A review of the effects/impacts of family abuse in terms of contemporary family life, paying particular attention to areas of sociological interest

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A review of the effects/impacts of family abuse in terms of contemporary family life, paying particular attention to areas of sociological interest

Further notes: One of the key issues about defining abuse is that of the damage done.  Many argue that intimidation, threats or spanking do not really do harm to children or other family members.  Explore the impacts and effects of abuse and attempt to decide for your self what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.

Victimised daughters

Post traumatic stress disorder and the effects of repression – In the nineteenth century Freud treated eight patients suffering from hysteria and symptoms of personality dysfunction attributed to traumatic sexualisation in childhood.  Through the use of psychoanalytical treatment Freud became convinced that the patients were suffering due to repressed painful memories of sexual trauma which remained lodged in the unconscious of the victims.  Freud suggested that the experiences these patients had recovered from the unconscious were real memories of actual traumatic events.  However two years later Freud retracted his suggestion, maintaining that “such widespread perversions against children were not very probable and went on to attribute such recovered experiences as infantile fantasy.    This retraction has sparked a great deal of controversy ever since, particularly as current research on sexual abuse links Freud’s original theory to the contemporary diagnosis of post traumatic stress syndrome amongst incest survivors (Jacobs 1994).

According to Jacobs (1994) one of the most tragic consequences of sexual abuse is the effect of incest upon mother daughter relationships.  Many of the most important studies of incest show that feelings of anger, hatred and betrayal are often directed at the victims’ mothers.  Research from conducted by Meiselman in (Jacobs, 1994) highlights how negativity was expressed more commonly among victims towards their mothers compared with their fathers, who were arguably the perpetrators of the abuse.

The impact of family violence on children and adolescents

Violence within the family has been identified as a profound societal problem that can have a variety of short and long term effects.  This notion of violence within the family can involve a variety of types of abuse from abuse perpetrated by parents or siblings.  The observation of abuse within a family, for example between parents can also profoundly affect children within the family.

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Children can be very sensitive to even the most minor family upsets and arguments, and Kashani and Allan (1998) argue that children can be adversely affected by parental arguments, even without the presence of severe physical aggression and suggest that all kinds of families commit all kinds of violent acts that exert all kinds of effects on youngsters.

The most obvious and overt affect of family violence on a child is observable physical damage in the form of scars or other injuries (Herrenkohl & Herrenkohl, in Kashani and Allan, 1998) and in the most extreme cases child death. ...

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