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A Canadian South Asian’s experience of childhood sexual abuse and its after-effects: a revelatory narrative case study

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Title: A Canadian South Asian’s experience of childhood sexual abuse and its after-effects: a revelatory narrative case study
Author: Best, Maxime Pascale Norrys
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Counselling Psychology
Copyright Date: 1995
Subject Keywords Sexually abused children - Case studies; Sexually abused children; Sexually abused children - Canada
Abstract: Most adult childhood sexual abuse survivors in counselling and discussed in the literature are Caucasians of western ethnicity, and most counselling for survivors is based on western counselling theories. Whether the experience of childhood sexual abuse and counselling for its after-effects among Caucasian western survivors accurately reflects the experience of survivors of differing race and/or ethnicity has been little explored. Data specific to the experience of adult survivors of Asian ethnicity is very limited. To investigate this underexplored issue, a single revelatory case study was undertaken which used a phenomenological approach. Based on in-depth qualitative interviews with a female adult South Asian Ismaili Canadian childhood sexual abuse survivor, and based on adjunctive sources of evidence, a narrative life history was developed (and validated by the survivor) which described the survivor's experience of childhood sexual abuse and its aftermath and the meaning she made of her experience. Upon analysis, it was found that the survivor's narrative was not only the account of a South Asian woman who had been sexually abused in childhood, but the account of a woman who had experienced emotional neglect, physical abuse, and racism. The analysis revealed an overall narrative structure and a number of themes which indicated that the meaning the survivor made of her cummulative experiences was to self-identify as a victim and to develop a victim script which permeated most aspects of her life, which continued into adulthood, and which was inextricably linked to her identity as an Indian female. This study found that the survivor's cultural/religious environment seemed to exacerbate her victimization experience and healing opportunities, while her personal religious beliefs appeared to offer her support. Both cultural and religious elements influenced the meaning the survivor made of her experiences.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/4036
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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