Gear: A Mother's Touch
A Mother's TouchJulie A. Brand M.S.
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In the United States we are reluctant to acknowledge that females ever molest children; maternal incest frequently occurs undetected. Mother-daughter sexual abuse, especially, is under-recognized, under-researched and under-reported. A Mother's Touch is a powerful combination of personal memoir and professional narrative. Focusing on child sexual abuse research and drawing on her own childhood experiences, the author describes the complex mother-daughter incestuous relationship, which includes extreme maternal narcissism and manipulations, coercion and control. Physical and psychological boundaries are violated daily; abusive acts are repeatedly framed as normal and loving. With A Mother's Touch: Surviving Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse, mental health and child welfare professionals can learn more about covert and exploitative mother-child behavior, various overt sexual behaviors initiated by mothers, and the psychological manipulations used to control and to silence child victims. Six key issues for therapy and victim recovery are described at length. The transition from victim to survivor is seen as essential-not just for the individual's recovery-but also to prevent child sexual abuse in successive generations. The author's descriptions of her unusual childhood experiences with her college-educated, normal-looking mother and traditional, military father are augmented with professional insights. The portrayal of her bizarre mother-daughter relationship fashions a powerful human-interest story and increases both professionals' and the general readers' awareness of mother-daughter incest. The author's blend of humor, sass and concrete examples adds to the book's fast-paced readability. Highly recommended also for survivors of abuse and for their significant others who seek to understand.