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J Child Sex Abus. 2013;22(6):677-94. doi: 10.1080/10538712.2013.811139.

A study of shame from sexual abuse within the context of a Norwegian incest center.

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  • 1Department of Health and Social Science, Oestfold University College, 1757 Halden, Norway.


Working with those who have experienced sexual abuse is a complicated matter because such abuse not only involves the violation of the victim's body, but it often generates shame in those involved. This article is based on empirical data from 26 hours of videotaped focus group interviews with 19 adult men and women in a Norwegian incest center who spoke openly of the shame they experienced from sexual abuse as children, parents, and employees. Findings from this study show that shame from sexual abuse can be grouped into seven major categories: (a) family, (b) emotions, (c) body, (d) food, (e) self-image, (f) sex, and (g) therapy.

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