgun, J. F. (2013). Violence as spiritual quest. Paper presented at the university of at the eighth international congress on violence in clinical psychiatry, Ghent, Belgium, 24 October.Google Scholar
  40. Gilgun, J. F. (2014). Writing up qualitative research. In P. Leavy (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of qualitative research methods (pp. 658–676). New York: Oxford University.Google Scholar
  41. Gilgun, J. F., & Abrams, L. S. (2005). Gendered adaptations, resilience, and the perpetration of violence. In M. Ungar (Ed.), Handbook for working with children and Youth: Pathways to resilience across cultures and context (pp. 57–70). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gilgun, J. F., & Anderson, G. (2013). Mothers’ perspectives on signs of sexual abuse in their families. Families in Society, 9(4), 259–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Gilgun, J. F., & Connor, T. M. (1989). How perpetrators view child sexual abuse. Social Work, 34, 349–351.Google Scholar
  44. Gilgun, J. F., Jones, D., & Rice, K. (2005). Emotional expressiveness as an indicator of progress in treatment. In M. C. Calder (Ed.), Emerging approaches to work with children and young people who sexually abuse (pp. 231–244). Dorset: Russell House.Google Scholar
  45. Gilgun, J. F., Keskinen, S., Marti, D. J., & Rice, K. (1999). Clinical applications of the CASPARS instruments: Boys who act out sexually. Families in Society, 80(6), 629–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Gilgun, J. F., Klein, C., & Pranis, K. (2000). The significance of resources in models of risk. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 627–646.Google Scholar
  47. Gilgun, J. F., & McLeod, L. (1999). Gendering violence. Studies in Symbolic Interactionism, 22, 167–193.Google Scholar
  48. Gilgun, J. F., & Reiser, E. (1990). Sexual identity development among men sexually abused in childhood. Families in Society, 71, 515–523.Google Scholar
  49. Heitritter, L., & Vought, J. (2006). Helping victims of sexual abuse: A sensitive biblical guide for counselors, victims, and families. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House.Google Scholar
  50. Hershkowitz, I., Lanes, O., & Lamb, M. E. (2007). Exploring the disclosure of child sexual abuse with alleged victims and their parents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31, 111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Holcomb, J. S., & Holcomb, L. A. (2011). Rid of my disgrace: Hope and healing for victims of sexual assault. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.Google Scholar
  52. Johnson, M. C. (2008). A typology of domestic violence: Intimate terrorism, violent resistance, and situational couple violence. Lebanon, NH: Northeastern University.Google Scholar
  53. London, K., Bruck, M., Ceci, S. J., & Shuman, D. W. (2005). Disclosure of child sexual abuse: What does the research tell us about the ways that children tell? Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 11, 194–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mahoney, A. (2010). Religion in families, 1999–2009: A relational spirituality framework. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 805–827.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. National Children’s Alliance. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/index.php?s=24.
  56. Neergaard, J. A., Lee, J. W., Anderson, B., & Gengler, S. W. (2007). Women experiencing intimate partner violence: Effects of confiding in religious leaders. Pastoral Psychology, 55, 773–787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Paine, M. L., & Hansen, D. J. (2002). Factors influencing children to self-disclose sexual abuse. Clinical Psychology Review, 22, 271–295.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Poling, J. N. (2006). Preventing family violence: An educational model. Pastoral Psychology, 54, 377–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schmutzer, A. J. (2008). A theology of sexual abuse: A reflection on creation and devastation. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 51(4), 785–812.Google Scholar
  60. Shannon-Lewy, C., & Dull, V. T. (2005). The response of Christian clergy to domestic violence: Help or hindrance? Aggression & Violent Behavior, 10(6), 647–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sharma, A., & Gilgun, J. (2008). What perpetrators say about child sexual abuse. Indian Journal of Social Work, 69(3), 321–338.Google Scholar
  62. Snyder, H. N. (2000). Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement: Victim, incident, and offender characteristics. Washington: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  63. Staller, K. M., & Nelson-Gardell, D. (2005). A burden in your heart: Lessons of disclosure from female preadolescent and adolescent survivors of sexual abuse. Child Abuse and Neglect, 29, 1415–1432.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Stauffer, L. B., & Deblinger, E. (2005). Cognitive-behavioral interventions with non-offending parents of children who have been sexually abused. In P. Forrest Talley (Ed.), Handbook for the treatment of abused and neglected children (pp. 315–339). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
  65. Stoltenborgh, M., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Euser, E. M., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2011). A global perspective on child sexual abuse: Meta-analysis of prevalence around the world. Child Maltreatment, 16, 79–101.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Ungar, M., Tutty, L. M., McConnell, S., Barter, K., & Fairholm, J. (2009). What Canadian youth tell us about disclosing abuse. Child Abuse and Neglect, 33, 699–708.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2012). Child maltreatment 2012. Retrieved from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2012.pdf.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Minnesota, Twin CitiesSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social WorkUniversity of MinnesotaDuluthUSA

Personalised recommendations