Child sexual abuse is present in all strata of Israeli society. However, there is scant research on the emotional experiences of non-abusing mothers after disclosure. In particular, no studies have examined the experiences of these mothers from the Jewish Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel. The current study analyzed the drawings and short narratives of 21 Israeli Ultra-Orthodox mothers to explore the effects of the disclosure of their child’s sexual abuse. A phenomenological approach was used to analyze the drawings and yielded four different phenomena: (1) squiggles that represented distress, (2) the mother-child relationship, (3) pseudo-sweet houses, and (4) split drawings. The drawings were either colorful, sweet or shallow, or alternatively were in black and white. As confirmed by the narratives, these drawings primarily expressed the negative emotions of shock, sadness, distress, guilt, and failure as mothers. While some mothers reported breaking down and that pain had permeated their daily lives others coped by dissociating the painful experience, putting up a façade of normalcy, or splitting their lives into two parts corresponding to before and after the disclosure.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis.
- Jewish Ultra-Orthodox
- internal distress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health