Survivor's Narratives of Early Childhood Sexualized Violence




Lindner, Kylee

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis adopts a Critical Feminist Research methodology to reveal how young children (6 years old and under) resist, respond to and heal from sexualized violence. Using memoirs that include first-person narratives as the data set, I utilized reflexive thematic analysis to sort the data into the following themes; “Resistance”; “Survival Techniques”; and “Healing”. Additionally, themes of narrative theory and response-based practice were utilized to collect and sort data. Ultimately, this thesis reveals a disparity between the highlighted academic literature and the selected memoirs. More specifically, the academic literature sparsely included first-person narratives, largely utilized third party evaluators and promoted a single story of damage. Whereas, the selected memoirs revealed multiple stories of resistance, healing, survival, pride, and determination. This thesis argues that the current state of psychology’s academic literature contributes to victim blaming, rape culture and structural violence. Based on this thesis, I recommend that psychology researchers shift their focus away from the damage narrative and towards a narrative of dignity.



critical feminist research, reflexive thematic analysis, sexualized violence, child sexual abuse, response based practice, resistance