Pathologies or apologies? The usefulness of Luke 17:3 as a model for responding to professional sexual abuse of vulnerable adults in the mental health system

Melville-Wiseman, J. (2011) Pathologies or apologies? The usefulness of Luke 17:3 as a model for responding to professional sexual abuse of vulnerable adults in the mental health system. In: Beyond Belief: Exploring the Impact of Religion and Belief on Professional Practice’, 7-9 September 2011, University of Bradford.

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Abstract

There are many well documented examples of the sexual abuse of vulnerable adults
by professionals in health and social care settings. It is the largest single reason
(40%) of why social workers have been disciplined by the General Social Care
Council (2003-08) and formed 25% of cases before the General Medical Council in
2009. It is also the case that victims of such abuse are usually women who are
vulnerable because of mental health needs and that the impact of such abuse
exacerbates those needs. However, responses to such abuse are less well
documented and are preoccupied with procedural, regulatory or legal concerns.
Furthermore empirical research is not well developed in this field and has been
driven by psychological therapies. Consequently much of the evidence to date
seeks to psychologically profile perpetrators and victims. This paper is based on
research conducted into how victims of such abuse, even if they have the courage to
report what has happened to them, are often left with unresolved harm. It takes a
systemic view of the issue and argues that if victims are further pathologised they
experience additional harm and are inadvertently blamed for their own abuse. It
argues that an alternative approach is to follow Luke 17:3 “if your brother offends you
rebuke him; if he repents forgive him” and for organisations to develop policies and
approaches on how to apologise (repent) instead.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social Work
Depositing User: Dr Janet Melville-Wiseman
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2015 08:49
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2015 08:49
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13295

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00