Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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question based on chapter 12 of The Body Never Lies
Monday February 20, 2006

Dear Alice Miller: I have read with great interest your latest book. As a Quaker struggling to understand issues of violence, I have a question. In chapter 12 you "explain" the serial killer in terms of the abused child. I tend to agree with your analysis. Yet as someone who works with abused women, I am aware that a great deal of family violence is inflicted by fathers on daughters. Yet very few serial killers are women. I am wondering how you think about this issue and why it is that women do not respond to the abuse they suffer at the hands of fathers (and mothers) with the same degree of violence that men do. I would be most interested in your thoughts on this issue. J F

AM: The way in which women often display the endured abuse is by returning the rage against themselves (become prostitutes for instance) or against their babies by insisting that they need violent punishments to become decent people.

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