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A Licensed Clinical Social Worker’s Perspective on Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)

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This review is now available on Amazon in association with my book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed. To comply with Amazon’s review requirements, I am no longer able to publish it here.

Rebecca C. Mandeville, MA, MFT

3 thoughts on “A Licensed Clinical Social Worker’s Perspective on Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)”

  1. raenyc

    Your reviewer captures the pernicious aspects of FSA that few who have not experienced its particular cruelty can appreciate. The review highlights the unique importance of your work in a field that stands to learn so much from your leadership if they are truly able to help people like us who, until recently, have had to suffer with ruined lives and a ruined sense of self, unacknowledged, in silence, and often in unwarranted guilt and shame.

    The analogy I use: Being a scapegoat is like we are imprisoned in a dark hell-like cell, perpetually being convicted of guilt with the blessing of society, other criminals themselves, and (most tragic of all) sometimes even ourselves, while the criminals roam free and continue perpetrating their crimes with complete impunity.

    It seems to me that a mother’s or parent’s abuse of their child is one of the last frontiers of socially and legally accepted oppression and abuse.

    Over the long history of civilization, societies have slowly acknowledged the human harm they have permitted among its various segments by the larger population, whether through prejudice, power, or practice. With recognition have come social pressure and statutes that slowly moved to protect these groups, their safety, liberty, rights, and human dignity; groups previously oppressed on the basis of race**, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, and others — even priests sexually abusing boys.

    As for emotional abuse of children, our society has turned a blind eye to a lot of behavior on the basis of parental prerogative and privacy. Only the most egregious history of emotional abuse gets punished. Legal problems are often cited, such as statutes of limitations, lack of documentation, untangling cause and effect, and proving knowledge and intent to harm. Another reason often cited is our nation’s reverence of free speech which, in the view of some, necessitates the sacrifice of some victims. All these make legal remedy extremely difficult.

    Bringing it out of the closet is the first step. Work such as yours, Rebecca, and acknowledgement by those of this reviewer, are important steps to not only help affected persons but also expose its existence and harm.

    Thank you!

    **Racial oppression remains intractable due to a complicated mix of history, institutionalized and legal factors that indirectly perpetuate racial divides on the basis of income and wealth, and political acceptance, if not promotion, that uses race as a campaign strategy.

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