‘I was fully consenting’: sexual violence voiced by an adolescent girl

Author: Helena Louhela1
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  • 1 University of Oulu, Finland
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In this article, I study how an adolescent girl with an institutional background voices her previous experiences of a statutory sex crime relationship. The data were generated during 2013–2017 and analysed using the Listening Guide method in order to find different contrapuntal and situated voices and contextual layers from the girl’s story.

The results indicate that different temporal, situational and contextual aspects can be part of the perceptions of sexual consent and abuse. Furthermore, the impression and experiences of being cared for in an abusive relationship interrelate in how the abusive sexual experiences are voiced even after a long period of time. A concept of abusive illusion of care was introduced to describe one of the aspects related to this phenomenon and it was suggested that it should be included in Jenny Pearce’s social model of abused consent.

It is proposed that sexual consent could be approached as a situated and contextualised issue and from the perspective and recovery process of the victim; and, as such, an ongoing and proceeding negotiation on consent should also be allowed afterwards. In addition, new and caring ways of creating safe connections in order to confront sexual violence without silencing any voices are needed.

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  • 1 University of Oulu, Finland

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