Bonnie L Oakes


Childhood sexual abuse victims use either approaching or avoidance strategies to deal with the impacts that childhood sexual abuse have left on their lives.  This qualitative case study of 12 adult Christian women examined the strategies that they used to overcome the traumagenic psychopathologies related to childhood sexual abuse.  An analysis of these strategies aided in developing a preliminary assessment of what strategies were most effective for Christian women.  The God Image Scale was a survey instrument that was used to help develop research questions for this qualitative case study in addition to other baseline questions in the context of sexual abuse and approaches to healing.  This research indicated that neither approaching nor avoidance strategies significantly reduced traumagenic psychopathologies, but did increase self-esteem, while God Image did not appear to affect healing.  However, an approaching strategy that more fully integrated the Christian’s faith reflected a much larger decline in psychopathologies than either approaching or avoidance strategies in general.
KEYWORDS: childhood sexual abuse, God image, approaching and avoidance, psychopathologies, trauma, counseling