Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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Although sex is considered something private and personal, telling sexual stories is by no means a personal matter. The difficulty faced by sexual abuse victims who want to tell their stories is due to the ways in which the meanings of sexual abuse, the abuser and the victim are discursively constructed by the dominant culture. As a result, a tension between the individual desire to tell stories and the social injunction to silence is invariably found in women's narratives of sexual abuse. This paper explores how discourses of the dominant culture discourage women from breaking their silence about sexual abuse and how the emerging voices of sex abuse victims have led to the reevaluation of discourses, power, and female subjectivity. My discussion will be divided into two parts: the first part - 'Talking Back' - will focus on sexual abuse narratives written by female survivors' and the second part - 'Public Confession' - will examine survivors discourse broadcast in television programmes.

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