A book which aims to provide support and information to mothers whose children have been sexually abused.
Type of intervention
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Communities and Families | Tertiary prevention | Young Adults (18-20 years), Adults (21+ years) | Female | Book/guide | English
Mothers and carers of children who have been sexually assaulted.
Mode and context of delivery
The book aims to help mothers and caregivers whose children have been sexually assaulted by giving advice and information.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
No expertise is required to access the book and gain from the information it gives.
Professionals including social workers, child protection officers, doctors, health visitors, teachers, police officers and any others who work with people whose lives and/or families have been affected by child sexual abuse may benefit from reading the book, in order to gain an insight in to the difficulties that mothers of sexually abused children can face.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
The book is 96 pages long and contains seven chapters: ‘What is child sexual abuse?’, ‘Why didn’t my child tell me?’, ‘Why didn’t I know?’, ‘What happens when a child tells?’, ‘And then what?’, ‘Help for your child’ and ‘The prevention of child sexual abuse and your journey’.
Description of intervention
This book is co-authored. One author is a Clinical Psychologist, specialising in working with children who have been sexually abused. The other author is herself the mother of a child who experienced sexual abuse. Strong Mothers aims to provide support and information to mothers whose children have been sexually abused. Its objective is to help mothers learn to accept that “nothing will be the same again” and to help them to realise that abuse is never the fault of the child or the non-abusing parent. Definitions of Child Sexual Abuse are provided and information is given on who sexually abuses children. Information is provided on the UK criminal justice system and the child protection system, as well as what to expect in terms of support for the child. This book supports mothers to carry the emotional burden of the sexual abuse of their child, as well as helping them to cope with their own feelings and questions (for example, ‘Why didn’t my child tell me?’ and ‘Why didn’t I know?’). The book supports mothers to feel that they are, sadly, not alone in having to help their child move forward from being abused, by providing real-life testimonials throughout the book from other mothers whose children have been sexually abused. The book provides information on how mothers can prevent further sexual abuse and on being a ‘protective parent’. Professionals may also find this resource useful to gain an insight in to the difficulties that mothers of sexually abused children may face.
This book is well-regarded in the field of helping recovery from sexual abuse. For example, this resource is recommended by Women’s Support Project (UK), Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre (Scotland), Mothers of Sexually Abused Children (MOSAC, UK) and Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS, UK), to name a few.
The resource had also been reviewed in the Journal ‘Adoption & Fostering’ (Borthwick, S. 1998), Writing from Experience: Strong Mothers: A Resource for Mothers and Carers of Children Who Have Been Sexually Assaulted. Adoption & Fostering, 22, 74.). The author credits the book for providing much information around the definitions of sexual abuse and for providing information on the criminal justice and child protection systems, as well as the hard hitting and poignant real life testimonials that are included throughout the book from mothers whose children have been sexually abused.
Peake, A., &Fletcher, M, (1997). Strong Mothers: A resource for mothers and carers of children who have been sexually assaulted. Dorset, UK: Russell House Publishing.
Russell House Publishing (Publisher)
4 St George’s House
The Business Park
INFORMATION CORRECT AT JUNE 2020