Secret things and the confinement of walls: ‘The Private Sphere’ in crimes of child sexual abuse perpetrated by women

Josipovic, Andrea (2015) Secret things and the confinement of walls: ‘The Private Sphere’ in crimes of child sexual abuse perpetrated by women. Australian Feminist Studies, 30 85: 252-272. doi:10.1080/08164649.2015.1114981

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Author Josipovic, Andrea
Title Secret things and the confinement of walls: ‘The Private Sphere’ in crimes of child sexual abuse perpetrated by women
Journal name Australian Feminist Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1465-3303
0816-4649
Publication date 2015-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/08164649.2015.1114981
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 85
Start page 252
End page 272
Total pages 21
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract This article explores the under-examined issue of sexual abuse of children by women. It asks what are the conditions under which such things become knowable or when are they rendered unthinkable? The private sphere, marked by domestic walls, has been identified as the space most influenced and shaped by women. Its walls symbolise shelter and protection, and they are associated with the safety of all within. At the same time, however, the walls which constitute the private also enable a space within which women's actions can take place with limited oversight by others. Walls foster secrecy and what happens within can include elements of transgression. The sexual abuse of children by women—either their own or those entrusted into their care by others—is one such transgression. This article analyses a series of case studies derived from different historical sources in order to highlight how walls and the understandings of privacy that they support help to perpetuate a widespread belief that women can be unquestioningly trusted in their relations with children.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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