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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Breaking Silence, Shifting Culture: A Partnership Model of Intentional Safety for Child Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Frimoth, Margaret Ruth, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2013, 199; 3560743
Abstract (Summary)

Nestled into an isolated, rural community along the Pacific Northwest Oregon coastline, the first Victory Over Child Abuse (VOCA) Camp for girls was held in 1988. Four years later, VOCA Camp for boys was initiated. The two separate camps provide intentionally safe camp environments for child survivors of sexual abuse. The VOCA Camp program continues annually.

The VOCA Camp story disrupts the belief that humans are innately violent and presents the camp program as a working model of partnership, directly linked to Riane Eisler's Cultural Transformation Theory.

This dissertation weaves feminist ethnographical analysis with Eisler's description of four cornerstones necessary for cultural transformation to occur. Public and archival documentation, personal reflections, past participant statements, camp stories are used to illustrate the camp's culture and to tell the unique story of the camp program as a working model of partnership. As such, this dissertation portrays the VOCA Camp story as a step toward the elimination of child sexual abuse.

This research is significant because it acknowledges that cultures, organizations, and families that orient toward systems of partnership are more apt to manifest environments where the abuse of children is reduced and potentially eliminated.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jones, Constance A.
Commitee: Carter, Susan G., Eisler, Riane
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Mental health, Womens studies
Keywords: Abuse survivors, Camp program, Community, Healing, Intentional safety, Partnership, Sexual abuse
Publication Number: 3560743
ISBN: 978-1-303-07210-9
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