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Narratives of childhood sexual abuse: healing through music in Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach
  1. Neha Hejaz1,
  2. Rajni Singh2
  1. 1 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, NIT Rourkela, Rourkela, Odisha, India
  2. 2 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT(ISM) Dhanbad, Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neha Hejaz, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, NIT Rourkela, Rourkela, Odisha, 769008, India; nehahejaz{at}


Narratives of survivors or by survivors offer useful and compelling insights into the experiences of abuse and its consequent effect on health. Reading such narratives can help a physician or clinician to understand the complexities of abuse. Furthermore, the critical study of narratives can open multiple therapeutic options for survivors of abuse to cater both their mental health and medical problems. In this article, we deal with the genre of childhood sexual abuse survivor’s narrative and its clinical application adding to the discourse of medical humanities and then critically examine one such narrative (On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan) in particular and explore the therapeutics of music in abused victim’s clinical care.

  • narrative medicine
  • psychotherapy

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  • Contributors NH and RS have contributed equally to the study, preparation and writing of the paper. NH is the author responsible for the overall content as guarantor. NH accepts full responsibility for the work and the conduct of the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.