Telling the Secret: Adult Women Describe Their Disclosures of Incest

  • Roesler T
  • Wind T
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Questionnaire responses of 228 adult women who were childhood victims of incest regarding the circumstances of their first disclosure to another person revealed that those telling their parents first were more likely to have done so in childhood. Those who told friends, other family members, or partners first generally did so in early adulthood. A third group, those telling therapists, revealed the abuse at a later age. Those revealing the incest to parents in childhood received a worse reaction than did those waiting until adulthood. When women disclosed to parents prior to age 18, the incest continued for more than a year after the disclosure in 51.9% of the cases. These women were more likely to have been met with disbelief or blame rather than with support, validation, & protection. 4 Tables, 25 References. Adapted from the source document.

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  • Thomas A. Roesler

  • Tiffany Weissmann Wind

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