The FORGE is delighted to announce our first external guest speaker: Dr Sam Larner (MMU). Details of his talk are below:
How Children and Young People Disclose Sexual Abuse: A linguistic analysis of NSPCC ChildLine online chat transcripts
THIS TALK IS ON A TOPIC, AND WILL CONTAIN EXTRACTS OF DATA, THAT SOME MAY FIND DISTRESSING.
DISCRETION IS STRONGLY ADVISED.
Research indicates that when children and young people make the difficult decision to disclose that they have been sexually abused, their linguistic capabilities may limit the extent to which they can make a full and clear disclosure. This may be problematic from a safeguarding perspective since the recipient of the disclosure may not realize or fully appreciate what the child or young person is trying to disclose, or even that an attempt at disclosure is being made. Whilst the process of, and barriers to, disclosure have been extensively researched, the linguistic strategies used to communicate disclosure have received relatively little attention. In order to provide a novel perspective, this research addresses the question ‘How do children and young people disclose that they have been sexually abused?’ Online chat conversations in which sexual abuse was disclosed (n=40) between children and young people (aged 10—18 years old) and ChildLine counsellors were analysed. Whilst some children and young people do use explicit terms to describe sexual abuse, these are predominantly used to seek definitions and clarification. Furthermore, counsellors play an instrumental role in recognising that a disclosure is being made, and then eliciting and reframing the disclosure as sexual abuse. The findings provide insight into why some victims of sexual abuse report having attempted to tell an adult but feel like they were not heard. This raises questions about how disclosures are made in other contexts and whether institutional safeguarding policies are fit for purpose.
Dr Sam Larner holds a BA (Hons.) in Linguistics from Lancaster University, an MA (Distinction) in Forensic Linguistics from Cardiff University, and a Ph.D. in Forensic Linguistics from Aston University. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the International Association of Forensic Linguists, and a member of the British Association for Applied Linguistics. Dr Larner’s experience in forensic linguistics spans over ten years. He joined Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015, and he has also held lectureships at the University of Central Lancashire and Newman University as well as giving guest lectures in the Czech Republic and Germany.
TIME & PLACE
1100-1200, Wed 12th Dec, County South B89