The issue of Childhood Sexual Experiences (CSEs) is highly controversial, and has generated considerable disagreement and conflict. Such experiences are often framed as child sexual abuse (CSA) within a discourse of child maltreatment. Sexual activity between adults and young children is indeed abuse, and fully merits the moral stance taken by therapists, health professionals and society. However, Childhood Sexual Experiences presents evidence that viewing all CSEs through the same prism of abuse, victimhood and commonly-held perceptions of gender socialisation may not always allow those affected to tell the whole story. Not all those who experienced sexual activity as children view themselves as victims, believe that their experiences had a profoundly or irrevocably negative impact on their lives, or view their experiences as 'abusive'. Others do not want their identities to be linked to specific events in childhood. Applying a positive psychology approach, Childhood Sexual Experiences recounts and explores the stories of those who have shown an ability to come to terms with or overcome the difficulties that they have faced, exploring the insights these narratives of resilience present to therapists and health and social care professionals. 'I would encourage you to read this book with an open mind and to look for the strength and determination to be found in these narratives, remembering that those who are resilient may teach us how better to help those who are less fortunate.' - Sally V

chapter 1|10 pages

Childhood sexual experiences

chapter 3|10 pages

Normal sexual development

chapter 4|20 pages

A silence recently broken

chapter 6|14 pages

Protecting and helping others

chapter 7|16 pages

Justice at any cost

chapter 8|22 pages

Remaining defiant

chapter 9|12 pages

Kids and adults that don’t tell

chapter 10|16 pages

Drawing together the threads of resilience