The Federation Press

Moving On

Women’s experiences of childhood sexual abuse and beyond


This book is based on a qualitative research study of ten women’s experiences of intrafamilial childhood sexual abuse. It explores their experiences of abuse and the impact this has had on their adult lives.

Yvonne Darlington takes readers through the impact of sexual abuse on the women’s sense of self and their relationships with others; she deals with their experiences of moving on from the negative impact of sexual abuse. The women candidly describe their experiences of individual counselling support groups as well as the crucial importance of friends. There is hopefulness in the women’s stories as they move on from the tragedy of their earlier experience to forge new lives and new relationships.

The women’s abuse experiences are clearly set in the context of the rest of their lives. They are presented as whole people and not merely victims or survivors of sexual abuse.

The book has an overview of literature on the impact of sexual abuse including the contribution of autobiographical accounts of sexual abuse. It provides the reader with valuable insight into the long-term impact of sexual abuse as well as the possibilities for healing and change.

Table of Contents


The Long-term impact of child sexual abuse

What the research says
Autobiographical accounts

Background to the study: the women and the abuse they suffered

The women
The sexual abuse

The women’s experiences of childhood sexual abuse: Impact

Impact of the sexual abuse on self
Hope for a better future
Impact on adult sexual relationships
Ongoing relationships with the abusers
Impact on relationships with mothers and children

The women’s experiences of childhood sexual abuse: Moving on

The role of counselling
The role of support groups and friends
Healing as a process
In summary


Of interest...