Resistance and Reconstruction: Older Women Talk about Childhood Sexual Abuse

By Tina Kostecki.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Research which explores the experiences of women, who have experienced childhood sexual abuse is, in the main, focused on young and middle aged women. The perspectives of older women is often absent or hidden in the literature. This study explores the experiences of 16 Australian women aged 57 years and older who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. It aims to privilege their views and highlight their particular contexts in order to redress professional assumptions regarding the notions of recovery. Additionally, in discussing their experiences, the women contribute to insights regarding the patterns of inequality which are produced as a result of dominant discourses that promote ageist and sexist prescriptions in the construction of the self. These insights demonstrate how the women have resisted a range of oppressive patterns in their everyday lives. The study follows a feminist research framework and aims to contribute to the fields of social work practice and critical feminist gerontology.

Keywords: Older Women, Critical Gerontology

Aging and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.19-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 571.105KB).

Dr. Tina Kostecki

Lecturer, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

I am currently undertaking a PhD research project exploring the insights of older women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Presently I work as a lecturer in Social Work at Deakin University, Australia. Prior to this I worked as a social work practitioner for 23 years, mainly with women who had experienced family violence but also in the fields of child protection, foster care, crisis care and primary health. I hold a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Melbourne and I am interested in the application of critical theoretical perspectives to inform social work practice.