The socio-cultural context is a significant factor in understanding the phenomenon of child sexual abuse (CSA). The kibbutz is a unique form of community in Israel, which was previously a closed community with high cohesion and close personal connections between its members, who shared common beliefs and values. This study aimed to examine the experiences and perspectives of adults who had been sexually abused as children in the kibbutz. Fifteen adults (14 women and one man) sexually abused as children in a kibbutz between the 1960s and 1990s were interviewed for the study. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted and analyzed according to the thematic analysis approach. The findings indicated that participants perceived the kibbutz as an independent and distinct entity in the CSA experience. Furthermore, due to the image of the kibbutz community, the wish to protect its reputation, and the trust and familiarity among the kibbutz community, CSA was denied and silenced. The participants discussed the kibbutz's responsibility for CSA and the hardship of acknowledging that CSA happened at the Kibbutz. This study contributes significantly to the testimony and giving voice to survivors of CSA in kibbutz whose voices have not been heard. Despite the changes that have taken place in the kibbutz over the years, as well as the increased awareness of protection against sexual abuse, there is still room to acknowledge and validate past abuse experiences and apologize to the survivors, as well as risks for CSA that are still prevalent today.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partly funded by the Tali Bar Scholarship.
- CSA disclosure
- Child sexual abuse
- Closed communities
- Kibbutz community