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Sexual abuse and the family

1st May 1989 Socialist Action 0

First published: May 1989

‘Despite the revulsion incest has provoked, it opens a frightening but vital line of questioning about ordinary family relations. It identifies tensions between family solidarity and individual autonomy and children’s’rights, between women’s status as victims and their responsibility as parents, tensions that one should not expect to resolve easily. It shows that many feminine virtues, not only those one might want to reject – obedience, quietness, obligingness – but also those one might want to preserve – discipline, responsibility, loyalty – can support victimisation’.

Linda Gordon, Heroes of Their Own Lives, Virago 1989