VAMHN'S ECR BURSARY WINNER Claire cunnington DISCUSSES her ATTENDANCE AT the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect conference
Have a read below to see what our ECR bursary winner Claire Cunnington did with their award money. To find out how you can apply to our ECR Bursary Scheme click here.
I was really grateful to be awarded the Early Career Researcher grant from VAMHN to attend the 2021 International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN) Milan Virtual Congress. I finished my PhD in May 2020 and afterwards is the perfect time to share your research but as an hourly paid academic that’s not always possible. That’s why the VAMHN grant was so helpful.
My Wellcome Trust funded doctoral research took a salutogenic, strengths-based approach to recovering from childhood sexual abuse (CSA) by asking adults what had helped and hindered their recovery. Salutogenics is about finding out what moves people towards better health, happiness and wellbeing, rather than what causes illness, sadness and lower wellbeing. Whilst the larger field is extensive there is very little about recovery from the perspective of adults who have experienced CSA. To very quickly sum up the research results - what helped recovering were good, safe relationships and activities that cause a flow state. What hindered was people who minimised the abuse, denied the victim and in general were not supportive. My paper at ISPCAN argued that responses to abuse disclosure can utilise the same neutralisation techniques adopted by perpetrators.
Presenting at the conference gave me an invaluable opportunity to share my research, increase my skills and keep up with research in the wider field. It also made me consider further how to challenge these neutralising responses and I am currently working on a short film to improve responses to disclosure in the NHS. I am so grateful to VAMHM for the funding.