Stockholm Syndrome and Child Sex Abuse: Background information when reading One Kick

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

One Kick

A Kick Lannigan Novel

by Chelsea Cain

One Kick by Chelsea Cain X
One Kick by Chelsea Cain
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2014, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2015, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Stockholm Syndrome and Child Sex Abuse

This article relates to One Kick

Print Review

During a bank holdup in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973, two men held four people hostage for six days. Over that time period the hostages bonded with the captors and vice versa. The hostages eventually even believed that their captors were actually their protectors, keeping the police from hurting them. It is rumored that one of the hostages later became engaged to one of the captors.

Kreditbanken Norrmalmstorg StockholmAlthough this behavior, called Stockholm Syndrome, seems self-defeating, strange, and even inexplicable, it is quite the contrary. Research has shown that time and again many "hostages" eventually develop fond feelings for their captors. Here the word hostage refers to any one of a number of situations wherein individuals feel trapped by others. From true hostages to battered spouses, incest victims, cult members, sexually, physically abused and kidnapped children the reaction is identical.

According to authorities on the subject, there are certain general circumstances under which this syndrome is likely to occur. They include when there is, "a perceived threat to survival and a belief that the captor is willing to carry out that threat," being isolated "from perspectives other than those of the captor," and a "perceived inability to escape." Additionally the captive must also believe that s/he can curry favor with the captor by being compliant.

In those circumstances captive people begin to develop positive feelings for their captors and they take on the captor's negative feelings for the authorities endeavoring to rescue them. Further, given enough time, captors, remarkably, often also develop fondness for their hostages.

When children, in particular, are kidnapped or abused, their perception of their situation becomes hugely distorted as a means of self-preservation. They will cling to hope, focusing on whatever positive aspect of their situation they can find. They will blame themselves for having brought the abuse on themselves and fear retaliation from the abuser should they try to escape – or be rescued. Thus they will resist rescue attempts by authorities. And even after an escape or rescue the child will remain loyal to the abuser out of fear that he will come back and inflict severe punishment for disloyalty.

Needless to say the effects of being held in physical and emotional captivity on children are enormous – psychologically, and even physically, debilitating and lifelong. Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem are just the beginning. Survivors suffer flashbacks not unlike PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) sufferers. They can be antisocial, angry and unable to sustain healthy relationships with the opposite sex. They themselves are at greater risk for becoming an abuser. Years of professional counseling is strongly advised if they are to assume any semblance of their former lives.

Former Kreditbanken Norrmalmstorg Stockholm where hostages were held for six days in 1973. Photo courtesy of Tage Olsin

Article by Donna Chavez

This "beyond the book article" relates to One Kick. It originally ran in September 2014 and has been updated for the May 2015 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Women Talking
    Women Talking
    by Miriam Toews
    Miriam Toews' Women Talking is a circadian novel, unfolding over a span of just a few hours and ...
  • Book Jacket: Confessions of an Innocent Man
    Confessions of an Innocent Man
    by David R. Dow
    It is circumstance that carries the wave that sweeps trendy Houston restaurateur Rafael Zhettah to ...
  • Book Jacket: Memories of the Future
    Memories of the Future
    by Siri Hustvedt
    I've never kept a journal, but my mother has written in hers for years, the annual volumes she's ...
  • Book Jacket: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
    Rajeev Balasubramanyam encapsulates the theme of Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss in its first ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    When We Left Cuba
    by Chanel Cleeton

    An exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Greek to Me
    by Mary Norris

    The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Fly Girls
by Keith O'Brien

How five daring women defied all odds and made aviation history.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Ecstasy

Win copies to share with friends or your book club!

Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.