Dr. Susan Clancy believes that for young children, sex abuse is oftentimes more confusing than it is traumatic at the moment that it’s happening. In her new book "The Trauma Myth: The Truth About Sexual Abuse of Children — And Its Aftermath," she argues that more victims would come forward if we stopped framing sex abuse as terrifying and violent, and instead acknowledged that child victims often love and want to please their perpetrators.
Dr. Marylene Cloitre, co-author of "Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Psychotherapy for the Interrupted Life" agrees that sexual abuse can be confusing for children, particularly when they feel they were complicit in the abuse. But she's not ready to discontinue the use of the word "trauma" when we talk about sexual abuse of children. In her opinion, trauma comes in many forms, as do victim experiences. We talk with both Dr. Clancy and Dr. Cloitre in this week's conversation about the family.