chapter  Six
12 Pages

Listening to the voices of the abused

ByArnold W. Rachman, Susan A. Klett

Women are abused in a much higher proportion than men, and have been significantly helped to give voice and publicly disclose their real experiences of childhood seduction and adult sexual trauma. Judith Herman, one of the most respected voices in the study of women's sexual trauma, welcomed the new emphasis on identifying the reality of actual sexual abuse in women's lives. Re-evoking the veil of denial recreates for incest survivors the blame-the-child experiences of their original trauma. Sigmund Freud had long abandoned his experiences with incest survivors and his ideas about the traumatic origins of neurosis. The climate of exposure of the incest trauma has also been the subject of fiction. The main subject is someone who has been sexually abused by both her parents. The incest survivor's peer movement can be said to have led the way in lifting the veil of denial regarding the occurrence of incest in family interaction.