Tonight's special guest is Eleanor Cowan from western Canada, a gifted writer who has published a memoir, 'The History of a Pedophile's Wife,' that recounts how she and her siblings were treated in childhood and how this played out in her choice of a spouse and father of her children – a man who came to betray her trust by brutally assaulting her children sexually and emotionally. The book seeks to give one possible answer to the question, “How could a mother not know her spouse is sexually abusing the children?” Members of the NAASCA family, especially survivors of child sexual abuse and trauma, have often expressed the feeling that closed-mouth spouses of abusive partners share in the responsibility for the trauma these predators cause the children. But do they always? Only two states have made it a felony to withhold knowlege of child sexual abuse, and few cases have yet been prosecuted. Eleanor's story starts with unhealed trauma from a repressive and abusive environment of violence, addiction, and a strict Roman Catholic upbringing. She says these life experiences set her up to marry the man who sexually abused their children. Eleanor challenges a mother-blaming society to have compassion and insight into institutions and culture that perpetuates abuse. She recalls obstacles faced over the six year writing process such as dealing with deep feelings of embarrassment about sharing her story, and reactions of others such as her first editor's harsh personal criticism and lack of empathy. Join us in discussing this rarely addressed side of recovery from child abuse.
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