Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures

Treatment and Prevention

Lisa A. Fontes ,

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Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures: Treatment and Prevention

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A beautiful foreword by Eliana Gil and a very helpful preface and introduction by the editor, Lisa Aronson Fontes, elucidate the many ways in which culture is relevant to sexual abuse. They set the personal tone and the fresh scholarly information that characterizes the chapters. The reader is treated to an impressive, state-of-the-art array of ideas on culture that opens new avenues for inquiry. The book also offers a new repertoire of rituals and healing practices, such as ′sitting shiva′ to deal with the losses of sexual abuse for the Jewish family, or a version of ′dusmic′ (a term coined by Nuyorican poets) strength to empower Puerto Rican clients. . . . From a practical point of view, this book belongs on the office shelf of all individual and family therapists. They will obtain rich guidance about treatment approaches, therapist-client cultural matching, and prevention strategies that are both more humane and more effective because they are culturally attuned and deepen the knowledge of the cultural context of abuse. --Celia Jaes Falicov in Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy (forthcoming issue) "The overall effect of this edited volume reflects a sense of unity and teamwork. The writing is thorough and thought-provoking. It maintains consistency and originality, while presenting individual issues about the influence of unique cultural factors in working with abuse survivors." --Paula T. McWhirter in Contemporary Psychology "This volume of original chapters is an important contribution to understanding the relationship between culture and child sexual abuse. Lisa Aronson Fontes has edited a thought-provoking collection of papers along with an excellent foreword by Eliana Gil. . . . This book has much to recommend it, not only to the clinician to whom it is geared, but also to the researcher, the policy maker, and the wider community concerned with child sexual abusee." --Jill E. Korbin in Child Abuse & Neglect "The book makes an important contribution to cross-cultural awareness and widens the limited knowledge base about child sexual abuse within the cultural groups concerned. . . . The text promotes ′an ecosystemic approach to sexual abuse′ that takes into account individual, familial, cultural, and societal factors. Therapists, protective workers, and law enforcers, as well as legal, medical, and school personnel and policymakers should find this book a useful tool." --Fred Seligman in READINGS: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health How can we best prevent and treat sexual abuse in diverse populations? Cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, racism, and even homophobia sometimes lead professionals to mishandle issues of sexual abuse. This volume breaks new ground in suggesting ways in which cultural norms can be used to protect children and promote recovery from sexual abuse. It contains information that can be applied to people from all groups as well as nine solution-focused chapters on sexual abuse in the following specific groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, Anglo Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cambodians, Seventh Day Adventists, Jews, gay men, and lesbian women. Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures is the first major work to address cultural issues in family violence. It is essential reading for advanced students, therapists, protective workers, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, attorneys, police, educators, and others interested in adults and children who have been sexually abused. "Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures has been masterfully sculpted to give us individual perceptions of cultures by professionals who were influenced by and who currently provide services to families and communities in distress. . . . This volume is provocative, personal, and professional; it is both abstract and concrete. It struggles with how to discuss the diversity within cultures without wavering from its overall goal of providing basic historical premises for diverse cultures. . . . It also provides an uncharacteristic view of culture that reaches beyond race and ethnicity. . . . The contribution of the book is not only in the information it so aptly presents but also in the way it encourages the reader to think and in the assertion that clinicians must enlighten and empower themselves when working cross-culturally, approaching issues of culture with rigorous attention and sensitivity." --from the Foreword by Eliana Gil "By drawing on these resources, clinicians optimize their chances of meeting their stated goal: to be of assistance to families so that the quality of their lives is improved and children are safe and nurtured." --from the Foreword by Eliana Gil
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