Issues in Child Abuse Accusations - ipt-journal (annotated articles)

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Issues In Child Abuse Accusations (ISSN 1043-8823) was a multidisciplinary journal presenting scholarship from disciplines such as law, law enforcement, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, social work, medicine, history, and theology. Its goal was to advance our care for children through pointing to the mistakes of the rush to solve the problem of child abuse, sharing demonstrated facts about the reality of abuse, and discussing new ways for professionals to respond to accusations, victims, perpetrators and those accused. Issues In Child Abuse Accusations was in print publication from 1989 through 1998, and published on since 1999 (Note: Journal is defunct as of 2010).

NOTE: How to use the links in this article:

The links are to archived copies of these journal articles at When you click the link, you will be taken to a listing of the number of times that the article has been "crawled" by -- you will see a number of links to click on.

You will see something like this:

The first date mentioned provides a link (in this example, November 2, 2000). Click on that link, and you will be taken to the article. It is extremely rare (if ever) that any of these articles would have changed since the first archived copy. If you wish, you may click on the last link (in this example, March 2, 2012) BUT if the file was not available on the server on that "crawl" you may then get an error message.

In the following list, the author's name is given first. This is followed by the link to

This listing comes to you courtesy of a poster on BoyChat.

NOTE: Credit is given here to the poster (by mentioning the source BoyChat post) not only for the many many hours that the poster spent in creating this listing before posting it on BoyChat, but because giving proper credit to those who prepare and publish information is normal procedure in the academic world, and BoyWiki should respect that tradition.

Source: from the BoyChat post:

Issues in Child Abuse Accusations (with abstracts)

I am reposting this list, but I have added the abstracts or excerpts which makes it more "accessible".

List of available articles to read from the website The articles answer many of the questions recently posed here - definitively. The following is copied directly from their site.

Issues in Child Abuse Accusations - ipt-journal contents (with abstracts or excerpts)


 This is a list of all authors and their articles in <*/">Issues in Child Abuse Accusations</a>.  We also list some IPT-generated articles that were published elsewhere and are republished in our <*/">Library</a>.

Articles are listed by year in reverse chronological order; within each year, they are listed in straight chronological order.

Adams, Judith K.

Interviewing Methods and Hearsay Testimony in Suspected Child Sexual Abuse Cases: Questions of Accuracy1997

ABSTRACT: It is difficult to obtain accurate information from young children. The potential inaccuracies in hearsay testimony are a crucial issue because of the likely due process violations created by inaccurate and unreliable hearsay. The current research on interviewing techniques which may compromise the reliability of children's testimony is summarized and methods of increasing the accuracy of interviews and hearsay testimony are discussed. It is particularly important to videotape all interviews with the child.

Court-Mandated Treatment and Required Admission of Guilt in Cases of Alleged Sexual Abuse: Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues 1997

ABSTRACT: Mandated mental health treatment of persons accused of sexual abuse of children poses several professional, ethical, and legal issues. There is variation in treatment methods with limited empirical data of efficacy. Treatment is often court mandated, which raises ethical issues regarding informed consent, particularly voluntariness of participation, since participation may be coerced with threats of parental rights termination. Confidentiality in such programs cannot be assured and counselors may serve in potentially unethical dual roles of counselor and reporter of disclosures. The requirement that participants admit having abused the child may violate Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. State-granted immunity from prosecution allows, but should not coerce, participants to admit guilt.

Anderson, James D.

How To Survive in Prison as an Innocent Man Convicted of a Sex Crime 1997

Psychology Editor's Note: This article includes some strong views that may be surprising and challenging.  We have chosen to publish it because we believe prisoners have a right to seek interaction with those outside the prison walls.  We also believe there are many innocent men and women in prison who are wrongly convicted of sex offenses.  They too, have a right to stand up for their innocence.  One of the more poignant episodes in our lives was in June, 1985, when Lois Bentz, accused with her husband, Robert, of sexually abusing children in Jordan, Minnesota, was told by her attorney about a very attractive plea bargain.  With tears running down her face, Lois said to us, "I did not do it and I will not say I did something I didn't do."  The Bentzes rejected the plea bargain and went to trial.  The Bentzes were acquitted and the Jordan case is often regarded as the beginning of the "backlash" that has led to increased awareness of false accusations and the reversals of several highly publicized convictions in recent years.
Still there are many many lesser known cases where Large numbers of innocent people remain behind bars.  We receive letters every week from men and women in prison who assert their innocence.  For years we have agonized about what we can do in response.  The most we have been able to do is to try to stay in contact and provide information to assist those working on appeals.  Based upon our experience with Ms. Bentz, we have also tried to say what Mr. Anderson repeats several times in this article — maintain your own personal integrity.  Mr. Anderson tells us how he has done this for himself.  It may not be a way that works for everyone, but this is what he tells us works for him.  We believe Mr. Anderson is very likely to walk out of prison when his time is served and be standing up straight and tall.

Annon, Jack S.

Syndrome Testimony, Base Rates, and What the Expert Can Ethically Tell the Trier of Fact in Alleged Child Abuse Cases 2001

In many alleged child abuse cases, the issues of recantation, delay of disclosure, and physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of abuse are often described by expert witnesses to the trier of fact.  However, it is my firm opinion that there are three important topics that are relevant in determining what an expert in this area could ethically testify about: a) syndrome testimony, b) base rates, and c) what the expert can and can not tell the trier of fact.

Guidelines for Psychologists Who Receive a Subpoena for Their Records 1997

ABSTRACT: At some time, psychologists are likely to receive a subpoena requesting their records on one of their clients. The psychologist may be legally required to comply, but such requests may also be in conflict with the state laws concerning patient confidentiality, relevant national ethics codes and guidelines, and test publishers and copyright law. The relevant issues are discussed and guidelines for responding to such subpoenas are offered.

Psychologists Who Make Unqualified Public Statements About Litigants Whom They Have Not Examined 1996

ABSTRACT: Psychologists who provide expert testimony in court without properly qualifying their opinions may be violating ethical codes and specialty guidelines.  The relevant sections of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists are discussed in terms of this issue.
The field of forensic psychology continues to expand as more and more attorneys ask psychologists to perform continually evolving tasks.  Unfortunately, some psychologists, perhaps with good intentions, leap to the challenge, and, possibly without awareness, find themselves violating ethical codes and specialty guidelines. [...]

Recommended Guidelines for Interviewing Children in Cases of Alleged Sexual Abuse 1994

The basic premise for these guidelines is that even young children may be able to provide reliable and accurate accounts of events that they have experienced or witnessed, provided that the interview is done appropriately, in a proper setting, and without manipulation by the evaluator.  These guidelines are based upon the clinical and laboratory research cited in the references.   [...]

Misuse of Psychophysiological Arousal Measurement Data 1993

ABSTRACT: Psychophysiological arousal measurement data (plethysmograph) is being misused in some state treatment programs, probation and parole departments, and courts.  The high percentage of some control subjects with no history of deviant behavior who respond with deviant arousal patterns means that at the present time arousal measurement data cannot be used by itself to diagnose someone as a sexual deviant or to predict past or future behavior.

Bastecki, Walter S., Jr., <*/ George C. Riley</a>, <*/ Courtney R. Bayer</a>, <*/ Gilbert T. Greenfield</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, and <*/ John W. Tate</a>

Inside Civil Commitment: Competing Rights, Competing Interests 2003

Introduction and Statement of Purpose
In the year 2000, 35% of the inmates scheduled to be released at the conclusion of their sentence from the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC) in Avenel, NJ — the sex offender treatment unit of the NJ Department of Corrections — were instead committed to the Special Treatment Unit (STU) at Kearny, the civil commitment facility for sex offenders created subsequent to the passing of the Sexually Violent Predator Act of 1998.  “A small price to pay to keep society safe,” no doubt the reaction of most upon hearing of these statistics.  Nevertheless, it is fair to ask, “Is that a reasonable exercise of state power to protect society against the most dangerous of sex offenders?”  Or is it an admission on the part of the state of its inability to draw distinctions as to risk between classes of sex offenders?  Or, perhaps, is this an end run around constitutional prohibitions against locking up people for what they might do instead of what they have done; an end run designed to confine as many sex offenders as possible so as to protect decision makers from becoming scapegoats of public outrage the next time a released sex offender commits a sex crime? [...]

Bayer, Courtney R., <*/ George C. Riley</a>, <*/ Walter S. Bastecki, Jr.</a>,   <*/ Gilbert T. Greenfield</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, and <*/ John W. Tate</a>

Inside Civil Commitment: Competing Rights, Competing Interests 2003

[See preceding entry above.]

Beran, Tanya

Evaluating Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Training: A Comprehensive Program and Questionnaire 2005

ABSTRACT: Child abuse is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution.  As a result, a multidisciplinary approach is often used when investigating child abuse.  Training for this approach requires evaluation to ensure that multidisciplinary teams are effective at assessing and treating cases of suspected child abuse.  In this paper I will discuss the evaluation of child abuse investigation training.  First a training program for multidisciplinary child abuse investigation is presented, followed by an evaluation approach and finally a multi-dimensional questionnaire.  Issues to consider when evaluating training are discussed including, for example, obtaining responses from trainees over time.  Also, it is recommended that evaluation tools measure knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of trainees after the training.  

Blake, Randall

Informational and Awareness Packet on the Subject of Child Sexual Abuse 2003

Editor's Note:
This material was sent to us from a prison.  As Editor, I have chosen to publish it, without any editing, to offer an opening to others to understand something more about those who sexually abuse children.  Whatever a reader may think of the content of the material, it is an effort by a child molester to produce a primary prevention approach.
    We published an article on prevention many years ago (Krivacska, J. J. (1989).  Primary prevention of child sexual abuse: Alternative, non-child directed approaches. <*/ Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 1</a><*/ (4)</a>, <*/ 1-9</a>.) suggesting and outlining a primary prevention effort.  Then, as now" almost all prevention efforts are not primary prevention, aimed at the active agent, but rather they are aimed at the victim, the child.  This may be a major factor in the relative ineffectiveness of prevention efforts, even though they elicit approval and support from. many.1
    This material also includes the intent of the child molester to assist in preventing others from engaging in child sexual abuse and causing much harm to the children and to the perpetrator.  In one of the few studies on how some released prisoners can go straight. this is one of the factors that has been shown to be helpful and effective.2  The article also illustrates what a prisoner can accomplish in a restricted, tightly controlled, and minimal environment with little availability of resources.

Ralph Underwager, PhD.

August 11, 2003

Blush, Gordon J. and Karol L. Ross

Sexual Abuse Validity Discriminators in the Divorced or Divorcing Family 1990

ABSTRACT: Accusations of sexual abuse in divorce and custody disputes have become a problem for the professionals who must investigate these cases and determine whether the abuse is real.  There have been more cases of false allegations in recent years, and the investigator must carefully consider the context in which the allegations arise.  The personalities and behaviors of the persons involved in an abuse allegation provide important information.  The authors report on three personality patterns found in falsely accusing spouses: histrionic personality, justified vindicator, and borderline personality.  The falsely accused spouse is generally passive, nurturing, and lacks "macho" characteristics.  The behaviors of the children involved in the situation can also aid in differentiating true from false allegations.

Investigation and Case Management Issues and Strategies 1990

ABSTRACT: Sexual abuse allegations arising in the context of a custody and visitation dispute provide a difficult challenge to professionals.  These cases are often misunderstood and mismanaged, which does great harm to all parties involved.  Cases which turn out to be false are characterized by a loss of control, usually in the early stages of the allegation.  Frequently observed case management problems are described and suggestions made as to how to manage such cases more effectively.  Professionals must be open-minded and sensitive to both the rights of children and of adults.  Without more objective guidelines and more effective procedures, humane and meaningful control of the sexual abuse case is not possible.

Boggs, Marion A. III, and Clara Boggs

Maybe She Should Have Known ... But She Didn't 1996

ABSTRACT: Mothers are being accused — and convicted — of child abuse committed by the father.  In some cases, the mother may have had knowledge of the abuse but was fearful to report it.  In others, she may have had incomplete knowledge of the abuse or misinterpreted the signs of the abuse.  In this case, Kriseya Labastida had no knowledge of the abuse by Michael Strawser, the father, which led to the death of their infant son.  Strawser confessed to the killing, testified to Labastida's innocence, and said that he hid his actions and deceived her.  No one, including the prosecution, maintained there was evidence of abuse on her part.  Yet she was convicted of second degree murder and child neglect because "she must have known."

Bravos, Zachary

Cross Examination of the Medical Expert 1995

ABSTRACT: Testimony about physical evidence of sexual abuse is extremely persuasive to the fact finder and attorneys must be able to objectively evaluate this evidence. They must know the research on the genitals of nonabused children and understand what is and is not indicative of abuse. Most physical findings are nonspecific and can have many causes other than sexual abuse. Suggestions are given for cross-examining the medical expert.

Iatrogenically Induced Personality Disorder and Ritual Abuse Memories in a 10-Year-Old Child 1991

Accompanying this article is the <*/ transcript] of the testimony of a 10-year-old girl.  This testimony was given in connection with one of the most bizarre satanic ritual abuse cases I have ever handled.  The case has an extensive history and some introduction to the chronology of events is essential to understanding the impact of the child's testimony [...]

In The Interest of Jane Doe and Tamera Doe — Proceedings Before the Hon. Richard X. Jackson 1993

The Court:
Good afternoon, Janie.  I'm Judge Jackson.  This is our court reporter and he's taking down all of the questions, statements, answers, anything that are done today.  All that you are really looking at is a shorthand typewriter, that's what that is.  If you have ever seen one before, I don't know.  This is Mr. Bravos.  He represents your father.  Mr. Wiener, I think you have met.  He represents you.
Janie: Okay.
The Court:
This is Nancy Stevens.  She's an assistant state's attorney.

Child Abuse and Witchcraft?  Perspective on the 15th and 20th Centuries 1991

ABSTRACT: Examination of the trial records of witch prosecutions in the 15th century indicates that the current approach toward child sexual abuse allegations has many parallels with the prosecutions of witches.  This is particularly evident when the allegations are of satanic, ritualistic abuse.  These parallels include the role of confession, the assumption that children's statements must be true, the adoption of special rules for prosecution, the presumption of guilt, the naming of others, the belief in conspiracies involving multiple victims and perpetrators, and the growth of the allegations to include child murder and cannibalism.

A Defense Attorney's Story 1990

We will never know what really happened or how it really started.  All we know is that a young, first-grade teacher said that a playground aide told her that a first- grade boy said that a first-grade girl named Nancy told him that another first-grade boy named Raymond touched her.  We do know that Raymond, Nancy, the aide, and the teacher went into an empty classroom, and that the teacher turned to Raymond and asked him what happened, and he denied ever touching this little girl.  We know that the teacher believed him and was sure in her own mind that he was telling the truth and that she then turned to Nancy and asked her what happened.  And we know that Nancy wouldn't say a word.  We know that the teacher then asked the little child whether or not anybody had ever touched her anywhere on her body — on her arms, on her shoulders, anywhere; and finally, we know that Nancy said "Daddy."

Bravos, Zachary and Roger Kelley

Privately Retained Counsel For The Child In Juvenile Court Proceedings 2002

Families involved with the legal system as a result of alleged abuse, neglect, or other complaint regarding the care of their children, are subject to complex and often incomprehensible proceedings.  The stakes are high: foster care for the children, the potential of criminal charges, the possible termination of parental rights — in short, the destruction of the family.
In typical juvenile proceedings, there is a judge, a prosecuting attorney, an attorney for each of the parents (either privately retained or court appointed), a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) for the child, and a court-appointed attorney for the child.  Usually, the same individual fulfills both the role of GAL and the role of attorney for the child.  As a result, the individuals most affected — children — almost never receive independent legal representation.  In order to understand how important it is that the children be represented, a clear understanding of the roles of the different individuals involved is necessary. [...]

Buckey, Peggy, Ray Buckey, and Peggy Ann Buckey

After the McMartin Trials: Some Reflections From the Buckeys 1990

EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy Buckey and her son and daughter, Ray and Peggy Ann Buckey, spoke to the <*/ NASVO] (National Association of State Vocal Organizations) conference in California in October, 1990.  The Buckeys were the defendants in the McMartin case which alleged extensive and extreme sexual abuse of children at the McMartin day care center in Manhattan Beach, CA.  The NASVO conference was the first time the Buckeys had said anything publicly since Ray Buckey's second trial ended.
This was the longest and most costly criminal trial in United States history.  There were over six years of legal proceedings and more than $15 million in public costs.  The preliminary hearing continued for over two years and the first trial lasted 33 months.  The second trial of Ray Buckey lasted only two months.  Peggy Buckey, whose mother founded the school, spent almost two years in jail.  Peggy Ann Buckey also spent close to two years in jail.  Ray Buckey spent over five years in jail before being permitted to post $3 million in property as bond.
This trial, more than any other, presents a puzzling and disturbing picture of how we respond to allegations of child sexual abuse.  To those who believe the Buckeys are innocent, this trial shows the extent to which the system can go in oppressing and destroying families.  To those who believe they are guilty the trial represents a gross failure of the system to protect wronged and violated children. What follows are excerpts from their presentations.  

Bullough, Eric Vern L., and Bonnie Bullough

Problems of Research into Adult/Child Sexual Interaction 1996

ABSTRACT: Although adult/child sexual behaviors have occurred in many different cultures throughout history, there has been little serious research on adult/child sexual interactions.  Barriers to performing this research include legal restrictions along with the fact that researchers attempting to understand and explain adult/child sexual interaction risk being labeled as pedophiles.  Despite this, it is crucial to find ways to do research with persons who resist adopting today's standards and attitudes.

Burk, Gloria, Ricardo Hofer, Katherine MacVicar, Morton Neril, & Robert Schreiber

Evaluation of Charges of Sexual Abuse in the Context of Custody and Divorce 1995

ABSTRACT: Sexual abuse allegations arising in the divorce and custody context present extremely difficult problems for the evaluator  The allegation damages the family system and highlights dysfunctions within individual members and the family system itself.  The allegation, whether true or not) is a symptom of significant family pathology.  Therefore, the evaluator should consider the developmental, dynamic, and family context and obtain information from all possible relevant parties.  The evaluator should also attempt to minimize the trauma that results from a sexual abuse investigation and evaluation.  A case study is presented to illustrate this approach.  

Campbell, Terence W.

Creating Repressed Memories: A Case Example 1995

ABSTRACT: By examining selected portions of a therapist's treatment notes, this article outlines how psychotherapy can create mistaken memories of childhood sexual abuse. Issues related to "blame-and-change" maneuvers, memory and source-monitoring failures, and excessive preoccupation with Multiple Personality Disorder are applied to this case.

Good News and Bad News: The Burden is Ours 1995

ABSTRACT: Though the issue of "repressed memory" has likely received more media attention than any other mental health issue, the professional organizations representing massive numbers of psychotherapists have responded less than responsibly to it. Rather than carefully examine the many scientific controversies related to "repressed memory therapy," these professional organizations regularly retreat behind a smokescreen of misinformation. Fortunately, emerging legal standards will likely limit the testimony of self-proclaimed experts who rely on their clinical experience when appearing in courts of law.

The Reliability and Validity of Gardner's Indicators of Pedophilia 1993

ABSTRACT: Despite the professional respect Richard Gardner deservedly enjoys, his "Indicators of Pedophilia" are grossly unreliable as a result of their ill-defined ambiguity.  Because of their inherent unreliability, Gardner's indicators rely excessively on clinical judgment.  In view of the extent to which clinical judgment invites arbitrary conjecture, self-styled "validators" — who rarely encounter allegations of sexual abuse they do not uncritically endorse — can easily exploit the ambiguity of Gardner's indicators to serve their own biased agenda.  The readiness with which Gardner's indicators provoke unreliable speculation necessitates persistent challenges directed at disqualifying them as a basis for expert testimony.

Reliable Classification vs. Idiosyncratic Opinion: A Reply to Gardner 1993

Allow me to begin this reply to Gardner by specifying what I will address, and what I will not.  Until Gardner reads my articles outlining the rumor model for assessing false allegations of sexual abuse (Campbell, 1992a, b), his hypercritical but ill-informed comments are undeserving of any response.  To belabor the obvious, supporting my position regarding the serious shortcomings of Gardner's "Indicators" does not require me to defend my own model.
In his response to my original article, Gardner deserves credit for recognizing his own facility for pedantic excess as he debated obscure issues of grammatical protocol; and I have no desire to imitate him in that regard.  I seriously doubt that such pettiness really interests readers.  Suffice to say, my use of sic merely conforms to the stylistic requirements of any APA-style journal including this particular publication.  Perhaps I should reassure Gardner that I used this same term in a <*/ previous article] that appeared in this very journal (Campbell, 1992c, p.120).  Given this information, Gardner might feel less singled out for criticism.


Promoting Play Therapy: Marketing Dream or Empirical Nightmare? 1992

ABSTRACT: The frequency with which variations of play therapy are used for assessment and treatment in cases of alleged sexual abuse raises issues regarding the appropriateness of these techniques.  Intuitively appealing as play therapy may seem, the available outcome research does not support it as an effective treatment procedure.  Play therapy's paradigmatic assumptions result in practices that can be counterproductive as well as ineffective.  While the mainstream of psychotherapy has undergone profound changes over the last 40 years, play therapy remains frozen in time as an anachronistic curiosity. Consequently, the <*/ American Psychological Association</a>'s publication and vigorous promotion of A Child's First Book About Play Therapy ()() is inconsistent with its status as a scientific-professional organization.  In view of its uncritical endorsement of First Book, APA invites indictments for pursuing the self-serving interests of a professional guild.

False Allegations of Sexual Abuse and The Persuasiveness of Play Therapy 1992

ABSTRACT: A review of the social psychological literature related to interpersonal influence and attitude change demonstrates the powerful persuasiveness of play therapy.  Play therapy can capitalize on the anxiety of children and reality influence them via the therapist's reputation as a credible source.  lay therapists too often maximize their influence by isolating children from significant sources of social support thereby controlling the information available to them.  The frequent counterproductiveness of play therapy — especially in circumstances of false allegations of sexual abuse — warrants massive malpractice litigation.

Diagnosing Incest: The Problem of False Positives and Their Consequences 1992

ABSTRACT: Incest resolution therapies have developed to counter treatment traditions predisposed to false negative diagnoses when confronted with client histories of sexual abuse.  Nevertheless, attempts at systematically reducing the frequency of false negative errors in any diagnostic endeavor correspondingly increase the frequency of false positive errors.  This paper contends that the theoretical premises of incest resolution therapy alarmingly increase the probability of false positive conclusions when diagnosing a formative history of incest.

Clauss, Eliot R.

Counterattack and Control: Keys to Successful Defense of False Child Abuse Accusations 1989

ABSTRACT: An aggressive counterattack can be effective in cases of a false allegation of sexual abuse in a divorce and custody situation.  The best chance the falsely accused parent has to counter the allegations and overcome the false allegation exists at the first hearing.  Actual motions from a case are presented. Although the accused parent did not get custody, the accusation of sexual abuse was put to rest and the parent received regular, unsupervised visitation.

Coleman, Lee

Creating "Memories" of Sexual Abuse 1992

ABSTRACT: An analysis of a case of alleged recovered memories of sexual abuse is presented to illustrate how such mental images can be created in therapy.  The memories, although believed by the woman to be of actual events, were the result of suggestions from both lay persons and professionals.

Learning From the McMartin Hoax 1989

ABSTRACT: An analysis of the videotapes in the McMartin preschool sex abuse case shows a strong pattern of pressure, coercion and manipulation aimed at getting the children to make statements about abuse.  The tapes from this case should be widely studied in that they are the key to understanding how the children could come to sincerely believe things that never happened.

Medical Examination for Sexual Abuse: Have We Been Misled? 1989

ABSTRACT: There are serious difficulties in diagnosing sexual abuse on the basis of an ano/genital examination.  Nevertheless, medical conclusions are often used in court to provide evidence for abuse.  The support for the alleged physical indicators of abuse has been based on opinions and claims unsupported by research data.  Recent research by John McCann on the ano/genital anatomy in nonabused children has established that findings often attributed to sexual abuse are found in many normal children.  McCann's findings were applied to 158 children who had been medically examined in cases of alleged sexual abuse.  Nearly all the findings attributed to sexual abuse were present in McCann's sample of nonabused children.  More baseline studies are needed, including those comparing nonabused children to children where there is convincing evidence of abuse.  In the meantime, the courts need to modify their current practices concerning evidence from ano/genital examinations.

Connors, Edward, Thomas Lundregan, Neal Miller & Tom McEwen

Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science: Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence After Trial 1998

"I had," said he, "come to an entirely erroneous conclusion which shows, my dear Watson, how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data."
-- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Speckled Band
One way to view science is that it is a search for truth.<*/ 1</a> Forensic science is no exception. As Attorney General Janet Reno emphasized, "The use of forensic science as a tool in the search for truth allows justice to be done not only by apprehending the guilty but also by freeing the innocent."<*/ 2</a>
This report describes a study that focused on the freeing of the innocent persons initially convicted and imprisoned but later released through postconviction forensic use of DNA technology.
Purpose and Scope of the Study
The principal purpose of the study, initiated in June 1995, was to identify and review cases in which convicted persons were released from prison as a result of posttrial DNA testing of evidence. As of early 1996, researchers had found 28 such cases: DNA test results obtained subsequent to trial proved that, on the basis of DNA evidence, the convicted persons could not have committed the crimes for which they were incarcerated.
The study also involved a survey of 40 laboratories that conduct DNA testing.

Corder, Billie F.

Structured, Time-Limited, Mastery-Oriented Therapy Groups for Sexually Abused, Preadolescent Children 1991

ABSTRACT: A structured, time-limited, mastery-oriented therapy group for sexually abused children is discussed and specific techniques used in the groups are described.  The focus of the groups was in developing adequate coping skills along with mastery of the experiences connected with sexual abuse.  Feedback from parents and caretakers suggest that the children who participated in the group showed a decrease in symptoms, improved grades, and an investment in being in the group  

Court, Supreme

Confrontation Clause Revisited: Supreme Court Decisions Idaho v Wright, and Craig v Maryland 1990

Editor's Note:
Two close Supreme Court decisions relevant for cases of alleged child sexual abuse were handed down this June.  Both cases, which were divided 5-4, addressed the question of how far states can go to prosecute child sexual abuse without violating the Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.  Both cases are relevant for health professionals and attorneys who deal with cases of alleged sexual abuse of children.
In Idaho v. Wright, the court found that the admission of the child's hearsay statements violated the Confrontation Clause.
In Maryland v. Craig<*/ (1)] the court ruled that the Confrontation Clause does not require confrontation if other due process traditions are followed including testimony under oath, and full cross-examination.  The Confrontation Clause, therefore, does not guarantee criminal defendants an absolute right to a face-to-face meeting with the witnesses against them at trial. However, the trial court must determine on a case-specific basis whether a particular child would be traumatized by testifying in the presence of the defendant.
The Syllabus for each of these decisions is presented followed by a discussion of the meaning of the decisions for future sexual abuse cases. Louis Kiefer presents <*/ an attorney's response] and Ralph Underwager <*/ a psychologist's response</a>.

Crane, Stephen

An Illusion in Red and White 1989

Nights on the Cuban Blockade were long, at times exciting, often dull.  The men on the small leaping dispatch-boats became as intimate as if they had all been buried in the same coffin.  Correspondents who, in New York, had passed as fairly good fellows sometimes turned out to be perfect rogues of vanity and selfishness, but still more often the conceited chumps of park row became the kindly and thoughtful men of the Cuban blockade.  Also each correspondent told all he knew, and sometimes more.  For this gentle tale I am indebted to one of the brightening stars of New York journalism.
Now, this is how I imagine it happened.  I don't say it happened this way, but this is how I imagine it happened.  And it always struck me as being a very interesting story.  I hadn't been on the paper very long, but just about long enough to get a good show, when the city editor suddenly gave me this sparkling murder assignment.
It seems that up in one of the back counties of New York State a farmer had taken a dislike to his wife; and so he went into the kitchen with an axe, and in the presence of their four little children he just casually rapped his wife on the nape of the neck with the head of this axe.  It was early in the morning, but he told the children they had better go to bed.  Then he took his wife's body out in the woods and buried it.
This farmer's name was Jones.  The widower's eldest child was named Freddy.  A week after the murder, one of the long-distance neighbors was rattling past the house in his buckboard when he saw Freddy playing in the road.  He pulled up, and asked the boy about the welfare of the Jones family.
"Oh, we're all right," said Freddy, "only ma she ain't — she's dead."
"Why, when did she die?" cried the startled farmer.  "What did she die of?"
"Oh," answered Freddy, "last week a man with red hair and big white teeth and real white hands came into the kitchen, and killed ma with an axe."
The farmer was indignant with the boy for telling him this strange childish nonsense and drove off much disgruntled, but he recited the incident at a tavern that evening...

Daly, Lawrence W.

The Bridge of Reason and Logic in Interviewing and Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations 2009

Authors Preface: I was thinking that maybe we need to explain to the reader that building a “bridge” takes baby steps based on evidence to bring other “bridges” together.  That reason and logic are what assist in connecting the “bridge” in making it strong and/or weak.  That an investigator who can visualize the road map to get at the truth must take careful, thoughtful, creative and thorough steps to build a bridge that leads from an allegation to a possible conviction.  Bridges are built with reason and logic because somebody took the time to analyze the facts that are apparent and not apparent.  In following this specific road map of reason and logic one can build a bridge anywhere, no matter what someone said about someone else.  It is all about using common sense and understanding what everything means.
A bridge of reason and logic over a morass of ignorance and bias when interviewing and investigating child sex abuse allegations.
    This paper was written for those in the Child Sexual Abuse field who conduct child interviews and investigations.  It is meant to be informative.  Some of it written for the first time, so Forensic Interviewers and Investigators have the opportunity to implement it into the way they perform their job.  The information may seem provocative, but is mainly drawn upon the two authors, behind whose backs are some thirty years in dealing with Child Sexual Abuse allegations.  It is our hope you learn from this article, and perhaps, children who have been abused will see their perpetrator brought to justice.  However, false allegations are a virulent hostile pathogen.  This should concern all those who work in the field of Child Sexual Abuse. [...]

"Police officers do not receive adequate training to prepare them to handle child sexual abuse investigations" 2004

ABSTRACT: Police officers do not receive adequate training to prepare them to handle child sexual abuse investigations.  This is true not only for patrol officers, but also for those assigned to child protection units.  In this study, 250 police academies responded to a questionnaire regarding their typical police training.  The responses indicated that officers receive training in investigations, interviewing, and interrogation, but that this training only prepared them for generalized areas of duty.  Respondents also reported that the majority of state authorities did not mandate specialized training for child sexual abuse investigations.  

Who Evaluates Child Interviews and Interviewers? 1992

ABSTRACT: Approaches used by professionals who are responsible for interviewing alleged child victims of abuse are haphazard at best.  This is exacerbated by the absence of protocols for public and private agencies.  The lack of standardized protocols for child interviews, along with the absence of accountability for interviewers, results in frequent contamination of child witnesses.  If such a protocol were in place, there would likely be a drastic reduction in the number of cases dismissed and verdicts overturned because of contamination.  Adopting a nationally accepted standard for interviewing children would restore credibility to child interviewers and validate a system where ethical questions about interview practices and coaching have become commonplace.

Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: Investigative Approaches and Identifying Alternative Hypotheses 1992

ABSTRACT: Child sexual abuse cases require a creative, thorough, and objective approach.  Preexisting biases, however, often result in misdirected and inadequate investigations that do not serve the interests of either the child or the accused.  A systematic consideration of alternative hypotheses will facilitate a responsible and careful investigation that provides accurate and helpful information.

The Essentials of Child Abuse Investigation and Child Interviews 1991

ABSTRACT: The credibility and reliability of a child abuse investigation can be greatly enhanced with preparation and training.  Law enforcement officers should learn proper interviewing techniques and methods of evidence collection.  They need to obtain an objective comprehensive history before the child is interviewed, carefully prepare for the interview, and conduct a nonleading, nonsuggestive, and non-contaminating interview which will produce reliable and complete information from the child.  Properly conducted interviews which are video or audiotaped will help eliminate the current suspicion of the investigative process.

Danforth, Stephen

Trouble — Right Here in River City: What Happens When the Prosecutorial Urge to Create Persuasive Video Evidence Contaminates the Child Interviewing Process in Cases of Alleged Sexual Abuse 2001

(Editor's Note: Mr. Danforth, an attorney, is currently imprisoned in Minnesota after being convicted of child sexual abuse.  He had previously been convicted of child sexual abuse in Wisconsin.  He readily admitted his guilt in the Wisconsin case, was sentenced, served his time, and was released.  He does not deny that he abused the child in Wisconsin.  However, he stoutly maintains his innocence in the case in Minnesota.  He believes his past record greatly influenced the investigation and his trial, in which the judge refused to admit his defense claims of biased investigation and interrogation of children.  This article reflects his legal training and experience and his interest in interrogation techniques and child witnesses.  We take no position on his guilt or innocence in the Minnesota conviction.  However, we consider his legal analysis of the issues raised for him by his conviction of interest.)   
There is no doubt that sexual abuse of children occurs.  There is also no room for question that false accusations of child sexual abuse also are regularly advanced.  Some of these false accusations are retracted, and their falsity admitted.  However, this is not always the case.
Moreover, retractions are sometimes delayed for years, all too often years during which the falsely accused is harshly imprisoned.  Further, retractions are frequently disbelieved or ignored.  A retraction of an earlier accusation of sexual abuse will not result in overturning of a conviction of that crime without virtually unquestionable corroboration of the retraction.  The devastation wreaked by a false accusation is so complete that it essentially destroys the wrongly accused's life.
There is at present no absolutely foolproof way to discern false accusations of sexual abuse from true ones. [...]

How to Win Guards and Influence Inmates 2001

(Editor's Note: This article by Mr. Danforth may be seen as illustrating one of the skills helpful in surviving in the prison environment — a wry sense of humor.  If there is any interest in reading more about the world of prisons, we recommend the book by Ted Conover, Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, Random House, New York, <*/ reviewed in this issue</a>.  It gives the viewpoint and experience of the guards.)   
Anyone who has ever spent time incarcerated can confirm the importance of just getting along with others in this confined, and typically pressure-filled and tense environment.  The purpose of this essay is to impart to the reader, who is presumed to be about to embark on the great adventure of prison life, a few important pointers toward this goal.
Upon reflection, however, it occurs to this writer that the key to a safe, uneventful, unharassed, and relatively unthreatening stay in this proverbial place of perdition, and to avoiding major inconvenience, is not truly to be found by following affirmative directives or suggestions.  Instead, the key to these goals lies in adhering to certain simple and sound injunctions against foolish and foolhardy words and deeds.  To help the reader find this key, the writer has distilled his extensive corrections experience into a succinct set of such injunctions, in a 'Don't ...' format, that exemplify various core concepts of common sense.

Dawes, Robyn M.

Why Believe That for Which there Is No Good Evidence? 1992

ABSTRACT: Many people believe in the existence of widespread "repressed" child sexual abuse and organized satanic cults.  Such beliefs occur despite lack of evidence supporting them, influenced instead by reliance on authorities and social consensus.  In addition, people fail to understand the fallibility of retrospective memory, erroneously assume that high confidence in a memory means that it is accurate, and mistakenly believe that more information necessarily implies a better grasp of reality.  Compounding this problem is the diminution in the scientific training of licensed therapists.  When therapists themselves have not been inoculated with scientific skepticism, they will not inoculate their clients and will instead contribute to the epidemic of irrational beliefs.

Biases of Retrospection? 1991

Memory belongs to the imagination.  Human memory is not like a computer which records things; it is part of the imaginative process, on the same terms as invention (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1986).   
While memory from our experience is introspectively a process of "dredging up" what actually happened, it is to a large extent determined by our current beliefs and feelings.  This principle has been well established both in the psychological laboratory and in surveys.  What we have at the time of recall is, after all, only our current state, which includes fragments ("memory traces") of our past experience; these fragments are biased by what we now believe (or feel) to be true to an extent much greater than we know consciously.  Moreover, the organization of these fragments of past experience into meaningful patterns is even more influenced by our current beliefs and mood — especially if we are particularly depressed or elated.
Memory is basically a "reconstructive" process.  Thus, our experience is often recalled inaccurately, even that selectively biased and possibly irrelevant experience discussed in the previous sections.  The problem is particularly acute because our recall is often organized in ways that "make sense" of the present — thus reinforcing our belief in the conclusions we have reached about how the past has determined the present.  We quite literally "make up stories" about our lives, the world, and reality in general.

Giving up Cherished Ideas: The Rorschach Ink Blot Test 1991

One of the most dearly (expensively) held beliefs of many clinical psychologists is the belief in the validity of Rorschach inkblot interpretation.  While this belief may be common in the general American population, it is particularly strong among clinical psychologists, many of whom still give Rorschachs despite the consistent research findings — of literally thousands of published studies — that the Rorschach interpretation is unreliable and invalid.  The plausibility of Rorschach interpretation is so compelling that it is still accepted in court proceedings involving involuntary commitment and child custody, with psychologists who offer such interpretations in these hearings being duly recognized as "experts."<*/ 1</a>
American Psychological Association rules of ethics prohibit my presenting an example of a Rorschach inkblot.  (Presumably, prior exposure to these blots would contaminate the validity, if there were any, of any subsequent use.)  Suffice it to say that there are ten blots on cards roughly the size of regular typing paper.  Six of these are black and various shades of gray; the remaining four have color.  The blots themselves cover roughly half the area of the cards on which they are reproduced, in a horizontal orientation — that is, the position of a sheet of typing paper turned on its side.  These blots are symmetric around a vertical axis in the middle of the card.  They were developed by the psychiatrist Herman Rorschach (1884-1922), for purposes totally unrelated to assessing character structure and personality problems.

de Rivera, Joseph

Impact of Child Abuse Memories on the Families of Victims 1994

ABSTRACT: Within the last ten years some therapists have used procedures that have led thousands of patients to recover memories of "repressed" childhood sexual abuse and to confront their families with this past abuse.  Many families have asserted that the recovered memories appear to be confabulations.  This study examines the impact the accusations of abuse have had on these families.  Interviews were conducted with both parents of nine families who attended a meeting of the <*/ False Memory Syndrome Foundation</a>.  In all cases where the spouse learned of the accusation before the accused parent, the spouse was placed in a situation of painful conflict as to whom to believe.  Only after an agonizing search for evidence did the spouse fully believe the accused parent.  When this occurred, the child and the child's therapist cut off communication.  In the meantime, the accused (typically left without emotional support from the spouse) suffered extreme pain.  Eight of the nine families have been split apart by the conflicting realities engendered by what appear to be false charges.  It seems apparent that the procedure of encouraging patients to confront their families with memories "recovered" in therapy is creating pain rather than helping the patient test reality.  Alternative procedures are discussed.

Dickson, Jean Z. Children and Statements for the Purpose of Medical Diagnosis or Treatment: A Challenge to Scientific Reality 1993

ABSTRACT: The medical diagnosis hearsay exception is based on the assumption that the declarant's motive of obtaining improved health will guarantee the statements' trustworthiness.  While some state and federal courts have applied this exception to admit statements made by young children, its application in such situations often refutes the psychological reality and the recognition by the Supreme Court that children are unable to make medical decisions for themselves.  The basic difficulty with the medical diagnosis exception as applied to young children is that its basic premise of reliability is inconsistent with the scientific reality of children's competency.  Alternatives must be considered in order to find such evidence truly trustworthy.  

In the Interest of H.R.K. and Due Process: Can a Juvenile Court Terminate Parental Rights Without an Adjudication? 1991

ABSTRACT: In the Interest of H.R.K. the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld a decision to terminate parental rights in part on the basis of the parents' failure to comply with a court-ordered treatment program in which they were required to admit sexually abusing their children.  The parents denied the sexual abuse which was never adjudicated.  This comment proposes that the court erred in concluding that this did not violate the parents' rights to due process.  

"Doe, Jane"

How Could This Happen? Coping with A False Accusation of Incest and Rape 1991

ABSTRACT: The following is an account of the effects of a false accusation of childhood sexual abuse and rape by a grown daughter against her father.  The accusations arose during the course of therapy in which the therapist elicited "repressed memories" of the abuse which was alleged to occur repeatedly throughout the daughter's childhood.  The therapy was based on the premise that half of the victims of childhood sexual abuse have no conscious memory of the abuse, and therefore the therapist must help the patient uncover these memories.  The parents were shocked and confused by the allegations, which they both completely deny, and they are struggling to understand the situation and find a way to resolve it without permanently destroying any future relationship with their daughter.

Doe, Rebecca

The Nightmare That May Never End 1992

In June of 1988, my 34-year-old daughter, Rachel, arrived at our home unannounced in acute distress.  Our relationship with our daughter, her husband, and their 5-year-old child, Lisa, was close and loving.  We were grateful for that, because her adolescence had been a stormy one.  During that difficult period we had serious concerns about her future.  But that afternoon Rachel told us, in tears just short of hysteria, that her distress was due to her belief that Lisa had been sexually abused by the 12-year-old girl Rachel had entrusted with babysitting her for the previous year.
During this visit to us, as she told us about the babysitter problem, Rachel's understandable distress had overtones of horrifying guilt.  The 12-year-old sitter had been trusted as "a genius at getting along with Lisa," even though Rachel knew of her previous hospitalization for mental illness.  Rachel had talked to her younger brother, who has a Ph.D. in psychology, about some of Lisa's behaviors that she thought were a bit strange.  He had alerted Rachel to possible baby sitter abuse when she described some of Lisa's behavior to him.  But Rachel disregarded this suggestion, apparently because she had been told by her therapist that her fears on that score were paranoid.  This is the same therapist who later persuaded her that we were abusive parents. [...]

Duffey, Betty

The Importance of Negative Evidence in a False Sexual Abuse Allegation (A Grandmother's Story) 1993

ABSTRACT: In the <*/ Fall, 1991] Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, there was a report by Dr. Robert Fay entitled "<*/ A Critical Analysis of a Medical Report in a Case of Suspected Child Sexual Abuse</a>."  The following paper provides further information about the allegation, arrest, and trial.  There was much "negative evidence" which proved to be more important than the "positive" evidence.  

Durmer, Joel, <*/ George Riley</a>, <*/ Horace Glenn</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, <*/ David Tuytjens</a>, <*/ Jeffrey Parker</a>, and <*/ Ramazan Zuberi</a>

Amicus Curiae Brief of the A.D.T.C. Legal Subcommittee — A.A. v. Codey, Docket No.: 59,521 2006

     Recently, the members of the Legal Subcommittee of the Inmate Resident Committee (IRC) at the Adult Diagnostic & Treatment Center (A.D.T.C.) in Avenel, New Jersey, filed a motion with the New Jersey Supreme Court seeking leave to file an amicus curiae, or friend of the court brief, in the case now before the court, A.A. et al. v. State of New Jersey, et al, (Docket No.: 59,521).  This case concerns the constitutionality of the amendment to the New Jersey Constitution passed by the citizens of New Jersey in 2000, known as Paragraph 12, which strips those who have been convicted of a sexual offense of a broad swathe of constitutional protections.  The case also concerns the constitutionality of the "Sex Offender Internet Registry" enacted into law by the Legislature in 2002.
     The A.D.T.C. is the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) facility designated to receive and treat those who have been convicted of a sexual offense, and have been found to suffer from a mental condition which is characterized by a pattern of compulsive and repetitive behaviors.  The IRC is an administration sanctioned body, whose members are elected by the ADTC resident population to represent the interests of the residents to the administration.  The Legal Subcommittee of the IRC, also sanctioned by the administration, is charged with advocating for and acting to protect the rights and interests of those incarcerated at the ADTC.
     The vast majority of residents receiving treatment at the ADTC will be returning to their communities, and face a difficult adjustment and period of reintegration into their communities.

Earl, John

The Dark Truth About the "Dark Tunnels of McMartin" 1995

ABSTRACT: Recent revisionist articles and book citations have challenged the view that the McMartin child sex abuse scandal, and other multi-victim/perpetrator/ritual abuse cases, were conceived and prosecuted without "a shred of evidence." The main basis for this claim is the 1990 "discovery" of a "tunnel" and "possible secret room" underneath the McMartin Preschool that once existed in Manhattan Beach, California. How the concept of secret tunnels became an obsession with various parents of McMartin students, the course of the development and parental acting out of this obsession, and the present — but by no means final — outcome of the obsessive parental behavior are the central issues under study in this account of the McMartin witch hunt.

Child Pornography, The Politics of Child Abuse, and the Abuse of Innocence: Analysis and Commentary 1995

Child pornographers may be teachers, lawyers, doctors, law enforcement officers, members of the clergy, laborers — in sum, child pornographers are from all walks of life. (Det. Toby Tyler, in a prepared statement before the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Nov. 28, 1984.)
ABSTRACT: The crusade against child pornography and other types of child sexual exploitation reveals a fundamental hypocrisy, exemplified by the crusaders' own indulgence in and exploitation of de jure and de facto sex crimes against children. The case of authors Paul and Shirley Eberle, who have been associated by some critics with the distribution of child pornography, is examined to illustrate the hypocrisy of those critics and other giants in the "child abuse industry."
Paul and Shirley Eberle were the first American journalists to write a popularly acclaimed book defending victims of false child abuse accusations. The Eberles wrote two books on the subject: the first, The Politics of Child Abuse () (1986), examined a number of celebrated multi-victim/multi-perpetrator molestation scandals; the second, The Abuse of Innocence () (1993), focused on the McMartin trial, the most infamous of all American mass sex abuse cases.

Emon, Randy

"Occult Cop" 1993

ABSTRACT: There has been great media attention given to allegations of occult- or satanically-inspired crimes.  As a law enforcement officer who has investigated thousands of crimes and who has interviewed many alleged satanic cult survivors, I originally wanted to believe the survivor accounts.  For several years I was in a cult of occult researchers who failed to examine thoroughly the physical evidence.  However, after six years of study I was forced to change my position.  Although physical evidence has been produced in connection with other types of occult-inspired crimes, there is no empirical corroboration for the existence of multi generational satanic cults.  These allegations appear to come as a result of intrusive and suggestive therapy techniques with therapists who believe in ritual satanic abuse.  From a fundamentalist Christian perspective, the widespread false belief in the satanic cult conspiracy can be understood in terms of Satan, the Father of Lies.  

Fay, Robert

A Critical Analysis of a Medical Report in a Case of Suspected Child Sexual Abuse 1991

ABSTRACT: This is an critical analysis of an actual medical examination and the physician's conclusions, with names and identifying details changed.  The report is based on a review of medical and other records and demonstrates the type of errors which can be made in the interpretation of medical findings.  It also illustrates what to look for when evaluating medical evidence and other documents in cases of alleged child sexual abuse.

Flores, Ileana

Statement of Ileana Flores Regarding Florida vs. Fuster 1994

State of Florida vs. Francisco Fuster

In the 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Dade County, Florida

Case No. 84-19728
Ileana Flores — Being of lawful age, and being first duly sworn by German E. Leitzelar Vidaurreta to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, in her answers to the questions to be to her propounded, testified on her oath as follows:
Examination by Mr. Cohen:
Q. Okay. My name is Arthur Cohen, and I'm an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We're here in the Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Today is October 15th, 1994, and the time is approximately 12:25 P.M., Honduras time. I'm here with a young woman by the name of Ileana Flores.
Ileana, do you understand that I'm here to take a statement under oath from you today?
A. Yes.
Q. And do you understand that it's being taken down by a court reporter that I've brought with me from the United States?
A. Yes..
Q And do you understand that I've also got a cassette tape recorder on the table here that is presently in the on position? And —

Gardner, Richard A.

Repression, Dissociation, and Sex-Abuse Accusations 1995

ABSTRACT: The concept of repression has been given a bad press because it has been used by therapists to justify their induction of sex-abuse delusions in non-abused patients.  Denying the existence of repression, however is not the best way to deal with these therapists.  Repression does exist, but must be put into perspective with related phenomena including forgetting, suppression, denial, dissociation, and depersonalization.  The controversy over the existence of repression is a distraction from the widespread problem of recovered memory therapists who induce false memories of childhood sexual abuse.  

You're Not Paranoid Schizophrenic: You Only Have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder 1995

ABSTRACT: Patients with paranoid schizophrenia are being misdiagnosed as having PTSD by therapists who see child sexual abuse as rampant and as causing a wide variety of psychiatric problems.  The symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia can easily be distorted and manipulated so that the PTSD criteria in the DSM-III-R and the DSM-IV appear to be met.  The reasons for the proliferation of this misdiagnosis are that PTSD and the sexual abuse explanation for symptoms are more in vogue, are more satisfying and less complex to treat, and provide more financial benefits to the mental health practitioner compared to schizophrenia.

Finally! An Instant Cure for Paranoid Schizophrenia: MPD 1994

ABSTRACT: In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of reported cases of multiple personality disorder.  It is claimed that these MPD patients were sexually abused as children and developed "alter" personalities to cope with the trauma and therefore had no memories of the abuse until therapy  Some of these MPD patients, however, are actually paranoid schizophrenics whose paranoid delusions and hallucinations are interpreted in terms of the alleged repressed childhood abuse.  There are many reinforcements for both patient and therapist in the MPD diagnosis.  It substitutes a hopeless situation with one for which there is the promise of cure; is much more socially acceptable; includes social, psychological, and financial payoffs inherent in the "victim" status; and provides an opportunity far lawsuits against the parents.

The Sex-Abuse Time-Line Diagrams 1994

ABSTRACT: When evaluating sexual abuse allegations it is extremely important to differentiate between symptoms that arose prior to disclosure and those that arose afterwards.  Symptoms arising after the disclosure and cessation of abuse can be caused by sexual abuse therapy, multiple interrogations, and other aspects of the legal process.  Therefore, in a sex-abuse examination it is necessary to inquire as to the timing of the development of any claimed symptoms.  Diagrams are presented to facilitate this inquiry.

Medical Findings and Child Sexual Abuse 1993

ABSTRACT: Physicians are increasingly being asked to conduct examinations to determine if there is physical evidence that a child has been sexually abused.  Unfortunately, a common practice for many physicians has been to form conclusions about abuse on the basis of vague physical findings and In the absence of information outside of the fact that someone believes the child has been abused.  Recently, however, there has been research on the characteristics of the genitals of normal, nonabused children.  This research provides the baseline information needed to evaluate physical findings.  This research is described, the terms used in medical reports are defined, and the physical findings which may be indicative of sexual abuse are discussed.

Revising the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act: Our Best Hope for Dealing with Sex-Abuse Hysteria in the United States 1993

ABSTRACT: The 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act has had unforeseen negative consequences in terms of encouraging false allegations of sex abuse.  In order to receive federal funding, states had to pass legislation that mandated specific persons to report suspected cases of child abuse and granted immunity to the reporters.  Funding was made available for the treatment of those judged to be victims, but not for individuals who were victims of false allegations.  Several suggestions are made for changes in this legislation.

A Theory About the Variety of Human Sexual Behavior 1993

Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth ... Genesis: 1:28
I have found the missing link between the higher ape and civilized man: It is we. Konrad Lorenz
Man becomes civilized when his animal impulses are tamed, subdued and transcended by his social nature. Abba Eban
ABSTRACT: Dawkins's theory of gene transmission is extended and applied to develop a theory about the variety of human sexual behavior.  According to this theory, the many different types of human sexual behavior, including the paraphilias, can be seen as having species survival value.  These atypical sexual behaviors all, in some way enhance the general level of sexual excitation in society and therefore increase the likelihood that people will engage in sexual activities that lead to procreation.  Basic differences between men and women can also be understood with this theory.  The political nature of the DSM-III-R, particularly in regard to homosexuality and pedophilia, are discussed as they relate to this theory.

Response to Campbell's "The Reliability and Validity of Gardner's Indicators of Pedophilia" 1993

My primary reaction to Campbell's <*/ article] is that he painstakingly criticizes the criteria I use to ascertain whether an alleged perpetrator has pedophilic tendencies, but does not provide us with any meaningful and/or useful comments about how he would assess a situation in which such an accusation is made.  He spends over 31 pages of manuscript detailing what he considers the various weaknesses and defects in the criteria that I use and then tells us only that a better way to approach this problem is to use "interpersonal events."  If he is referring here to interpersonal observations among the accuser, the accused, and the alleged child victim, this is something that I do.  However, the reader could not know this if he was not familiar with my book (Gardner, 1992) because Campbell would have the reader believe that my total evaluation rests on criteria applicable to the alleged pedophile.  In actuality, I make every attempt to interview the accuser, the accused, and the alleged child victim and repeatedly state that any evaluation that does not include the assessment of all three parties is flawed.
Campbell does, however, give us more information about what he considers to be "interpersonal events," among which is "the extent to which the allegation corresponds to rumor formation and rumor dissemination."  To the best of my recollection, this is the first time I have ever heard of "rumor" being used as a criterion for making a medical diagnosis (which pedophilia is) or deciding whether someone committed a crime (which is what a pedophilic act is).  Campbell has justification when he claims that some of my criteria are somewhat subjective.  However, this substitute criterion is probably more subjective than all of my subjective criteria put together.  This is especially the case because we are currently living in a period in which mass hysteria prevails regarding decisions involving sex abuse (Gardner, 1991).  The use of Campbell's rumor criterion would add to the parade of those who have already been incarceratted.
Campbell tells us at the outset that my criteria have been misused by "self-styled validators" who "exploit the ambiguity of Gardner's indicators to serve their own biased agenda."  There will always be those who will exploit another person's work for their own ends.

Leading Stimuli, Leading Gestures, and Leading Questions 1992

ABSTRACT: Leading questions, leading stimuli, and leading gestures can be placed on a continuum in terms of the degree to which the question, stimulus, or gesture shrinks the universe of possible responses by the interviewee.  For each of these concepts, the leading quality can be classified as not present (that is, absent), minimally present, moderately present, or maximally present.  When the question, stimulus or gesture is significantly leading, the evaluation is apt to be contaminated and the child may be programmed to produce statements about abuse that did not occur.  Evaluators must be more sensitive to the importance of understanding and thus avoiding these interview contaminants in sex-abuse evaluations.

Belated Realization of Child Sex Abuse by an Adult 1992

ABSTRACT: Many adults, usually women, are claiming that they have recently recalled sexual abuse that had been "repressed" for many years.  This revelation generally occurs after the woman has been in therapy with a therapist who claims particular skills in bringing such memories into conscious awareness.  Many of these allegations, however, are likely to be false and occur as a result of the interaction between angry and sometimes paranoid women and overzealous and often naive therapists who specialize in this type of therapy.  The characteristics of the accusing adults and their supporting therapists are discussed along with the features that are found in false allegations in this setting.

The "Validators" and Other Examiners 1991

EDITORS' NOTE: In this selection from his latest book, Richard Gardner critically discusses the "validators," the people who are doing evaluations in sex abuse cases. He believes that they have played a significant role in the current sex abuse hysteria.
I recognize that I am extremely critical of many (and probably most) of the people who are doing evaluations in sex abuse cases.  I appreciate that there are some (but I believe they are in the minority) who are conducting skillful evaluations that are balanced and unbiased.  My experience, however, has been that the vast majority of those evaluators whose examinations I have had the opportunity to evaluate in depth exhibit significant deficiencies in their techniques.  It is this group that I am referring to in this chapter, and it is this group that is playing a significant role in the present sex abuse fiasco.  One cannot possibly know the exact percentage of evaluators who fall into the category that I am criticizing here.  Furthermore, even that division is artificial in that each evaluator falls at some point along a continuum — from those who manifest most, if not all, of the deficiencies described here to the most competent and skilled who exhibit few, if any of them.  Although their percentage is not certain (and cannot probably be known) there is no question that there are enough of these inadequate and incompetent evaluators to warrant the criticisms presented here.
I suspect that those who refer to themselves as "validators" are most likely performing at the levels of incompetence described in this chapter.  The very fact that they are comfortable referring to themselves as validators provides strong justification for my placing them in this category.  The name implies that their sole purpose is to validate or confirm that the abuse took place.  It is the equivalent of a criminal court judge referring to himself as the "convictor" or the "incarcerator." [...]

Sex Abuse Hysteria - The Physicians 1990

We in the medical profession are part of the network of people involved in the sex abuse hysteria.  Psychiatrists, like the author, have become involved as evaluators (we do not call ourselves "validators") and as therapists.  Unfortunately, there are psychiatrists whose level of evaluation is no better than the validators described in Chapter Six.  Unfortunately, as well, there are psychiatrists who "treat" the children who have been diagnosed as having been sexually abused.  Such psychiatrists accept these people as "experts" and then "treat" the child.  It would be an error for the reader to assume that I have any less scorn for these medical colleagues than I do for those in other professions who treat children for sex abuse when there is little if any evidence that such abuse took place.
A recent development in the field of psychotherapeutic psychiatry is the "uncovering" of early sex abuse that the patient never realized took place.  This has been very much in vogue during the last few years.  Sometimes, the process starts with the psychiatrist "suspecting" sex abuse on the basis of allegedly derivative statements and symptoms that are "suggestive" of early childhood sex abuse.  When the patient expresses puzzlement and even disbelief, he (she) is encouraged to enter into a more meaningful and deeper (sometimes on the couch) therapy in order to "uncover" these lost memories.
Human beings, suggestible and gullible animals that we are, are likely to comply with the psychiatrist's prediction and provide the psychiatrist with the "lost" material.  Such patients, then, go around the rest of their lives proudly telling others how they learned in their treatment how they were sexually abused as children and that this revelation not only served as an important advance in their treatment but brought about other changes that would not have been possible without the revelation.  Some even believe that it was the sex abuse that was at the root of many (if not most) of their problems and that now that it has been brought into conscious awareness the symptoms that derive from it have been reduced significantly, if not evaporated entirely.
Such a statement is testimony to the credulity of the human being.  It is patently preposterous if the sex abuse never took place (a likely possibility).  However, even if there was sex abuse, it is extremely unlikely that most of the patient's problems were derived from this experience (or even experiences).  No symptom is caused by one event or one type of event.  Symptoms are multi-determined.  Furthermore, insight is only one small part of the therapeutic process.  Such scenarios may make good movies and novels, and may make the author a lot of money, but they have nothing to do with real therapy as it takes place in the real world.

Garrison, Arthur H.

Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome: Issues of Admissibility in Criminal Trials 1998

ABSTRACT: In 1983, Roland Summit published a paper describing the Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome (CSAAS).  Summit asserted that there are five reactions children can exhibit who have been sexually abused: (1) secrecy, (2) helplessness, (3) entrapment and accommodation, (4) delayed, unconvincing disclosure, and (5) retraction.  He stressed that the CSAAS is not a diagnostic tool but an explanatory tool to give clinicians, investigators, and courts an understanding of the coping behaviors of children who have been sexually abused, as well as to dispel myths and prejudice about sexual abuse in children.  This article examines the methodology and reasoning behind the CSAAS and focuses on how it has been used in criminal trials.

United States Supreme Court: Analysis and Application of the Confrontation Clause in Regard to Cases of Child Sexual Abuse 1997

ABSTRACT: In recent years the issues of the proper role of expert testimony on child sexual abuse, the admissibility of hearsay testimony of social workers or investigators, and the use of closed circuit video cameras for young children to testify in court has been ruled upon by the US. Supreme Court and other state supreme courts.  Some courts have reversed convictions because experts had been allowed to opine whether a child was abused or because the investigation and/or the interview techniques caused children to make false statements about abuse.  This article will discuss how the U.S. Supreme Court and other state supreme courts in several cases have addressed these issues.

Gavigan, Mel

False Memories of Child Sexual Abuse: A Personal Account 1992

It all began back in November of 1989.  I was hospitalized for depression in Long Beach, California when I started getting my first false memories of child sexual abuse.
While hospitalized for the depression, I was asked by several hospital workers if I had ever been touched sexually in my childhood.  Although I could not remember anything, I felt pressured to come up with some "answers" for my condition that would be acceptable.  I also felt that if I could come up with a single reason for my troubles, I would be able to get well and get out of the hospital sooner.
My psychologist kept asking about my childhood and he seemed insistent that I had been sexually abused as a child.  I tried to be very cooperative because I wanted out of that hospital.  I didn't understand why my therapist was not interested in hearing about the recent causes of my depression — a painful divorce, sexual harassment on the job, unemployment, stress from a new marriage, and a recent drastic change in lifestyle.  I trusted him, however, and if he believed that all of my problems wee due to some traumatic incident in my childhood I apparently had forgotten, I assumed he must be right because he was the psychology expert, not I.
I continued to wrack my brain to try to remember being sexually abused, and I had a severe mental breakdown.  After the breakdown, I told him that I thought I had been raped by my father.  I was not sure of the age in which it happened. (I started with the age of four and then changed it to six and then seven.)  I was encouraged by my psychologist to talk about the abuse in groups and in therapy sessions.  My psychologist and I confronted my mother about it.  I wrote a letter to my father and with the help of the hospital social worker, reported him to a child abuse hot line and continued to accuse him.
I was on four or five different medications and I became dependent upon Halcion and Xanax in order to function at a minimal level.  Over the next few years, my doctors placed me on several more medications including lithium, tegretol, ativan, desipramine, stelazine, Triavil, and nortriptyline.
For the next three years, this problem ruled my life.  I was obsessed at how unresolved it all felt I was tormented constantly.  I became too sick to work regularly and went on disability as I could not work without having "flashbacks."

Glenn, Horace, <*/ George Riley</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, <*/ David Tuytjens</a>, <*/ Jeffrey Parker</a>, <*/ Joel Durmer</a>, and <*/ Ramazan Zuberi</a>

Amicus Curiae Brief of the A.D.T.C. Legal Subcommittee — A.A. v. Codey, Docket No.: 59,521 2006


<p>     Recently, the members of the Legal Subcommittee of the Inmate Resident Committee (IRC) at the Adult Diagnostic & Treatment Center (A.D.T.C.) in Avenel, New Jersey, filed a motion with the New Jersey Supreme Court seeking leave to file an amicus curiae, or friend of the court brief, in the case now before the court, A.A. et al. v. State of New Jersey, et al, (Docket No.: 59,521).  This case concerns the constitutionality of the amendment to the New Jersey Constitution passed by the citizens of New Jersey in 2000, known as Paragraph 12, which strips those who have been convicted of a sexual offense of a broad swathe of constitutional protections.  The case also concerns the constitutionality of the "Sex Offender Internet Registry" enacted into law by the Legislature in 2002.
     The A.D.T.C. is the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) facility designated to receive and treat those who have been convicted of a sexual offense, and have been found to suffer from a mental condition which is characterized by a pattern of compulsive and repetitive behaviors.  The IRC is an administration sanctioned body, whose members are elected by the ADTC resident population to represent the interests of the residents to the administration.  The Legal Subcommittee of the IRC, also sanctioned by the administration, is charged with advocating for and acting to protect the rights and interests of those incarcerated at the ADTC.
     The vast majority of residents receiving treatment at the ADTC will be returning to their communities, and face a difficult adjustment and period of reintegration into their communities.  Successful navigation of that reintegration is vital to these residents transferring the skills they have learned in therapy at the ADTC to their life on the outside, and is critical to ensuring the safety of the communities in which they will live.  The enactments being challenged by the case now before the State Supreme Court, fail to protect communities, risk destabilizing the lives of those it targets, and are based on false perceptions and persistent myths about the risks posed by those convicted of a sex offense and released into the community.

Gondolf, Lynn Price

Traumatic Therapy 1992

I'm Lynn.  My purpose here is to describe where I came from, what happened in therapy, and how I got out of it.  I'll start out telling you how glad I am all of you are here.  You parents yourselves are the greatest resources you have.  I've seen my parents.  I've seen the parents of the women that I was in therapy with sit with these accusations for two or three years.  They try to sell their home, they hire detectives, they have no contact with their daughters, and they are never able to defend their innocence.  I've seen them worry and hope that this will go away and she'll come back someday.  I'll be real honest, I don't know if that's the right approach, I haven't seen any benefits come from it.
I was in therapy with two therapists after I sought treatment for an eating disorder in 1986.  I had a book called The Monster Within ()().  Some of you may have heard of that book.  You can probably get it at Christian bookstores.  It was about a woman who had bulimia, went to this hospital, met these two wonderful therapists and got well.  I'd had an eating disorder since I was nine.  I've been so thin I was paralyzed from anorexia and I've weighed 320, so I've been in the whole spectrum and now I'm somewhere in between those two.  And I don't know that even in recovery that issue will ever be one I'm okay with.
But I can tell you that just because I've had weight problems or an eating disorder does not mean I'm an incest victim.  I want to stress this because I hear that a lot today — that if you have an eating disorder, you have probably been sexually abused.

Goodyear-Smith, Felicity

Victim-oriented Law Reforms: Advantages and Pitfalls 1996

ABSTRACT: This paper addresses issues arising from the well-needed reforms introduced in the past couple of decades aimed at treating rape complainants with consideration and compassion, and minimizing the stress endured by undergoing the judicial process when making a complaint.
It is argued that procedures which offer advocacy and support for the complainant can lead to an effective presumption of guilt of the alleged perpetrator and erosion of the principle of impartiality.  The difficulty of gaining a conviction when a rape has occurred but no forensic evidence is available is weighed against the dangers of conviction in the absence of corroboration. Issues regarding (mis)interpretation of consent and the effects of an expanded definition of rape are also discussed.
The growing 'backlash" from concerned academics and members of the legal profession is examined  

Medical Considerations in the Diagnosis of Child Sexual Abuse 1994

ABSTRACT: There are no medical signs in the vast majority of sexual abuse cases.  Many findings promoted as physical indicators of abuse have been shown to be present in nonabused children.  In particular hymenal openings said to measure more than 4 mm, genital rashes and redness, and anal reflex dilatation have been demonstrated to be unreliable medical indicators.  Children can be harmed both by unnecessary invasive investigation (including general anesthesia) and by subsequent interventions if the allegations are false.  Doctors must insure that they have an empirical basis for the interpretation of their findings, and that they do not allow someone else's belief that a child has been abused to color their clinical judgment.  Describing normal findings as "consistent with abuse" is decried.  This practice is likely to mislead a court to erroneously believe that there is physical evidence supportive of abuse.

Civic Creche Case, Christchurch 1993

ABSTRACT: Allegations of children being sexually abused by workers in child care centers are now becoming common throughout the Western world Frequently these cases follow a similar pattern whereby a concerned parent interprets a symptom or behavior of her child as indicating sexual abuse and activates investigations by other parents and the authorities.  Although they initially deny any molestation, repeated interrogations eventually lead to children claiming increasingly perverted and bizarre events, naming more and more child victims and adult perpetrators.  Allegations typically involve consuming urine and feces, penetrating body orifices with fingers, objects and penises, "sex rings," making child pornography, animal and human sacrifice, and even eating dead babies.  No objective evidence is ever found to support these claims.  Although the initial allegation may be unfounded the investigation will gather momentum and result in many people convinced in the truth of the children's "disclosures," public outrage, and long, expensive trials which are traumatic to all concerned.  Children who report such stories generally only start manifesting signs and symptoms of emotional distress after they have "told."  This account describes a case at the Civic Creche, Christchurch, New Zealand which demonstrates a clear parallel to similar cases in other parts of the world.

Gould, Bruce G.

Suggestions When Falsely Accused 1992

ABSTRACT: A false allegation of child sexual abuse requires a monumental response to overcome it.  Suggestions are given for the innocent person who is accused.  A recommended solution to the problem of false allegations is to require videotaping of all therapy sessions with children whenever the issue of sexual abuse arises and to change the immunity laws which protect incompetent therapists and social workers in these cases.  

Greenfield, Gilbert T., <*/ George C. Riley</a>, <*/ Courtney R. Bayer</a>, <*/ Walter S. Bastecki, Jr.</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, and <*/ John W. Tate</a>

Inside Civil Commitment: Competing Rights, Competing Interests 2003


Hedges, Lawrence E.

False Accusations Against Therapists: Where Are They Coming From, Why Are They Escalating, When Will They Stop? 1995

ABSTRACT: False allegations against therapists are discussed in terms of transference and countertransference issues.  Such allegations appear to come from clients with whom therapists believe they had a good relationship.  Most therapists, however, are unaware of the possibility of a hidden transference psychosis emerging and becoming directed at the therapist.  It is crucial for therapists to understand the dynamics underlying such false allegations.

Taking Recovered Memories Seriously 1994

ABSTRACT: The current "recovered memory" controversy uncritically collapses various kinds of clinical and research findings over quite different types of remembering and forgetting.  This paper examines the popular video camera theory of memory which erroneously assumes that (a) humans record in accurate detailed memory the facts of their existence, (b) massive amnesia or repression for externally generated traumatic stimuli is a common occurrence, (c) accurate recall for factual details of early childhood experience is a possibility and (d) under altered states which are hypnotically, chemically, or psychotherapeutically induced, the "veil of repression" can be lifted and long-ago facts uncovered.  This video camera theory of memory is considered in light of four theories of memory — primary repression, splitting, dissociation, and secondary repression — that have emerged in psychoanalysis.  None of these supports the video camera notion.
Greens' (1986) formulations of "the dead mother," Khan's (1963) formulations regarding "cumulative trauma," and Winnicott's (1965) formulations regarding the nature of infantile memories and how they may be revived for psychoanalytic study do offer explanatory hypotheses for the kinds of memory emerging in "recovery" therapy.  But though these concepts support the emergence of infantile memory in the here-and-now transference situation, the techniques advocated by the recovery community would be seen by these psychoanalysts as providing relief through acting out of the transference and resistance memories, rather than providing a therapeutically transformative approach.  Therapists who collude in "believing," "validating," and "supporting redress" not only ally with the client in avoiding the terrifying and painful reliving of crucial early childhood memories, but also create serious liability problems for themselves.
Explanations and therapeutic techniques which uncritically collapse a variety of types of memory, forms of transference and resistance, and diverse developmental issues will produce confusion and error.  The people recovering memories of early childhood trauma must be taken seriously — and they deserve much more understanding than they are presently getting.  The heart of psychoanalysis has always been about taking recovered memories seriously.  A variety of suggestions of how to do so are made.  

Multiple Personalities: Some Psychoanalytic Listening Perspectives 1994

ABSTRACT: The history of multiple personality is reviewed.  Major research findings are presented and discussed along with the most important treatment recommendations that have been made by leading experts in the field.  A radically different approach to understanding and working with multiples is presented, one derived from contemporary psychoanalysis, object relations, and self psychology.  The Listening Perspective approach is introduced and the four major watersheds of psychotherapeutic listening discussed and applied to the problem of multiples.  The central thesis is that "multiple personalities" express the emergence and creative elaboration in the psychotherapy setting of the earliest affect-ego states, and that they may be considered unintegrated "ego nuclei."  

Herbst, Robert L.

Plaintiffs' Trial Memorandum 1996

Preliminary Statement
This action, alleging malpractice, infliction of emotional distress and defamation, arises out of the incompetent attempts in 1985 of defendant Mary Smith, a marriage and family therapist in training, to provide "family therapy" to Jane Doe and her family, Elizabeth Doe, her mother, and John Doe, her father.  As a result of Smith's negligence, Jane, then five years old, lost her father, and John his only child.  Jane and her mother disappeared over six years ago and her present whereabouts are unknown.
Despite Smith's admitted lack of training and experience in diagnosing, investigating, validating or treating child sexual abuse, she prematurely and without adequate professional basis concluded that Jane had been sexually abused by John Doe and improperly "treated" Jane for that alleged abuse.  She knew that she was not qualified to handle the case, yet failed to turn the case over to someone else with the requisite qualifications and experience to handle it.  She knew that the "concerns" that Jane may have been sexually abused or molested in some vague and undefined way had come from the mother first, not the child, in the context of a difficult divorce situation between the parents, yet she immediately and most prematurely, made a report to DCYS before either she or anyone else had even interviewed the child.

Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law on the Legal Insufficiency of Defendant's Immunity Defense 1996

Defendant's special defense asserting immunity under Section 1 7a-101 of Connecticut General Statutes is insufficient as a matter of law since defendant has admitted she failed to file a written report as required.  Thus, the defense should not go to the jury.
Facts: Plaintiff's seventh and eighth causes of action in the complaint assert claims of slander against Mary Smith.  The claims are based on Mary Smith having orally told certain third-parties that John Doe had sexually abused his daughter, Jane Doe, and that Jane Doe had engaged in sexual activities with her father, and was thus unchaste.
Mary Smith has admitted in her various depositions that she made statements to this effect to the Anytown Police Department, Elizabeth Doe, her supervisor, a friend and co-therapist, another psychologist, and a Court-appointed independent psychiatrist evaluator of the Doe family.  Plaintiffs anticipate that the Rev. John Jones will testify that Smith made defamatory statements about Mr. Doe to Rev. Jones.  As a result of Smith's statement to the police and subsequent arrest of Mr. Doe, Smith's statement that John Doe had sexually abused his daughter, and fondled and tortured animals, appeared several times in the Anytown Gazette in September of 1985.
Thus, there is no question about publication: it is clear that Smith published the previously mentioned statements to third-parties.  Similarly, there is no question about the slanderous nature of the statements; they clearly import moral turpitude, and thus are slanderous per se.

Herzog, Ian D.

An Australian View 1989

EDITOR'S NOTE: At the request of Australian psychologists, Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield recently presented seminars in Australia on "Investigation and Trial Preparation in Child Sexual Abuse Accusations."  The seminars were held in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Hobart.  Prior to the seminars there was a TV program on a national network dealing with child sexual abuse and the seminars in which Wakefield and Underwager described their approach and responded to questions from the selected audience of members of parliament, judges, social workers, attorneys, psychologists, and law enforcement officials.  The first seminar was held in Adelaide, June 15,1989.  There Professor Ian D. John, chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Adelaide, introduced the seminar with the following address.   
The extent to which the topic of child sexual abuse has emerged in public awareness over the last ten years or so and come to constitute a salient issue of public concern and debate, as is exemplified, for example, by this workshop here today and last night's TV programme, is quite remarkable.  The idea of child sexual abuse engenders intense feelings of abhorrence since it violates norms and values which are so basic in our society that we are not often required to defend them or to subject them to any sort of critical analysis.  It is not surprising, therefore, that public debate on this question should be characterised by such passion.

Hill, Michael

Satan's Excellent Adventure in the Antipodes 1998

ABSTRACT: "The satanism scare," which began in North America in the early 1980s, arrived in Australia during the late 1980s and in New Zealand from 1990 onwards. Its importation was associated with conference presentations and published material by a small but key group of claims-makers, several of whom had been associated with the earlier McMartin preschool investigation. The influence of their claims on child protection professionals in both Australia and New Zealand is traced.
I preface this paper with a quote from a seventeenth century skeptic who was responsible for bringing an end to a witchhunt:
I have observed that there were neither witches nor bewitched in a village until they were talked and written about (Alonso de Salazar, quoted in Geis & Bunn, 1991, pp. 41-42).
In the latter part of the 1980s, first in Australia and subsequently in New Zealand, there was a mounting panic about alleged satanic activity. The activities that were claimed to be performed by satanic cults involved horrifying rituals in which children were said to be sexually abused, tortured, murdered, cannibalized, and even bred for use in these Gothic practices. Belief in the existence of such cults spread, not only among Christian fundamentalists, but also among secular professionals, especially those involved in social work and counseling. To date, there is no physical corroboration of the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by these satanists.
What I hope to do in this paper is to show how these claims originated and how they were disseminated in this part of the world. To do this I need to examine the role played by a key network of American claims-makers who brought the Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) scenario to Australia, and later to New Zealand. I will examine the contorted logic that often accompanied the claims. Then I will show how local "experts" took the scenario further, sometimes with disturbing results.
I will preface this account with two important qualifiers. First, there is no intention in what follows to question the existence of child abuse, which has been increasingly recognized as a problem of considerable proportions since the recognition of a "battered child syndrome" in 1962 (Best, 1990). Quite the contrary, my concern over alleged SRA is partly motivated by concern that the pursuit of a mythical form of child abuse diverts resources from the genuine cases.
Second, there is no disputing the existence of people who label themselves satanists-there were just over 900 of them in the 1996 New Zealand census. But as Jean La Fontaine points out in her study of the British allegations, "the existence of satanists does not prove that they abuse children in these rituals; it merely means that care must constantly be taken to emphasize that the actual practices of occultists, witches and satanists are different from what is being recounted as satanic abuse" (La Fontaine, 1998, p. 41). Her own work (La Fontaine, 1994, 1998), the firm conclusions of an FBI specialist in sexual abuse (Lanning, 1992), and the results of a very large study in the United States (Goodman, Qin, Bottoms, & Shaver, 1994) all amount to the same result: "no bodies, no bones, no bloodstains, nothing" (Waterhouse 1990).

Hindmarch, Brian

A Canadian Perspective on Child Sexual Abuse Accusations in the Gender War 1991

"My lige lady, generally," quod he, "wommen desiren have sovereynetee as wel over hir housbond as hir love."
The Canterbury Tales

The Wife of Bath's Tale

Chaucer, circa 1386

ABSTRACT: The feminist movement has altered the social structure of contemporary society, in many ways for the better.  However, the extreme positions many radical feminists take have resulted in unprecedented conflict between men and women.  This phenomenon must be understood when examining the present child sexual abuse hysteria.  This conflict between men and women is clearly seen in custody/access issues when false allegations of sexual abuse arise in these conflicts.  Complicating the situation is the influence of radical feminism in behavioral science.  The polarization of the sexes has produced biased research and theory which is then used to support social policy and practice, especially in the area of sexual abuse.

Holgerson, Astrid

Professionals as Evaluators or Indoctrinators in Sex Abuse Cases 1995

ABSTRACT: When sexual abuse is alleged, professionals often interview the child in a manner that constitutes indoctrination rather than investigation.  When professionals are convinced from the beginning that events have happened, they may use highly manipulative and coercive methods to elicit disclosures.  A "network" of professionals who interact with the child witness may mutually influence the child.  The witness psychologist must carefully examine the original interviews, medical records, and testimony of everyone involved to evaluate the extent to which such contamination may have influenced the child's statements.  Two cases from Sweden illustrate this process.

Questions of Fact: The Use of Psychology in the Evaluation of Evidence 1994

ABSTRACT: The aim of this thesis is to elucidate the importance of a systematic methodology when it comes to trying facts in individual cases where oral statements are of conclusive significance.  It also aims at illuminating the relationship between law and psychology, when it comes to applying general psychological knowledge in a systematic way when deciding on facts in individual cases.
The outlined theoretical assumptions are three: (1) There exists a body of psychological knowledge of relevance to law in the evaluation of oral testimony.  (2) There exists a systematic methodology that enables investigators and triers of fact to apply general psychological knowledge to the particular case under investigation in a controllable way Formal Structure Analysis.  (3) There are rules and principles for the legal procedure that may have impact on the case investigation procedure.
The empirical study comprises an investigation, using the Formal Structure Analysis of one authentic criminal case under the prevalent judicial conditions.  The study starts during the pretrial phase and continues through the court proceedings to the final Appeal Court Judgment.
The results are finally submitted to analysis and discussion, especially on the importance of the use of a systematic case investigation method when evaluating oral testimony and on the relationship between such a method and the rules of legal procedure.  

Huebner, Robert G.

The Tide Has Turned for The Falsely Accused of Sexual Abuse: A Christian Perspective 1997

Psychology Editors' Note: From the beginning, we have intended for the journal to be multidisciplinary and to present different perspectives from many scholarly disciplines.  Theology is a scholarly discipline that has relevance to many people.  Theologians can address any other discipline from within the framework of theology and assess its meaning from the theological viewpoint.  This article and <*/ the next one] express a theological approach to the issues generated by claims of recovered memories of childhood abuse.
False accusations are a sad part of human history.  False accusations have destroyed the lives and reputations of millions.  Recall the Inquisition in Spain and in the Americas.  Remember the New England witchhunts with their divided villages and split families.  Recall more recently when parents tried to get back their children from communes that they were lured into through deception.
A new plague has emerged among the white, middle class in the developed world, which affects numerous families.  Distraught parents are now desperately trying to recover their daughters, who falsely accused them of sexual abuse.  More investigators are relating this new phenomenon to the aggressive feminist movement, which insists that there are many more sexually abused children than is generally admitted.
One hundred and thirty families in Colorado's front range, stretching from Port Collins to Pueblo, meet occasionally to encourage each other as they suffer a common plight of having been abandoned by their daughters who falsely accused one or both parents of sexual abuse.  A growing number of families have also been accused of practicing, even leading, satanic rites, including communal meals of sacrificed babies, which supposedly were procreated during the alleged sexual abuses.  These families have allowed me, a retired Missouri Synod Lutheran foreign missionary, to accompany them in some meetings.  There I learned most of what I am sharing here.
In every case the accusers refuse to meet the accused after the accusation, thereby blocking any attempt for clarification and reconciliation.

Janssen, D. F.

Enculturation Curricula, Abuse Categorisation and the Globalist/Culturalist Project: The Genital Reference 2003

Abstract: This article explores the boundaries of absolutist "sexual abuse" categorisations by addressing the issue of the transgenerational "genital reference" within a nonpreparatory nonhygienic nonmedical setting.  In an attempt to construe the" abusiveness" of these practices, it was argued that (1) the globalisation of categorisation efforts with regard to "sexual abuse" has not been informed by an ethnographically informed developmentalist perspective on sexuality; and that (2) "abuse globalists" selectively disregard or employ ethnography to arrive at justifications of a reductionist moral agenda. These problems render problematic the xenoculturalist criticism implicit both in the works of radical psychohistorians, and global protectionists.

John, Paul F.

Child Hearsay Vs The Confrontation Clause: Can The Sixth Amendment Survive? 1989

"In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him ..."
Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
"Anyone who hurts a kid should be shot in the head and left to rot in the gutter."
Tom Clancy, author of The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising, Newsweek, 8/8/88, p. 61
"Child abuse is one of those issues politicians love because it's so utterly uncontroversial.  No one's for it.  So Congress and the President have been having a high old time the past couple of years passing laws against it. ..."

Michael Kinsley, Civic Virtuosity and Child Abuse Chic,

10 The Champion 7 (Jan/Feb 1986)

I. Introduction

Kinsley is right.  No rational person can be in favor of child abuse in any form.

When I was first licensed to practice law in 1978, the public heard little about child abuse.  Child abuse cases were generally dealt with by departments of social services or within the closed confines of juvenile and domestic courts.

Today the pendulum has swung, with a vengeance, in the other direction.  During the past several years certain "civic crusaders" and self-appointed "child advocates," with the .assistance of the news media, have created in the minds of the public a perception that child molesters are lurking behind every rock and tree ready to snatch children off the street and into oblivion.  The level of public breast beating has created a climate of near hysteria on the subject.  One cannot watch the evening news, read the newspaper, or purchase a carton of milk without seeing pictures or stories about missing children.  Tom Clancy's views appear to mirror those of the general public. The present political climate is such that jurors are just waiting to do their part in "fighting" child abuse by convicting accused abusers as quickly as possible.

The interesting thing about the child abuse phenomenon is that it appeared so suddenly.  It's almost as if the problem of child abuse was suddenly transported to earth by some alien culture.  We all know this isn't true.  Child abuse has been with us throughout the ages, consigned to society's darkest and dirtiest comer.  Only recently has anyone bothered to shine a spotlight into that comer.

Since the subject of child abuse has come out into the light of day, many people and institutions have tried to "do something" about it.  Kinsley identifies the President and Congress as "passing laws against it."  But the real changes in child abuse law have not come from either the executive or legislative branches of government.  The real changes in child abuse law have been brought about by the judiciary, both federal and state.  The arena for this change has been the criminal justice system.


Johnson, Ronald C.

Attributes of Persons Performing Acts of Heroism and of the Recipients of These Acts 2002

ABSTRACT: 450 acts of heroism were recognized by the <*/ Carnegie Hero Fund Commission] during the period of 1989-July 1, 1993.  About 90 percent of the acts of heroism were performed by males and about 60 percent of the recipients of the acts were males.  A higher proportion of women rescued people they knew, and a higher proportion of males rescued people they did not know.  Close to one in five rescue attempts of both male and female rescuers resulted in their deaths.  Deaths were more likely to occur in rescuers of persons they knew than of those they didn't know.  Age differences between rescuers and those rescued and between sexes in each group were slight; however, as might be expected in terms of ability and need, higher proportions of persons rescued than rescuers were among the very young and the old.  Rescuers were working class rural or small town residents more often than would be expected from general population data.  

Parallels Between Recollections of Repressed Childhood Sex Abuse, Kidnappings by Space Aliens, and the Salem Witch Hunts 1994

ABSTRACT: The way repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, including ritual satanic abuse, are restored and treated closely resembles the way memories are restored and treated in persons claiming to have been kidnapped by space aliens.  The witchcraft trials in Salem have similarities to both of these.  Persons claiming victimization learn of a possible cause for their distress and find specific persons to blame.  They learn their symptoms from books, authority figures, or other "victims."  Their beliefs are reinforced and validated by therapists, support groups, and, to varying degrees, the general community.  

Kern, Terry L.

Burn The Witch! (If We're Wrong, We'll Apologize) 1995

ABSTRACT: The belief in the existence of widespread satanic ritual abuse and the search for those who are practicing such rituals parallels the witch hunts in the 17th century.  The basic assumptions, indicators, and types of evidence of the earlier witch hunts and the current concerns with satanic ritual abuse are examined and found to have much in common.

Satanic Ritual Abuse: How Real? 1994

ABSTRACT: Claims of ritual satanic abuse are examined from the perspective of law enforcement.  The Law enforcement profession has neither validated SRA as a widespread condition nor found evidence to support the claims of a national satanic conspiracy.  The acceptance of such accusations is supported only by the mental health professionals who believe them without corroborating evidence.  This belief in the face of the absence of evidence reverses the burden of proof and has serious implications for the mental health professions and the people they attempt to help.  

Kiefer, Louis

Wilkinson vs. Balsam, Russell, and Adams (with Harold Stevens) 1996

ABSTRACT: In this Opinion and Order from a civil suit against the treating psychiatrist and two members of social services, the plaintiff was falsely accused of sexually abusing his young son and subsequently sued for negligence, malpractice, and deprivation of civil rights.  The defendants moved for summary dismissal on several bases.  The judge's Opinion and Order denying these defense motions presents a cogent analysis of the issues and demonstrates that, depending upon the facts of the case, it may be possible to prevail notwithstanding the defenses that make such cases difficult to bring to trial.

Confrontation Clause Revisited: Supreme Court Decisions Idaho v Wright, and Craig v Maryland - An Attorney's Response 1990

On June 27, 1990 the United States Supreme Court issued two decisions which significantly impact on the practice of cases involving child sexual abuse.  Both cases dealt with the Confrontation Clause of the United States constitution.


Based on these two cases, it is recommended that all interviews with alleged sexual assault victims be videotaped.  Furthermore, since it may be necessary to determine whether the alleged child victim may testify in front of the accused, it may be necessary for the expert to examine the child in the presence of the accused.


Idaho v Wright 58 L.W.5036 found that the admission of the child's hearsay statements violated the Confrontation Clause.

The defendant was charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a minor, specifically her five and one-half and two and one-half-year-old daughters.  At the trial it was agreed that the younger daughter was not "capable of communicating to the jury."  One of the great logical legal inconsistencies is how any court can permit people to testify to what a person, who was then incompetent, said.  It would seem that if the person was incompetent at the time of the utterance, and incompetent at the time of trial everything the person said would be inadmissible.  However, that is not the law, and on occasion, the court will permit witnesses to testify as to competent statements made by incompetent people.

Thus, in the Idaho case, after it was agreed that the then three-year-old child was incompetent to testify, a pediatrician was called to the stand.

The following questioning between the pediatrician and the prosecutor occurred:


Confrontation Clause Revisited: Supreme Court Decisions Idaho v Wright, and Craig v Maryland 1990

Editor's Note:

Two close Supreme Court decisions relevant for cases of alleged child sexual abuse were handed down this June.  Both cases, which were divided 5-4, addressed the question of how far states can go to prosecute child sexual abuse without violating the Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.  Both cases are relevant for health professionals and attorneys who deal with cases of alleged sexual abuse of children.

In Idaho v. Wright, the court found that the admission of the child's hearsay statements violated the Confrontation Clause.

In Maryland v. Craig<*/ (1)] the court ruled that the Confrontation Clause does not require confrontation if other due process traditions are followed including testimony under oath, and full cross-examination.  The Confrontation Clause, therefore, does not guarantee criminal defendants an absolute right to a face-to-face meeting with the witnesses against them at trial. However, the trial court must determine on a case-specific basis whether a particular child would be traumatized by testifying in the presence of the defendant.

The Syllabus for each of these decisions is presented followed by a discussion of the meaning of the decisions for future sexual abuse cases. Louis Kiefer presents <*/ an attorney's response] and Ralph Underwager <*/ a psychologist's response</a>.


Supreme Court of The United States


(No.89-260. Argued April 18, 1990

Decided June 27, 1990)


Respondent Wright was charged under Idaho law with two counts of lewd conduct with a minor, specifically her 5 1/2 and 2 1/2 year-old-daughters.  At the trial, it was agreed that the younger daughter was not "capable of communicating to the jury."  However, the court admitted, under Idaho's residual hearsay exception, certain statements she had made to a pediatrician having extensive experience in child abuse cases.  The doctor testified that she had reluctantly answered questions about her own abuse, but had spontaneously volunteered information about her sister's abuse.  Wright was convicted on both counts, but appealed only from the conviction involving the younger child.  The State Supreme Court reversed,


My Big Lie 1990

One of the big myths in child abuse validation is that children never lie about child abuse.  Very often little attention is given to the subtle effects of the interviewing techniques which produce a description of events which simply never happened.  Sometimes the person is just trying to help the child make a difficult revelation, and sometimes the person has already made the judgment of abuse and merely wants to rehearse the child until the child is able to recite a version which will be believable.

As an example of the former, I am reminded of my own experience and how I came to tell a lie of significant proportion.  It was not that I clearly fabricated a false story.  I was too young to make something like that up.  But that doesn't mean that the story told, at the prodding of my mother, was not as if I had created a most dreadful lie.

The year was 1942.  I was five years old, living in Simsbury, Connecticut.  We were at war with Germany and Japan.  Bradley Army Air Force Base was located not too far from my home.  Westover Airfield was also located nearby.  It was not unusual to have military flights over our home.

It was a hot summer afternoon.  I was playing, by myself, in the back yard.  Unbeknownst to me, a military plane, a B-17, had crashed in Simsbury.  The route of flight would have taken the plane near our house.  Since it had crashed less then three miles away, it was likely that I had seen it.  I hadn't.

My mother came running out of the house.  "Louis, Did you see a plane flying low?" she asked.

I thought a bit.  I had seen planes flying low.  As a matter of fact every plane I had ever seen had to have been flying low enough for me to see it.  Also the question was not worded to ask me about a particular plane.  The question was about "a" plane, "any" plane — not "the" one that had just crashed.

The answer was therefore "Yes."  I had, in the past, seen a plane.  In fact I had, in my short life, seen many planes, all flying low although some were flying lower than others.

The next question was "Where was it?"

My first inclination was to say "I don't know" but it was apparent that my mother wanted some information from me.


Defense Considerations in The Child as Witness in Allegations of Sexual Abuse - Part III: Defense Strategies for the Falsely Accused Individual 1989

ABSTRACT: Although the false allegation of child sexual abuse does not always start with a child, the child becomes the key to unlocking the mystery of how the allegations came to be made.  The following article is the third of three parts and deals with the anatomically correct dolls, strategic planning and the child as a witness at trial.  Part III is directed towards recommended strategies for an individual who has been falsely accused of sexual abuse.

Defense Considerations in the Child as Witness in Allegations of Sexual Abuse - Part II. The Child Witness: Legal Competency 1989

ABSTRACT: Although the false allegation of child sexual abuse does not always start with a child, the child becomes the key to unlocking the mystery of why the allegations are made, and what validity, if any, should be given.  The following article is published in three parts: <*/ Part I] deals with how we measure credibility.  Part II deals with the child as a witness.  <*/ Part III] deals with the anatomical dolls and some general practice tips.

Defense Considerations in the Child as Witness in Allegations of Sexual Abuse - Part I. Witnesses in General: How We Measure Credibility 1989

ABSTRACT: Although the false allegation of child sexual abuse does not always start with a child, the child becomes the key to unlocking the mystery of why the allegations are made, and what validity, if any, should be given to the statements made by a young child.  The following article is published in three parts: Part I deals with how we measure credibility.  The <*/ legal competency of the child witness] and the manner by which a child learns through the interrogation process is discussed.  The <*/ conclusion] is that children under age ten are incompetent and poor witnesses but attorneys should prepare carefully in these cases. Several practice tips are given.  

Klevius, Peter

Angels of Antichrist 1996

ABSTRACT: The Nordic child protection system is resulting in parenthood being taken over by the state.  The roots of this movement and its results in Sweden are examined.  The social authorities' subjective interpretations of "the best interest of the child" means that children can be placed in foster care on the basis of purely subjective opinions.  This constitutes a serious threat to kinship and is destructive to the welfare of children.

Knott, Theresa

Maternal Response in Cases of Suspected and Substantiated Child Sexual Abuse 2012

ABSTRACT: Secondary data analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, 1998 was conducted among 373 suspected and substantiated child sexual abuse investigations for which there was a female non-offending caregiver.  Bivariate analysis and hierarchical logistic regression was conducted to determine the association between caregiver, child, household, abuse, and investigation characteristics with negative maternal response.  The majority of female non-offending caregivers’ demonstrated belief of the sexual abuse disclosure, provided emotional support and protection from further abuse (87.1%).  The overall maternal response model was significant and accounted for 40.8% of the variance (Nagelkerke R2).  Predictors significantly associated with negative maternal response were caregiver mental illness, child age, sexualized behavior and developmental delay among children, duration of abuse, child’s relationship to the perpetrator, and co-occurring maltreatment.  Despite the number of risk factors examined, female non-offending caregivers investigated as part of the CIS-98 responded with belief of the disclosure, emotional support, and protection from further abuse.  

Krivacska, James J.

Societal Myths about Sex Offending and Consequences for Prevention of Offending Behavior Against Children and Women 2001

Editor's Note: Dr. James Krivacska has been convicted of child sexual abuse based upon allegations by two mentally retarded men who were students at the special school.  Dr. Krivacska was the school's psychologist.  He maintains his innocence and the conviction is on appeal.  He wrote this article while an inmate at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Avenel, New Jersey, the facility for sexual offenders.  He has previously conducted research and written journal articles and a book about sexual abuse prevention programs.  With Dr. John Money he edited the 1994 edition of The Handbook of Forensic Sexology: Biomedical & Criminological Perspectives.



In August of 1999, the United States Congress issued a joint resolution censuring the American Psychological Association, perhaps the first occasion in our country's history that our nation's highest legislative body actually censured a professional organization for the publication of scientific findings.  The declaration by Congress that the findings of a study entitled "A Meta-analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples" and published in the prestigious journal, Psychological Bulletin (Rind, Tromovitch & Bauserman, 1998), were worthy of censure, can only have a chilling effect on scientific inquiry into controversial subjects.

The significance of this action has largely escaped public notice, yet it may rate as the most significant attempt at repression of science since Galileo's findings were condemned by the Catholic Church as heresy 500 years ago.


Antisexualism in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs — Good Touch, Bad Touch ... Don't Touch? 1993

ABSTRACT: Viewed by many as the first line of defense against child sexual abuse, child sexual abuse prevention (CSAP) programs have proliferated in the past decade with millions of children in the United States and Canada, some as young as 2 and 3 years of age, having been exposed to them.  Often promoted as safety programs, promoters of CSAP programs usually assiduously avoid any explicit references to sexuality both in the promotion of the programs to parents as well as in the program content and materials.  The absence of explicit discussions of sexuality however, when combined with the very negative messages presented regarding sexual abuse, may very well be promulgating an anti-sexual message to children for whom CSAP programs represent their only source of adult-sanctioned discussions of sex.  With some programs now explicitly warning children that sexual activity with peers may be abusive, it appears we have returned to an era when childhood sexuality was viewed as an aberration, rather than a natural developmental process.  This paper examines the antisexual messages, explicit and implicit, found in some of the more commonly used CSAP programs and discusses the ramifications for the development of a healthy sexuality in childhood adolescence and adulthood  

Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs: Can They Cause False Allegations? 1991

ABSTRACT: Current child sexual abuse programs may promote the perception in many nonabused children that they have been abused.  This paper demonstrates how false allegations arising from CSAP programs are inevitable and gives several anecdotal examples.  The problem may be especially serious when a child is involved in a divorce and custody situation.  Approaches to reducing false allegations are discussed.  

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Programs and Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse: An Analysis 1989

ABSTRACT: Child sexual abuse prevention programs have grown dramatically in recent years but the literature on these programs has not adequately addressed the relationship between prevention programs and accusations of child sexual abuse.  This paper reviews child sexual abuse prevention programs as they are currently structured.  The current programs are actually secondary prevention programs aimed at teaching children how to recognize abuse and respond to it when it occurs.  Such programs are therefore early intervention programs and identification programs rather than prevention programs.  However, there is little data indicating a change in the rates of reporting sexual abuse following exposure to these pro grams.
The potential positive and negative effects of the current prevention programs are discussed and it is concluded that attempts at wholesale exposure of children to these programs is premature.  A more sensible approach is a primary prevention approach geared towards improving overall mental health and problem-solving skills in children.  

Primary Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse: Alternative, Non-Child Directed Approaches 1989

ABSTRACT: Child sexual abuse prevention programs have traditionally directed efforts at children.  However, sound prevention efforts may eventually depend more on programs aimed at adults.  Alternative approaches based upon the etiology and the sustaining and maintaining factors of abuse are discussed.  Such programs may include education about normal sexual development, efforts to increase the inhibitions against abuse for potential abusers, and therapeutic interventions for adults who are sexually aroused by children.

Krivacska, James J., <*/ George Riley</a>, <*/ Horace Glenn</a>, <*/ David Tuytjens</a>, <*/ Jeffrey Parker</a>, <*/ Joel Durmer</a>, and <*/ Ramazan Zuberi</a>

Amicus Curiae Brief of the A.D.T.C. Legal Subcommittee — A.A. v. Codey, Docket No.: 59,521 2006


Krivacska, James J., <*/ George C. Riley</a>, <*/ Walter S. Bastecki, Jr.</a>, <*/ Courtney R. Bayer</a>, <*/ Gilbert T. Greenfield</a>, and <*/ John W. Tate</a>

Inside Civil Commitment: Competing Rights, Competing Interests 2003


Lee, Stephen J.

All Fall Down 1991

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following personal account of a group therapy program was written by one of the group members and is based upon a journal he has kept.  All of the names have been changed.  This account illustrates several things.  First, the type of group described is not unusual.  We have heard similar descriptions about group therapy for sex offenders in different parts of the country.

Second, the power of the individual group leader in setting the tone of the group is graphically demonstrated.  Research on sensitivity groups indicates that group leaders whose leadership reflects their own hostility and pathology are extremely harmful and produce not only ineffective therapy but actual harm to the group members (See Lieberman, Yalom, & Miles, Encounter Groups: First Facts, New York: Basic Books, 1973).  This appears to be what may have happened under the leadership of Mike Boggs.

Third, the difficulties presented to a group, the therapist, and the individual when an innocent person is ordered to attend a sex offenders' group is seen.  Not only Frank Lee and the other "deniers" but the leaders and the entire group struggle to adapt to this situation.


The Beginning

In 1989 I was falsely charged with sexually abusing a troubled eight-year-old neighbor boy whom I had befriended.  I was twice offered a nolo contendere plea bargain which I refused and was ultimately found guilty of aggravated assault on a child and jailed.  I was sentenced to ten years' probation, fined $10,000 and assessed 300 hours' community service.

I had no experience with the business end of the legal system and some of what I learned stunned me.  An entire floor of the county jail overflowed with men convicted of child abuse; estimates by the most cynical prisoners were that about half were guilty of nothing but affectionate hugs, applying medications or having vindictive ex-spouses.

I suppose my opinions were formed by Hollywood and the pulp writers; I expected my probation officer to be a squatty man who chomped cigars and tried to entrap me.  Actually, he hurt me little — except in the one area I expected least.


Leon, Chrysanthi

Are Lawyers Different? — Professional Resistance, Mandated Child Abuse Reporting and the Duty of Confidentiality 2007

Overview: Anxiety about child abuse combined with a general trend towards placing the responsibility for crime control in the hands of the public has led to a variety of changes in the laws surrounding child abuse and sexual violence.  This essay considers one of these policy innovations — mandatory reporting laws — in light of the professional duty of confidentiality to which attorneys must adhere, or risk censure.<*/ 1</a>  California did not pass an explicit exception to allow attorneys to violate confidentiality until 2004, while other professions such as medicine, the clergy and social work surrendered to a mandated reporting system much earlier.

Are lawyers different?  After considering the arguments for and against maintaining attorneys’ discretion to violate confidentiality, as well as the efficacy of mandated reporting, I argue that such discretion should be preserved and perhaps returned to other professions.


Lepore, Frank

Child Witness: Cognitive and Social Factors Related to Memory and Testimony 1991

ABSTRACT: This article reviews and critically evaluates research on social and cognitive factors related to children's witness abilities.  Several consistent findings emerged despite the manifold methodological problems noted.  First, children's free recall is generally accurate, but the amount of information recalled increases from preschool-age to adolescence, at which time it reaches adult levels.  Second, performance on cued recall tasks approaches adult levels by the age of 6 or 8 years.  Third, children start to distinguish real-pretend dimensions by the age of 1 to 5 years.  Fourth, suggestive questioning has little influence on children's free recall, though preschooler's recognition memory is easily corrupted by suggestive questioning.  By 7 to 10 years, children appear to be no more vulnerable to suggestions than adults.  Child witness research paradigms are summarized and recommendations are made for increasing the validity of future studies.

Lorandos, Demosthenes and Terence W. Campbell

Myths and Realities of Sexual Abuse Evaluation and Diagnosis: A Call for Judicial Guidelines 1995

ABSTRACT: Ten myths associated with false allegations of sexual abuse are explored in terms of the relevant scientific literature. This literature, along with common experience, should be considered by family courts when they encounter cases involving sexual abuse allegations.

Luza, Sabrina and Enrique Ortiz

The Dynamic of Shame in Interactions Between Child Protective Services and Families Falsely Accused of Child Abuse 1991

ABSTRACT: The concept of a shame-based family system in which parents shame their children was applied to the relationship between Child Protective Services (CPS) and families accused of child abuse.  Twenty families who reported that they had been wrongly accused of child abuse completed a questionnaire.  Content analysis of the questionnaires supported the hypothesis that the elements of a shame-based family system are present in the relationship between CPS and the families they investigate.  The respondents indicated feelings of powerlessness, self- doubt, depression, and isolation, and perceived the CPS as omnipotent, abandoning them, quickly accusing them, and acting in emotionally harmful ways towards them.

McIver, William II

Wrongful Convictions and Accountability 2006

DISCLOSURE: In 1988 Mr. Marquis convinced a jury I tampered with a witness and evidence, in spite of knowing the crime couldn't physically have happened.  Which would take all of 10 minutes to prove in an unbiased setting.  But this tale is unrelated to these observations.  I criticized prosecutors long before they knocked me off the witness chair.

In an Op-Ed letter to the <*/ New York Times</a>, "<*/ The Innocent and the Shammed</a>," (1/26/06, and later in <*/ The Oregonian</a>, Oregon DA Josh Marquis bemoans the recent concern over wrongful convictions, which he maintains are a popular misconception.  The reality, he says, is that we should be far more worried about the wrongfully freed than the wrongfully convicted.  He boasts the justice system is right 99.973% of the time and wrong only .027% of the time.  If he is right, this means that out of 100,000 convictions, 99,973 are justified and only 27 aren't.

No wonder he crows: "Most industries would like to claim such a record of efficiency."  Right.  And when they find out they'll cram courtrooms to see how prosecutors do it.

However, he extrapolated his fanciful numbers by fudging a <*/ University of Michigan] report titled: Exonerations in the United States: 1989 through 2003. [<*/ PDF/Adobe Acrobat</a>]


Behind the Prison Walls 1997

Psychology Editor's Note: William Mclver, Ph.D., a former clinical psychologist in private practice in Oregon, spent eight months in prison in Oregon in 1988-1989.  His license was also then revoked by the Oregon Licensing Board.  Dr. Mclver had been active in assisting defendants charged with sexual abuse of children up to the time of his imprisonment.  We consider it fair to permit him to tell his story inasmuch as there continues to be false statements made about him in trials and in print.  We also believe his time behind the prison walls gives a rare opportunity for forensic psychologists and mental health professionals to get some impression of what prison is, and the role and conduct of mental health professionals as experienced by prisoners.  Therefore, we choose to print the following introduction and article by Dr Mclver.  The article was written by Dr. Mclver at the request of prison inmates who had come to know him during his time spent with them in prison.  It is his response to what he saw mental health professionals doing to those in prison.


I wrote this for my pen pals in the Oregon State Penitentiary, where I was "Resident Psychologist" in 1988-1989.  Hence, the tone.

I was one of a handful of psychologists in the U.S. who testified for the defense in cases of alleged child sex abuse in 1984-87.  I claimed that most charges were contrived, judges routinely let prosecutors suborn perjury, and most (over 90% of 600-plus I've examined) personality evaluations done for the state were bogus.  Prosecutors targeted me for these views.

I consulted in over 20 day-care center and over 350 divorce or custody cases where sex abuse, satanic rituals, etc., were charged, and I audio- or videotaped interviews with over 200 children.  Many of these interviews were done in a room with a one-way mirror, with parents and prosecutors on the other side.  In all but two cases, the kids denied statements mental health workers and prosecutors claimed they made in unrecorded interviews.  Juries which heard or saw the tapes acquitted.


McIver, William II, Ralph Underwager, and Hollida Wakefield

Behavior of Abused and Non-Abused Children in Interviews With Anatomically Correct Dolls 1989

ABSTRACT: Fifty non-abused and ten abused children were given anatomically-correct dolls and their behaviors were observed.  None of the abused children had been previously interviewed or treated for sexual abuse.  For seven of the children, following the initial portion of the interview, the interviewer deliberately used leading questions, cues, modeling and reinforcement in an attempt to elicit sexual behaviors with the dolls.

There were no differences in the behavior and responses to the dolls between the abused and the non-abused children.  In general, the children did not identify the gender of the dolls on the basis of primary sexual characteristics.  However, two-fifths of the children spontaneously talked about and/or touched the dolls' genitals and three-fifths placed the dolls in clear sexual positions and/or played with the dolls in an overtly aggressive manner.  Six of the seven children who were given leading questions, cues, modeling and reinforcement responded by performing the behaviors that were cued, modeled and reinforced.

The authors conclude that information obtained by the use of dolls in interviews to assess whether a child has been sexually abused will probably be misleading.  The dolls are likely to increase the error and decrease the reliability of the information gathered.


McMahon, Mickey

A False Confession of Child Sexual Abuse on the Navaho Reservation: The Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale and Expert Testimony 1993

ABSTRACT Prosecutions of child sexual abuse on Native American reservations are handled by both federal and tribal courts.  Since both see significantly fewer cases than state courts, many of the practices established by precedent are lacking in safeguards against false allegations and confessions.  The psychological assessment of a Navajo man who confessed to raping a 12-year-old girl on the reservation illustrates how a previous head injury in the Marines can leave someone vulnerable to interrogative suggestibility and false confession (Gudjonsson, 1992).  Court testimony by the author also illustrates how research into the real world of child interrogations (Underwager & Wakefield (1990) can successfully offset biased presentations to the jury and contribute to a not guilty verdict.

Manross, Marvin

Mandatory Sentencing 1992

ABSTRACT: This is the transcript of a conference presentation in which Mr. Manross discusses the problems with Arizona's mandatory sentencing laws.  A result of these laws is the imposition of such long sentences that defendants are placed under tremendous pressure to accept a plea bargain, even if they are innocent.  At the same time, families are more likely to protect actual abusers.  

Maxson, Jane

Crisis in Education: False Allegations of Child Abuse 1991

Crisis in education.  Those are words that are heard frequently, and education is facing a crisis.  It is a crisis that is not discussed.  A crisis about which very little has been written.  A crisis that many hope will go away if ignored.  It is a crisis that is very real.  The crisis is false allegations of child abuse against teachers and other school employees.

Those involved in working with children in the educational setting have genuine concerns relating to child abuse.  They must deal with the total child.  When the child arrives at school he frequently brings additional baggage with him that affects all school employees.  Examples of such baggage are neglect, mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and abuse by the child protective system.  Therefore the laws designed to protect the child and provide him with the safest possible environment of necessity directly impact the educator.

Unfortunately, educators have been caught up in the system.  Laws have mandated them to be reporters.  Teachers, along with other mandated reporters, have been threatened and intimidated with prosecution for failure to report.  Confusion abounds especially about the definition of abuse.  If educators are to continue, by law, to be mandated reporters, then they must be provided with a more precise definition of child abuse.

School employees realize how vulnerable they are to being victims of false allegations by an unhappy student or parent.  Even when the report of suspected abuse is labeled as unfounded they find their names have been entered into state registries.  Teachers face hearings conducted by the state licensing boards and local school board.  Those hearings are in addition to the child protective service, criminal, and possible civil hearings that occur when there has been an accusation of child abuse.  As a result, many teachers have chosen to remove the nurturing touch in the classroom.

Too many times the statement has been made, "If we must err, let us err on the side of the child."  The present system is not erring on the side of the child.


Money, John, K. Swayam Prakasam, and Venkat N. Joshi

Transcultural Development Sexology: Genital Greeting Versus Child Molestation 1991

ABSTRACT: Child rearing practices in the the Telugu-speaking people of India include behaviors of touching and kissing the penis.  The meaning of these customs is not erotic or sexual, but if engaged in in America would most likely be misconstrued and the parents suspected of child sexual abuse.  This example illustrates the importance of transcultural issues in assessing the meaning of genital gestures and practices.  

Mould, Douglas E.

The Politics of Victimization: An Essay on Accountability, Responsibility And the Resistance to Being Equal 1997

ABSTRACT: This article deals with women's violence against men and explores the political underpinnings that mitigate against factual and rational discussions of any aspect of women's violence against men.

Murphy, Jr., William H.

Court of Appeals of Maryland: Maryland v. Craig 1990

Court of Appeals of Maryland

Maryland v. Craig

September Term, 1988


Sandra Ann Craig



State of Maryland


Appeal from the Circuit Court for Howard County

Statement of the Case

On October 16, 1986, Sandra Ann Craig was indicted for the crimes of Child Abuse, 1st Degree Sexual Offense, 2nd Degree Sexual Offense, Perverted Practice, Assault and Battery.  On April 1, 1987, Mrs. Craig was convicted by a jury of Child Abuse, 1st Degree Sexual Offense, 2nd Degree Sexual Offense, Perverted Practice, Assault and Battery (Raymond Kane, Judge).  Mrs. Craig filed a Motion for New Trial which was amended by present counsel on June 5, 1988, August 11, 24, and 25 and September 21, 1987.  Hearings on the Motion for New Trial were held on August 11, 24 and 25, 1987.  When Wildermuth v. Maryland, 310 Md. 496, 530 A.2d 275 (1987) was decided on September 10, 1987, Mrs. Craig again moved for a new trial, which was denied on September 21, 1987.  She was then sentenced to terms totaling 10 years' imprisonment.  That day she noted her appeal to the Court of Special Appeals.  On August 3, 1988, Mrs. Craig's convictions were affirmed by the Court of Special Appeals, Craig v. State, 76 Md. App. 250 (1988).  (E.15)  On September 2, 1988, she filed a Motion for Reconsideration and Stay of the Mandate.  The Court of Special Appeals stayed the mandate until September 29, 1988, having denied her Motion for Reconsideration on September 28, 1988.  A petition for writ of certiorari to this Court was filed on the 14th day of October, 1988 and granted on December21, 1988.


Editor's note: The Court of Appeals of Maryland in July, 1989 reversed the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals.  The case was remanded to that Court with directions to reverse the judgment of the Circuit Court for Howard County and remand to the latter Court for a new trial in accordance with this opinion.  The State of Maryland appealed this decision to the United States Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.  Oral arguments in the case were presented before the Supreme Court on April 18, 1990, by William Murphy.  A decision is expected to be made in June.


The portion of the brief pertaining to the first question was presented in Issues in Child Abuse Accusations <*/ 1(3)</a>, <*/ 17-27</a>).  The portion of the brief pertaining to the second question is presented here.


Appeal Brief, Court of Appeals of Maryland: Maryland vs. Craig 1989

Editor's note: The following is an appeal brief in the case of Sandra Ann Craig v. Maryland.  Mrs. Craig was a day care operator who was accused of sexual abuse and assault of several children in her day care center.  She was convicted of sticking a five-year old girl with thumbtacks on her hands and arms, and inserting a stick in the child's vagina.  The appeal questions were:

I. Was evidence that could have exculpated Ms. Craig or created a reasonable doubt of her guilt withheld by the state?

II. Did the trial court violate the confrontation clause, due process, and Wildermuth by permitting the child witnesses to testify on one-way closed-circuit television pursuant to CJ9-102?

The portion of the brief pertaining to the first question is presented here.



(Name Withheld)

Log From Last Month 2002

Well, here it is, July 3rd already and I have some real news for you.  I took my first trip out in 14 years yesterday and it was an awesome journey.  When I returned I completed a log of what took place.  Here it is:


Very early this morning I got up and learned that the trip would be briefly delayed due to an < city > hospital trip.  This did not bother me at all.  From about 6:30 a.m. until we left at 11 :30 my thoughts were of not wanting to do anything wrong and to not get < Dr. R > or < C > mad at me.  Prior to leaving I felt very anxious and nervous, to the point of my entire body quivering with nervous tension.  I went outside to pray and to meditate a bit and that helped calm me down so I was almost normal again.  I thought of the women and children that I knew I would see and felt anxiety, worrying that the old feelings of arousal would arise. I mentally re-affirmed my decision to be brutally honest and to tell them of any thoughts of an improper nature.

< C > went to the bank and moved funds into checking and brought me back $100.00 to use during the trip.  When I was outside watching him leave for the bank I felt a thrill of excitement run through me and wondered how much the money had changed in these past 14 years.  I was also feeling pleased that I finally was getting the blue jeans.

While < C > was gone,< Dr. R > got me the clothes that my attorney had given me, so I wore those and they fit nearly perfectly.  I thought they looked sharp and that they felt smooth and fresh on me.  I then decided to wear them out and did so.

At 11 :30 we left the unit and I learned that we would be going out through the intake, which led to a feeling of disappointment.  For whatever reason I had believed and hoped that we would go out the main entry.  Later I learned that the reason had something to do with count problems.  This I could understand to a point, but there are easy ways to resolve that.  Anyway, as we left I felt ecstatic.  I also felt nervous and a bit scared.


Nathan, Debbie

Revisiting Country Walk 1993

ABSTRACT: The Country Walk day care case in Miami is often cited as support for the reality of ritual abuse.  This case is said to have been corroborated with "hard" evidence: one child had a positive test for gonorrhea of the throat and there was a confession from one of the defendants.  A book, Unspeakable Acts ()(), and a television docudrama with the same title popularized Country Walk nationally.  However, there are serious problems with the confession, which appears to have been coerced, and the test used for gonorrhea was later found to be unreliable.  The videotaped interviews of the children were extremely leading and suggestive —  most children initially denied abuse and affirmed it only after pressure from the interviewers and their own families.  In addition, the relationship of Unspeakable Acts author Jan Hollingsworth to the prosecution of the case calls into question the objectivity of what has long been considered the authoritative history of the case.

Nelson, Eric L.

Testimonial Minefield: An Overview Of Interrogation Techniques Utilized By Attorneys During Adversarial Questioning And Cross-Examination 2003

Abstract:  Attorneys are permitted to use aggressive interrogation techniques during adversarial questioning of a professional called upon to provide expert testimony in a matter at law.  Nineteen such methods are identified and explained in this article.  Professionals may wish to self-assess for vulnerability using the material from this article as a template for analysis.

Nelson, Eric L. and Philip I. Kaushall

Deposing a Mental Health Provider in Civil Lawsuits Involving Sexual Abuse Allegations 1996

ABSTRACT: Civil lawsuits involving sexual abuse allegations, including plaintiffs with recovered memory claims and/or malpractice claims by retractors, generally include depositions of mental health providers. Such depositions can provide valuable information to the attorney. Areas that should be covered are discussed and lines of questions suggested.

<p>Nelson, Eric L. and Paul Simpson

First Glimpse: An Initial Examination of Subjects Who Have Rejected their Recovered Visualizations as False Memories 1994

ABSTRACT: Recently, questions have been raised regarding the validity of "memories" of abuse which were not remembered until intervention techniques were used to "recover" them.  A growing number of people are rejecting their visualizations as false memories.  This exploratory study gathered demographic information and characteristics of some common experiences from a sample of these people.  Reports of group members sharing flashbacks are disturbing, and group contagion is likely.  Survivor books, movies, and videotapes appear to play a role in producing visualizations.  The media may also contribute to distortion and confabulation in memories.  Litigation by retractors appears high.  It is necessary to distinguish between visualizations, historical memories, and fantasy.

OOellerich, Thomas D.

Child Sexual Abuse: Is the Routine Provision of Psychotherapy Warranted? 2001

ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the question: is the routine provision of psychotherapy for child sexual abuse warranted?  It reviews the literature on the impact of child sexual abuse and that on the outcome of child and adolescent psychotherapy.  It concludes that the routine provision of psychotherapy is not warranted and that child sexual abuse is an area exploited by many professionals for their own gain.  A number of recommendations are made with respect to social workers dealing with this problem of exploitation.  

Identifying and Dealing with "Child Savers" 1998

ABSTRACT: Child sexual abuse is immoral and should be condemned. However, equally immoral is the activity perpetrated by "child savers."  These are professionals who, in their zeal to protect alleged child and adult victims of child sexual abuse, adversely impact the lives of individuals and families.  The primary purpose of this paper is to provide a set of indicators which should alert practitioners that they are in the presence of these professionals.  A second purpose is to recommend alternative ways for social workers and the profession to deal with child savers.

Öhrström, Lilian

The Rape 1997

Editor's Note: This article is translated from a chapter of Lilian Öhrström's book, "Sex, Lögner och Terapi" (Sex, Lies and Therapy), Norsteds, 1996.  During a scholarship stay in the United States, she observed the hysterical reports on television concerning the McMartin case.  Ten years later she saw the same accusations and a similar series of events leading to the arrest of seven adults in a small village in Norway called Bjugn.  She wrote a series of articles on the issue of false accusations and modern witch hunts and eventually took a leave of absence from her job as a journalist to write this 302-page book.  Its subtitle is "The Reality Behind the Witch Trials of Our Times."  The book brought her recognition as being a popularizer of difficult subjects and she won the Swedish award for 'Popular Educator of the Year."

Overholser, James C.

Ambiguity, Barriers, and Contradictions: The ABCs of Child Abuse Allegations 1991

ABSTRACT: Variables that impede the accurate identification and reporting of child sexual abuse include ambiguity, barriers, and contradictions.  Ambiguity refers to the difficulties involved in knowing if a situation should be considered abusive and whether the observer needs to respond to the situation as a crisis.  Barriers come into play once other people know abuse has occurred but their assistance can still be delayed or inhibited by many psychosocial factors.  Barriers to the identification and effective treatment of child abuse include stigma, secrecy, blame, and diffusion of responsibility.  Once the problem has been identified and reported, many factors can obscure the accurate portrayal of the events that happened.  Child abuse allegations are fraught with contradictions arising because of circumstantial evidence, lack of corroboration, and contamination of interviews.  Recommendations are made to help ensure the prompt and accurate identification, reporting, and prosecution of child abuse cases.

PP.T. and W.W.

Complaint and Motion 2003

Editor's Note:

The following complaint and motion from the Avenal Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in New Jersey is significant for two reasons.  The first is that it presents a view from the inside of a treatment and assessment procedure.  There is a considerable controversy about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of sexual offender treatment programs.  A voice seldom heard in the literature on this issue is that of the people who are recipients of the assessment and treatment procedures.  It is reasonable to expect that there is some level of bias possible in research programs that are designed, administered, and interpreted by those persons who vend the programs and the assessment procedures.  It may be important to hear what the people who are assessed and treated have to say about what they experience.  It may assist in improving both assessment and treatment.  The second significant aspect of this complaint and motion is that it demonstrates what a group of people can accomplish, living in a Draconian, Spartan, and rigidly controlled environment with very few resources.  It may be difficult for anyone not actually living in a prison environment to grasp or comprehend what it may be as far as ability to function.  It is likely that many of the persons functioning quite well in a normal academic or business environment could not make it at all in a prison.  This effort from within that environment deserves respect and acknowledgement even if is is not agreed with as a complaint.

Ralph Underwager

August 11, 2003

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Pangborn, Kenneth R.

Identifying and Correcting Problems With Forensic Interviews of Alleged Child Sexual Abuse Victims: A Holistic Environmental Approach 2009

ABSTRACT: Forensic interviewers are inadequately trained to conduct child sexual abuse interviews.  A poorly conducted interview can change the child’s recall of events.  This article suggests ways to improve forensic interviewing techniques, the interview environment, and the training of interviewers.  It describes major problems in the way many interviews are conducted and recommends ways to increase the reliability of children’s statements and assure quality control.  

Parker, Jeffrey, <*/ George Riley</a>, <*/ Horace Glenn</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, <*/ David Tuytjens</a>, <*/ Joel Durmer</a>, and <*/ Ramazan Zuberi</a>

Amicus Curiae Brief of the A.D.T.C. Legal Subcommittee — A.A. v. Codey, Docket No.: 59,521 2006


Peterson, Hollis

How to Get Removed From a Central Registry 1991

Being falsely accused of sexually abusing your own child is a horrifying experience.  Your life is completely disrupted and you will never be the same.  Some falsely accused persons lose complete contact with their children.  A parent may be forced to leave the home and live separately, prohibited from any contact with children or even the spouse.  If the accused is a noncustodial parent, visitation may be terminated or custody lost.  There may be criminal charges.  Juvenile court action is almost certain.

It is an overwhelming experience.  You will be confronted and controlled by one of the most powerful state agencies.  In the name of protecting children from abuse, a goal shared by everyone, individual rights and family rights are suspended and ignored.  The actions of the Department of Human Services in many ways is parallel to the Gestapo.  The determinative priority is to find another case of founded child abuse, even if there is little or nothing to support that finding.

Most people falsely accused will soon find their name entered in a Central Child Abuse Registry.  In many states, when a decision is made by a social worker to "indicate," "substantiate," or classify an allegation as "founded," the names of all suspected persons are forwarded for inclusion in the central registry.  The individual may or may not be notified that this action has been taken.


Piper, August, Jr.

Amytal Interviews and "Recovered Memories" of Sexual Abuse: A Note 1994

ABSTRACT: The literature on Amytal interviews from 1930 to late 1993 was reviewed.  Twelve studies examined patients' abilities to tell the truth while under the influence of the drug.  None of these research reports endorsed using Amytal as a "truth serum."  Instead, they noted deficiencies of the procedure that destroy the ability to accurately relate past events.  

Pollock, Mark S.

Prosecutorial Ethics 1990

It has been stated that the law is whatever is forcefully asserted and plausibly maintained.  In our adversarial system, the role of the lawyer is to zealously and forcefully assert and advocate the position of his client, and to win.

Prosecutors are lawyers, hired to represent the People of the State and to act as the people's advocate.  But prosecutors fulfill a second, equally important function.  An honest prosecutor is the strongest fortress and protection for the integrity of the Constitution of the United States.

The role of a prosecutor, then, serves two masters.  First, the prosecutor has an obligation to attempt to present evidence to courts advocating the people's position, upholding the law, and obtaining convictions for violations of the law.

Second, and no less importantly, the prosecutor has an obligation to oversee the investigation of crime.  Where it appears that the investigation has violated the constitutional rights of suspects, the prosecutor then has an obligation to the People of the State to take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to remedy those violations of individual rights.  This is called prosecutorial discretion, the right and sometimes the obligation of a prosecutor to reject a case which has been referred by a police agency because rights have been violated as part of the investigative process.

There are those prosecutors, who, like defense attorneys, feel that their ethical obligation to the client (the people) is best served by doing whatever is necessary to obtain a conviction.  They therefore do the best they can to obtain the maximum penalty for the violation.

However, there is another school of thought.


Prosser, Jon

An Ethnographic Case Study Approach to Studying the Process of Child Abuse Investigation in the United Kingdom 1995

ABSTRACT: This article is concerned with methodological issues related to studies into investigative practices following accusations of child abuse. <*/ Part One] describes an ethnographic case study approach adopted by a study conducted in the UK and explores how research design was in part molded by the circumstances and context in which the study took place. <*/ Part Two] takes a broader perspective and identifies some of the problems and benefits which may ensue as a result of adopting a qualitative approach. It is apparent that adopting a qualitative strategy, particularly an ethnographic one, is problematic. However, whilst ethnographic case study work brings with it significant methodological problems it offers valuable insights into the process of child abuse investigation carried out by protection agencies.

A Case Study of a UK Family Wrongly Accused of Child Abuse 1995

ABSTRACT: This case study of a UK family wrongly accused of child abuse explores the process factors involved in the investigation along with the consequences for the accused and their family. Three aspects of the process are identified as significant: (1) the imbalance of power within the investigating agencies; (2) the abandonment of professional codes of conduct and practice by some investigators when they believe child sexual abuse has taken place; and (3) the failure of the system to acknowledge or compensate the wrongly accused family for the trauma and losses they suffer as a result of the accusation and investigation.

RRadko, Karen

Child Abuse: Guilty Until Proven Innocent or Legalized Governmental Child Abuse 1993

ABSTRACT: Statistics on the outcome of cases investigated in Florida indicate that in only a very small proportion of the reported cases was it ultimately determined that the parents had abused their children.  Although the stated goal of child protection agencies is to keep the family united, in reality children are often quickly removed and placed into foster care following an investigation that is traumatic for parents and children alike, especially when there was no abuse.  Suggestions are made for improving the way the system operates.  

Rand, Deirdre Conway

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy: A Complex Type of Emotional Abuse Responsible for Some False Allegations of Child Abuse in Divorce 1993

ABSTRACT: Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSP) is a complex form of child abuse in which an adult, usually a mother, creates the appearance that her child is ill by fabricating evidence and even by inducing symptoms in the child.  A contemporary form of this syndrome occurs when the mother creates the appearance that the child has been abused by someone else, generally the father in a divorce and custody or visitation dispute.  Warning signs for contemporary-type MSP are presented along with descriptions of the dynamics involved and the factors that are important in diagnosis and case management.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy: Integration of Classic and Contemporary Types 1990

ABSTRACT: The current article elaborates on the concept that a contemporary manifestation of Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSP) has emerged in which a parent or other adult caretaker fabricates or induces the idea that a child has been abused and presents the child to professionals as a victim (Rand, 1989).  The evolution of the diagnosis of MSP is described since its introduction into the literature by Meadow in 1977.  The three major roles in the MSP triangle of professional — mother/care taker — child are discussed, with emphasis on issues that may be problematic for the professional when sex abuse is alleged.  A list of warning signs is provided for both classic and contemporary-type MSP.  Evaluation procedures should include checking the details of the personal, social, and family history that the mother/caretaker has given and contacting other family members.  It is important to look for the motive for the behavior and, in the case of contemporary MSP, to uncover the context in which allegations were made.  When the disorder is treatable, case management, rather than traditional psychotherapy, appears to be the treatment of choice.  

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy as a Possible Factor When Abuse is Falsely Alleged 1989

ABSTRACT: Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSP) is a reportable form of child abuse in which a physical or mental disorder of the child is either fabricated or induced by a parent or other adult caretaker.  While most often diagnosed in medical settings, a contemporary-type MSP has emerged in which the parent fabricates or induces the idea that the child has been abused by someone else, with the accusing parent/caretaker then gaining recognition from helpers as the protector of an abused child.  The case illustrated in Bad Moon Rising: A True Story, is discussed.  Professionals are reminded of the importance of thorough fact-finding and the need for a multidisciplinary approach in diagnosing MSP.  

Reid, Carol

Shalom, Salem 2002

Salem, Massachusetts, site of the infamous "witch trials" of 1692, became the remorseful reckoning place, five years afterwards, for an official "Day of Contrition," on which the citizens of Salem gathered to fast and pray, and to try and learn the lessons of that great injustice.  Three centuries later, on January 13th and 14th, a hundred and seventy people assembled at the <*/ Hawthorne Hotel] (named for the writer who soul-searchingly counted his own ancestors among the village vilifiers) for a convocation called "A Day of Contrition- Revisited."  Sponsored by the San Diego-based Justice Committee, it was an opportunity for those who have been variously afflicted by what one of the speakers, Harvard professor Richard Gardner, has deemed the third great wave of hysteria "and by far the worst" in our country's history, to meet one another and speak openly about their ordeals.

These included parents accused of "satanic ritual abuse" or just years of "regular" incest by grown daughters in "recovered memory" therapy.  What would normally be a stunning revelation quickly became commonplace, over coffee at the bed and breakfast, out of seat mates during lunch and dinner, from the woman who gave me a ride back to the Boston bus depot.  One person told me a relatively happy variation on the theme: His daughter is the "Christian retractor" who was interviewed in my recent acquaintance and former librarian's groundbreaking tome, Victims of Memory ().  Mark Pendergrast was rebuffed by every mainstream publisher he approached, despite his prize-winning reputation, due to the supposedly dicey fact of his having been accused by his own daughters.


Richardson, Darrell W.

The Effects of a False Allegation of Child Sexual Abuse on an Intact Middle Class Family 1990

ABSTRACT: The personal, clinical, and legal experience of an intact family of four in which which a false allegation of sexual abuse was made by the daughter toward the father was reported.  The family was followed for two years.  The experience destroyed the family and the parents and children all suffered depression, stress, rage, distress, hurt, and alienation.  This case study parallels the available literature which indicates that a false allegation of sexual abuse is destructive and traumatic.

Richardson, Dell

The Verdict 1993

ABSTRACT: This is a subjective case study of my own experience with child protection and the criminal justice system after I was charged and subsequently acquitted of sexually molesting my daughter.  The case study describes what happened to the members of my family in the ensuing eight years after the state's intervention and explores various aspects of the experience and its aftermath.  

Riley, George, <*/ Horace Glenn</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, <*/ David Tuytjens</a>, <*/ Jeffrey Parker</a>, <*/ Joel Durmer</a>, and <*/ Ramazan Zuberi</a>

Amicus Curiae Brief of the A.D.T.C. Legal Subcommittee — A.A. v. Codey, Docket No.: 59,521 2006


Riley, George C., <*/ Walter S. Bastecki, Jr.</a>, <*/ Courtney R. Bayer</a>, <*/ Gilbert T. Greenfield</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, and <*/ John W. Tate</a>

Inside Civil Commitment: Competing Rights, Competing Interests 2003


Ristoja, Aulikki and Thomas

The Niko Story: Can There Be a Happy End in Abuse Accusation Cases? 1996

ABSTRACT When "Niko" was discovered in sex play with another child in his day care center, the staff became concerned and recommended professional evaluations for Niko and his family.  By the time the family's saga ended, Niko had been subjected to multiple suggestive interviews and given countless hours of therapy by an assortment of psychologists and psychiatrists.  He was removed from home, hospitalized, placed in children's homes, and only allowed limited visits with his parents under strict supervision.  Niko's father was criminally charged with sexually abusing him and the parents divorced under the stress of the situation.  The allegations grew to include sadistic rituals involving both parents and the older brother.  Eventually the parents went public and finally succeeded in getting Niko returned after three and a half years.  This case received tremendous attention in Finland.  In this article, the parents describe their ordeal and comment on the political situation in the Nordic countries in general and Finland in particular which contributes to this type of tragedy.

Robbins, Susan P.

The Social and Cultural Context of Satanic Ritual Abuse Allegations 1998

ABSTRACT: This article explores the multiple, interrelated, and converging social and cultural forces in American society that gave rise to the allegations of widespread satanic ritual abuse that first emerged in the 1980s and eventually peaked in the 1990s. It also examines the factors that sustained both public and professional belief in ritual abuse and suggests that it is the confluence of a variety of factors within the larger societal context that created a climate in which ritual abuse allegations flourished.

Beginning in the early 1980s, stories of well-organized satanic cults began to emerge in police reports of horrifying crimes. Not surprisingly, these accounts became increasingly widespread as they also came to be well-publicized by the media. A multigenerational, underground cult network was allegedly orchestrating gruesome satanic rituals that routinely included child sexual abuse, ritualistic torture, mutilation, and human sacrifice (Bromley, 1991; Nathan & Snedeker, 1995). Both media and police reports were based on hand-hand accounts of childhood ritual abuse from adults in psychotherapy who claimed that they had "recovered" previously repressed memories, and from young children in day care who allegedly suffered satanic abuse while in the care of Satanist teachers and caretakers (Jenkins, 1992; Jenkins & Maier-Katkin, 1991; Mulhern, 1991; Nathan & Snedeker, 1995; Victor, 1993).

Although these accounts of satanic ritual abuse (SRA) varied to some degree, most shared common themes and were based on anecdotal descriptions of early childhood sexual abuse at the hands of parents or caretakers. Recovered memories of SRA most typically included brainwashing, being drugged, sexually abused, and being forced to watch or participate in satanic rituals, drinking human blood, and ritual murder. Such early ritual initiation was supposedly preparation for an eventual role as a "breeder" who delivered infants to the satanic cult solely for the purpose of ritual sacrifice. Children in day care who made accusations of SRA against their teachers and caretakers gave accounts of ongoing, and often daily sexual abuse that typically included violent rape, and vaginal and anal mutilation with sharp objects. Such acts allegedly took place during normal day care hours and included the presence of magic rooms, tunnels, clowns, jungle animals, animal mutilation, and flying.

Allegations such as these were often accepted as factual accounts, despite the fantastic nature of the stories and the lack of evidence to support such claims. It was believed, after all, that children would not lie about sexual abuse and that adults could not invent such realistic and consistent memories of horrific abuse.

This article examines the multiple, interrelated, and converging social and cultural forces in American society that gave rise to such SRA allegations and explores the factors that sustained both public and professional belief in widespread ritual abuse. Previous literature in this area has described the influence of specific social factors and trends in the growing therapeutic enterprise (Mulhern, 1991; Nathan & Snedeker, 1995; Pendergrast, 1996; Smith, 1995; Victor, 1993; Wakefield & Underwager, 1994), but none has fully examined the convergence of historical, social, cultural, professional, and ideological forces and their combined influence on the subsequent reporting of and belief in SRA.

Rogers, Martha L.

Evaluating Adult Litigants Who Allege Injuries from Sexual Abuse: Clinical Assessment Methods for Traumatic Memories 1992

ABSTRACT: The assessment of adults alleging injuries from sexual abuse as children is difficult and complex.  Three areas of concern are whether the claimant is a bona fide patient or is in treatment for significant reasons other than pain and dysfunction, whether the memories of the alleged abuse are more or less continuous, and whether the report of abuse was spontaneously obtained or was the product of therapy or extra-therapeutic influences.  Methods which may prove useful in evaluating such clients include the Early Memories Procedure, the TSC-40 Scale, The Impact of Event Scale, and the application of Statement Validity Analysis to the narrative accounts of the abuse.  Factors hypothesized to be relevant in differentiating between valid and invalid claims are discussed.  

Evaluating an Alleged Satanic Ritualistic Abuser: What We Don't Know 1991

ABSTRACT: A review was made of modal sex offender and homicide perpetrators, offense characteristics, and modus operandi, to hypothesize what one would anticipate in an alleged SRA offender.  Such SRA offenders have not actually been identified and studied, and the hypothetical profile is full of contradictions compared to various known groups of offenders.  Therefore, evaluating persons who have been accused of SRA is based on common sense and past forensic experience in assessment of perpetrators of sex offenses and homicide in relation to the complaints.  A careful review of exactly what is alleged about the defendant is important and conducting a detailed independent medical/psychological examination of the plaintiffs is critical.  

Coping with Alleged False Sexual Molestation: Examination and Statement Procedures 1990

ABSTRACT: European methods of assessing the reliability and credibility of witness statements have been well established for over 35 years and accepted in the Court system in West Germany as well as in other countries in Europe, American psycho logy was late in its developing interest in this area.  Developments in recent years bringing European methods to the attention of American forensic psychology will be reviewed.  Problems in current application of these methods in the United States are described.  Factors identified through the available literature or through clinical experience that can aid in the differentiation of experience-based versus fabricated reports of molestation are outlined and recommendations for evaluation of both the accused and the alleged victim are provided.  

Review of the Current Status of the Use of Statement Validity Analysis Procedures in Sex Abuse Cases in the United States 1990

ABSTRACT: Statement Validity Analysis (SVA) is the recently evolved version of Statement Reality Analysis (SRA), in use in Europe for the past 35 years) by which the quality of victim statements concerning alleged sexual abuse is assessed.  Potential barriers to its acceptance in the United States are presented, along with an informal summary of experience in the use of such evidence.  An update on the status of ongoing SVA research is provided.  

Ronan, William J.

Memory, Suggestion and Truth 1993

ABSTRACT: The interviews in the McMartin Preschool case illustrate how confusing the roles of therapist and investigator can result in leading and coercive questioning that creates memories for events that never happened.  Therapy techniques have their roots in suggestion and social influence.  Since hypnosis is best understood as a form of enhanced suggestibility, the research on hypnosis can be generalized to psychotherapy.  Pavlov's research suggests that it is the healthiest individuals who are the most easily influenced.  The combination of suggestibility to influence and obedience to authority means therapists must be very cautious about information elicited from clients in therapy.  There is a difference between truth as dealt with in therapy and truth that involves others, particularly in the legal system.  

Ross, Karol L.

State v. Michaels: A New Jersey Supreme Court Prescription for the Rest of the Country 1997

ABSTRACT: Procedures traditionally used by courts to admit testimony in child abuse cases are reviewed in terms of the law and the social science literature.  Current research indicates that suggestive and coercive interviews can lead a child to provide an account of an event that did not happen.  In recognition of this, the New Jersey Supreme Court in State v. Michaels addressed the question of the reliability of a child's testimony by establishing a pretrial taint hearing procedure.  It is proposed that this procedure be adopted by courts throughout the county.

Ross, Karol L. and Gordon J. Blush

Sexual Abuse Validity Discriminators in the Divorced or Divorcing Family 1990

ABSTRACT: Accusations of sexual abuse in divorce and custody disputes have become a problem for the professionals who must investigate these cases and determine whether the abuse is real.  There have been more cases of false allegations in recent years, and the investigator must carefully consider the context in which the allegations arise.  The personalities and behaviors of the persons involved in an abuse allegation provide important information.  The authors report on three personality patterns found in falsely accusing spouses: histrionic personality, justified vindicator, and borderline personality.  The falsely accused spouse is generally passive, nurturing, and lacks "macho" characteristics.  The behaviors of the children involved in the situation can also aid in differentiating true from false allegations.

Investigation and Case Management Issues and Strategies 1990

ABSTRACT: Sexual abuse allegations arising in the context of a custody and visitation dispute provide a difficult challenge to professionals.  These cases are often misunderstood and mismanaged, which does great harm to all parties involved.  Cases which turn out to be false are characterized by a loss of control, usually in the early stages of the allegation.  Frequently observed case management problems are described and suggestions made as to how to manage such cases more effectively.  Professionals must be open-minded and sensitive to both the rights of children and of adults.  Without more objective guidelines and more effective procedures, humane and meaningful control of the sexual abuse case is not possible.

Rossen, Benjamin

Mass Hysteria in Oude Pekela 1989

ABSTRACT: This account describes allegations that dangerous child molesters were operating in a small village in the Netherlands and the subsequent multiple interrogations of nearly all the preschool children in the village.  This started as a result of slight anal injuries resulting from sex play between two small boys.  Over several months the stories grew to include fecal and urinary games, sexual abuse, vaginal and anal rape, sadomasochistic performances, manufacture of pornography, drug administration, bizarre rites, and the sacrificial torture and murder of infants.  There were no physical injuries apart from the slight anal injuries in the first two children and no pornography or other evidence was found and the police eventually declared the episode to be an outburst of mass hysteria.  However, the allegations are still being taken seriously by some people and this episode has created much controversy in the Netherlands.

SSarnoff, Susan Kiss

Assessing the Costs of False Allegations of Child Abuse: A Prescriptive 1997

ABSTRACT: False allegations of child abuse result in considerable costs to all aspects of the criminal justice and social service systems and to society as a whole as well as the falsely accused. The factors behind these costs are explored and suggestions made for increasing accountability.

Scharnberg, Max

The Defense Counsel: The Weakest Link of the Legal System in Sweden 1998

ABSTRACT: The incest abuse craze that has spread throughout the Western world has been especially marked in Sweden. This is despite a Swedish legal system which should have given the defense counsel ample opportunity to not only win acquittals for innocent clients, but to influence opinion and work towards rationality in sexual abuse cases. Illustrations of the passivity and incompetence found in many Swedish defense attorneys are given.

Textual Analysis: An Approach for Assessing the Truth Value of Allegations of Sexual Abuse 1996

ABSTRACT: Textual analysis may be used for assessing the truth of sexual abuse allegations.  In textual analysis, close attention is paid to the physical possibility of the alleged act and to the combined pattern of all asserted temporal relations.  Other methods include searching for parallel order relations, the pruning technique, and the morphological approach.  Untrue accounts may derive from external pressure, psychopathology, or ordinary fabulation.  The dynamics of the producer of the untruth, the untruth itself and the receiver of the untruth must all be considered in understanding a false allegation.  Judges and juries may not be very proficient in distinguishing between true and false allegations.  Problems of invalid indicators in the Swedish system are described with the hope that this analysis may increase understanding as to the specific errors that are found in these cases.

The Principle of Similarity: A Source of Legal Evidence on Sexual Abuse 1996

ABSTRACT: The principle of similarity is the mistaken belief that a cause of a phenomenon can be disclosed by finding a real or hypothesized earlier event which is similar to the phenomenon.  This belief which is found in Freud's writings, is now appearing as "evidence" in cases of alleged sexual abuse.  Such evidence, although lacking a sound scientific base, can be extremely persuasive to judges and juries and can result in erroneous decisions.

Schuijer, Jan, and Benjamin Rossen

The Trade in Child Pornography 1992

The Shock

The first media exposés about a purported massive trade in child pornography started in the U.S.A., England and Scandinavia at the end of the 1970s.  They reached the Netherlands for the first time in 1984, causing shock and fascinated indignation, in part because of the claims of the enormous volume of business.  In the Netherlands, child pornography had only appeared in the media as incidental to other stories.  An example is the so-called "Mini-love affair," where a complaint was lodged against parents who had permitted a pornographer access to their children, and against the photographer himself.<*/ 1</a>

However, child pornography was not a public issue in the Netherlands, even though photographs of children were openly for sale in most pornography shops.  In the classified advertising section of Vrij Nederland,<*/ 2</a> undisguised offers of child pornography regularly appeared.<*/ 3</a>  That changed in July 1984, when police raided a number of Amsterdam sex shops.  The raids were featured prominently in press and television news.  Police spokesman Klaas Wilting said the situation had "completely run out of hand."  He said the market for child pornography was large, representing millions of guilders.  He claimed the sex shop owners told him child pornography was half of their turnover.  Also, contents of the confiscated material were described as shocking.  "On the films and videos you can see that the children have been used against their will.  The horror radiates from their faces."<*/ 4</a>  The media reported eight cubic meters of child pornography was seized.  This was repeated as fact in the Lower House<*/ 5</a> and not questioned by the Minister of Justice,<*/ 6</a> although the quantity was actually a small fraction of that.<*/ 7</a>  Most of the media, knowing nothing about the subject, accepted the information as true.
In November, 1984, at hearings in the U.S. Senate the claim was made that child auctions for the purpose of sex slavery and pornography were held regularly in Amsterdam.  In the same month a group of American Senators visited the Netherlands to show their dismay and put pressure on the Dutch government to act.  Disbelief and indignation mixed with the suspicion that some of the stories must be true and that a serious response to the American allegations was needed to prevent an impression of laxity.

Schultz, LeRoy

Self-Help Groups for the Erroneously Charged: A Proposed Model 1990

ABSTRACT: Persons who are falsely accused of child abuse suffer significant stress and trauma.  Participation in a self-help group is often helpful in coping with this situation.   A short rationale for groups of erroneously charged and/or convicted is proposed, with a group meeting scheme for lay groups.  

Confidentiality, Privilege, and Child Abuse Reporting 1990

ABSTRACT: The child abuse reporting mandates are creating problems for therapists.  A distinction is made between confidentiality as a clinical concept and privileged communication as a legal concept.  Possible reasons for not reporting child abuse are discussed.  Possible solutions to the conflict between confidentiality and the legal requirement to report child abuse are suggested.   
Most therapists, whatever their discipline, agree that breaking confidentiality creates significant problems.  It can destroy the therapeutic relationship and may risk a malpractice suit (Broadsky, 1988; Kaslow, 1990; Leesfield, 1987; Leong, Silva, & Weinstock, 1988; Marinelli, 1988; Miller & Weinstock, 1987; Sherlock & Murphy, 1984; Watson & Levine, 1989).  The ethical codes of the various helping professions (social work, psychology, religion, nursing, medicine, teaching, counseling, etc.) are intentionally vague, general, and elastic to cover all types of situations, but all take confidentiality very seriously (see, for example, the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists).  Confidentiality is so critical according to some theorists that psychotherapy may be worthless without it (Keith-Spiegel & Koocher, 1985).
However, all states now have reporting laws which require therapists to break confidentiality and report any child abuse suspicions to law enforcement or child protection agencies.  All state laws therefore require putting the "child's best interest" above the therapeutic relationship.  Maine and Maryland are the only states that allow therapist discretion in deciding whether to report.  In the others, the therapist is mandated to report based upon "suspicion."  There is no leeway permitted for discretionary judgment.
These laws have resulted in enormous increases in the number of reports being made to protective agencies.  However, despite these laws, several studies have found that professionals fail to report for a variety of reasons (Crenshaw & Lichtenberg, 1990; Finkelhor, Gomes-Schwartz, & Horowitz, 1984; Koziol & Petretic-Jackson, 1990; Pope & Bajt, 1988; Zellman, 1990a).

<p>Miller and Weinstock (1987) point out that when therapists treat suspected victims, there is usually no breach of confidentiality in reporting the abusers, since the therapeutic relationship is with the victim.  But when the evidence of abuse comes from the suspected abuser, difficult ethical issues arise.  Miller and Weinstock believe this situation is particularly difficult for therapists who work with sex offenders and that these issues have not been sufficiently considered by the authors of the reporting laws.


One Hundred Cases of Unfounded Child Sexual Abuse: A Survey and Recommendations 1989

ABSTRACT: One hundred questionnaires were completed by persons who had been falsely charged with child sexual abuse.  Almost all falsely charged persons experienced family breakdown, loss of employment, deterioration of physical or emotional health, and/or welfare dependency.  All reported little sympathy and no victim welfare services in their community.  It is argued that persons found "not guilty" as determined by the study are a victim type because of the trial-induced trauma and therefore require social services.  Recommendations are made toward prevention of their victimization and trauma.

The Social Worker as an Expert Witness in Suspected Child Abuse Cases: A Primer for Beginners 1989

ABSTRACT: A set of suggestions, rules and guidelines are provided for the social worker (at the MSW or higher) to serve as an expert witness.  These are based on the author's experience in child sexual abuse cases in criminal and juvenile courts in West Virginia.

The Child Protection Teams: Defenses for the Falsely Accused 1989

Abstract: Teams are a medical concept, aimed at healing, not an evidence gathering process that will be directly applicable to a court's requirements.  Questions about team processes and team findings are suggested for both lawyers and expert witnesses, and are designed to carefully examine a team's proceedings to assess their weight and reliability.  

Seidl, Ann H., Marietta P. Stanton, Adele Pillitteri, Carol Smith, and Barbara Boehler

Nurses' Attitudes Toward the Child Victims and the Perpetrators of Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Abuse 1993

ABSTRACT: Nurses interact with children in a variety of hospital and community-based settings and are mandatory reporters of emotional, physical, and sexual child abuse.  Little is known about their comfort in dealing with victims or the abusers.  This descriptive study of 318 registered nurses attending a mandatory class for relicensure on child abuse examined differences among three types of abuse, ages of the victims, and the perpetrators.  Dependent t-tests revealed that nurses were significantly less comfortable with sexual abuse, abuse of infants, and dealing with fathers.  Recommendations for educational curricula and continuing education are made.  

Sheridan, Robert

Fooling Ourselves: Cargo Cult Law and Medicine 1992

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool (Feynman, 1985).

<p>ABSTRACT: A fundamental cause of false accusations is the tendency of adults to fool themselves.  Adult investigators who are biased towards believing an accusation is true will be unable to conduct an appropriate investigation and therefore will find what supports their prior beliefs.


The False Child Molestation Outbreak of the 1980s: An Explanation of the Cases Arising in the Divorce Court 1990

In 1981, Congress enacted legislation to deal with actual cases of child abuse by requiring the states, as a condition for the funding of state programs, to enact mandatory reporting laws.  California's statute requires all child care custodians, medical, and nonmedical practitioners, defined to include teachers, nurses, and dental hygienists, among others, to report suspected cases of child abuse — sexual, physical, and emotional.  Failure to report is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In addition to defining sexual abuse to include virtually any inappropriate sexual stimulation of a child, the statute defines "reasonable suspicion" to mean "that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain such a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in the like position, drawing when appropriate on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse" (California Penal Code Sec. 11166[a]).
That nondefinition is a major rational problem area in dealing with this emotionally overloaded issue.  It has contributed to the bringing of some 1.2 million reports of suspected abuse in 1981 and 1.9 million reported cases in 1985, according to findings released March 2, 1987, by the House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, in a report entitled "Abused Children in America: Victims of Official Neglect."
Behavioral indicators of child abuse, according to the prosecutor's handbook put out by the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse, of Alexandria, Virginia, a subsidiary of the National District Attorneys Association, may include overly submissive behavior, aggressive acting out or incorrigible behavior, school related excesses, sleep disturbances, bed-wetting and "clingingness."  Such broadly defined so called indicators have a grave potential for contributing to a false accusation, because children who have not been sexually molested may exhibit such behavior.

Simmons, Philip S.

Lawyers and Memory: The Impact of Repressed Memory Allegations of Abuse on the American Courtroom 1994

<p>ABSTRACT: The child abuse and false allegation crises which have been assaulting American families have given rise to new challenges for attorneys attempting to deal with these complex issues.  Traditional advocacy-based litigation may not provide an adequate remedy for child abuse survivors, or for those who have been falsely accused.  Attorneys must become better informed as to the specialized needs of both adult and minor clients in child abuse cases, as well as other cases arising through recovery of repressed memories.  Both defense and prosecution attorneys practicing in this area must develop a better understanding of the dynamics underlying the memories which form the foundation of child abuse allegations, and the means by which the veracity of such allegations can be assessed


"Smith, John"

Aftermath of a False Allegation 1991

On her fourth visit, 17-year-old Stephanie (a pseudonym) brought me this letter:

July, 1987

Dear Dr. Smith,

I am so miserable, Dr. Smith, I need your help now.  As you know, I have told you how my mother and I just don't like each other.  We fight and argue all the time.  But I have never told you why.  When I was little, six I think, I dearly loved my dad.  I think he and I were very close and did many things together.  I knew my mom and dad didn't get along but somehow things were all right between me and my parents.

Then one day, my mother told me my father was very sick and needed to go to a doctor to get well.  She told me I would have to say that my dad had hurt me by touching me (in) places that were nasty.  She said if I would say this Dad would have treatment and get better and be a nicer Dad to me and bring me more presents.

My mother rehearsed with me what I was to say and then took me to a doctor in another city and practiced with me again what I was to say and I said what she told me to say.

Later my mom said that Dad had to go to a hospital to get the help he needed, but when I was twelve I found out he was in prison because he had molested me.


Smith, Susan E.

Body Memories: And Other Pseudo-Scientific Notions of "Survivor Psychology" 1993

ABSTRACT: The recovery movement and the sexual abuse survivor therapies have led to an uncritical acceptance of a number of pseudo-scientific concepts and assumptions.  The notion of "body memories" exemplifies this trend.  The theories, assumptions, and therapeutic techniques of survivor psychology are discussed on the basis of literature from its proponents and data from a survey of current sexual abuse treatment modalities in the Phoenix, Arizona area.  The belief in these pseudoscientific concepts appears to be related to scientific illiteracy, gullibility, and a lack of critical thinking skills and reasoning abilities in both the mental health community and in society at large.  

Spiegel, Lawrence D.

The Phenomenon of Child Abuse Hysteria as a Social Syndrome: The Case for a New Kind of Expert Testimony 1989

ABSTRACT: This article provides a foundation for viewing group hysteria about child sexual abuse as part of a recognizable social syndrome.  Information from sociology and social psychology, cognitive development, and clinical psychology is combined in a three-stage process to explain the abuse hysteria phenomenon.  These stages provide a cohesive set of behaviors which constitute a recognizable social syndrome.  This abuse hysteria syndrome has contributed to over-reporting and sometimes improper prosecution of such cases.
A child abuse hysteria syndrome may be useful in determining the truthfulness of an abuse allegation.  It is suggested that expert testimony using these concepts can add a generic dimension to explain the public climate, and can therefore encourage the courts to move toward a new kind of non-adversarial expert testimony which is more educative and objective, as opposed to the argumentative and subjective nature of much testimony offered in adversarial proceedings.  

Stayton, Rowe

Plaintiff's Brief Regarding the Constitutionality of Central Registry 1991





Plaintiffs, by and through their counsel, The Law Finn of Stayton & Brennen, hereby submit their brief concerning the issue of the constitutionality of the statutory scheme underlying the Colorado Central Registry for Child Protection.  The parties have previously submitted a Statement of Stipulated Facts, which statement is incorporated herein by reference.


TTate, John W., <*/ George C. Riley</a>, <*/ Courtney R. Bayer</a>, <*/ Walter S. Bastecki, Jr.</a>, <*/ Gilbert T. Greenfield</a>, and <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>

Inside Civil Commitment: Competing Rights, Competing Interests 2003


Thoma, Emerich

If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now: The Business of Foster Care 1998

ABSTRACT: Current trends in the provision of child protection services are examined. Federal fiscal incentives favoring child removal and foster care placement over the provision of services are reviewed. Efforts at reform are likely to remain unsuccessful so long as existing bureaucratic and fiscal structures are maintained.

Thompson, Joel Erik

Cross-examination of Child Witnesses 1993

ABSTRACT: The cross-examination of children is difficult and challenging.  Differences between child and adult witnesses are discussed and suggestions are made for the effective cross-exanimation of a child in cases of alleged sexual abuse.

Defense of Child Molestation Charges 1992

ABSTRACT: Defending against child molestation requires knowledge of both child sexual abusers and of people who make false allegations.  Careful investigation and planning and an aggressive and assertive approach are necessary for a successful defense.  Suggestions are given for an effective defense before and after charges are filed and for addressing special problems at trial.  There are many flaws and abuses in the way the legal system handles accusations of child sexual abuse and education concerning false allegations is required to bring about improvements.


"Worse Than Murder!"

Is there any crime worse than murder?


Your Child Sex Offender Client Is Going To Be Sentenced: Ready or Not? 1992

ABSTRACT: The defense attorney's responsibility does not end with the negotiation of a plea bargain, but continues through the sentencing decision.  Although there are limits as to what can be accomplished, the defense attorney can have an impact on the presentence report and provide information to the sentencing judge.  The defense attorney should maintain professional integrity and advocate realistically in an effort to prevent the client from receiving an undeservedly harsh sentence.  

Tuytjens, David, <*/ George Riley</a>, <*/ Horace Glenn</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, <*/ Jeffrey Parker</a>, <*/ Joel Durmer</a>, and <*/ Ramazan Zuberi</a>

Amicus Curiae Brief of the A.D.T.C. Legal Subcommittee — A.A. v. Codey, Docket No.: 59,521 2006


Twain, Mark

My First Lie, and How I Got Out of It 1989

As I understand it, what you desire is information about "my first lie, and how I got out of it."  I was born in 1835; I am well along, and my memory is not as good as it was.  If you had asked about my first truth it would have been easier for me and kinder of you, for I remember that fairly well; I remember it as if it were last week.  The family think it was week before, but that is flattery and probably has a selfish project back of it.  When a person has become seasoned by experience and has reached the age of sixty-four, which is the age of discretion, he likes a family compliment as well as ever, but he does not lose his head over it as in the old innocent days.

I do not remember my first lie, it is too far back; but I remember my second one very well.  I was nine days old at the time, and had noticed that if a pin was sticking in me and I advertised it in the usual fashion, I was lovingly petted and coddled and pitied in a most agreeable way and got a ration between meals besides.  It was human nature to want to get these riches, and I fell.  I lied about the pin — advertising one when there wasn't any.  You would have done it; George Washington did it; anybody would have done it.  During the first half of my life I never knew a child that was able to rise above that temptation and keep from telling that lie.


Tyroler, Paula M.

The Recovered Memory Movement: A Female Perspective 1996

ABSTRACT: The recovered memory movement harms women in several ways.  Women, who are the main recipients of this type of therapy, not only fail to receive the help they need, but may develop new symptoms and become alienated from family support systems.  The persons accused as a result of recovered memories are often women, despite the fact that the proportion of females among actual child sexual abusers is low.  Even if a mother is not accused of abuse, the patient may be encouraged to blame her mother for not protecting her.  The growing skepticism over recovered memory claims poses a threat to genuine survivors, mostly women, who may now find themselves disbelieved.  Proponents of recovered memory therapy, including some feminists, are promoting a harmful misogyny in the name of liberation and healing.

UUnderwager, Ralph

A Theological Response to a Serious Question 1998

Psychology Editor's Note: Shortly after the publication of our 1994 book, "Return of the Furies ()," dealing with claims of recovered memories of childhood abuse, we received a letter from a father whose daughter claimed he had abused her. She had been in counseling with a member of the clergy who used recovered memory therapy techniques and now supported the daughter in her accusations and rejection of the father. The father asked us how it was possible for a person claiming to believe the Christian Gospel to do this kind of counseling. The father thought that this must be contrary to the faith as he understood it, but did not quite know how. He asked me to give him a theological opinion. This is my response to him from within an orthodox, conservative theology.

Dear Mr. . . .


Increasing Accuracy of Decision Making 1993

Gardner's proposal of indicators of pedophilia is part of what the editors of this journal believe is a necessary next step in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.<*/ 1</a>  We believe it is time to move forward from entrenched and polarized adversarial positions based on dogma to a common ground.  The common ground that appears in both Dr. Campbell's position and in Dr. Gardner's response is increased accuracy of the decision-making process.

Dr. Gardner begins with the all too real clinical conundrum that we can never wait for all the information to be in before acting.  People are being accused, charged, and imprisoned.  But he is very clear in understanding the need for as much accuracy as possible.  That's why he proposes a systematic way of gathering information and organizing it.

Dr. Campbell sees the problem of validators who pursue adherence to dogmas and ignore accuracy and pleads for increased attention to making the best possible decisions.  He emphasizes the necessity for increasing reliability by improving the precision and specificity of indices and draws our attention to the pitfalls of depending upon clinical judgment.


How To Destroy A Family 1993

In the battle raging over claims of recovered repressed memories, dissociation disorders, including Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), and accounts of satanic, ritualistic abuse (SRA), believers in all of the above acknowledge there may be some bad or inept therapists who cause such claims but maintain that the great majority of therapists do not do anything but listen to the stories their patients produce.  These assertions are made as statements of fact but there are never any data offered to support the claim.  Nevertheless, the advocates of recovered memories, MPD, and SRA, become indignant about claims that therapists are responsible for accounts and beliefs that are false.  When the therapists are accused of destroying families and causing great harm and mischief, the indignation level rises even higher.

The <*/ transcript of the court proceedings] and the <*/ brief chronology of events] that follow are printed for three basic reasons.  First, the 10-year-old girl, in responding to the questioning of Mr. Bravos, attorney for the father, presents a clear picture of the process by which mental health professionals taught her to believe in bizarre, impossible events.  You will see how she learned to believe she had multiple personalities.  You will see how she describes the techniques of suggestion, shaping and molding of responses, social learning, relaxation, hypnosis, visual imaging, ideomotor finger signals, the impact of the total environment of a psychiatric hospital, and the authority and power of a therapist.  The result of the mental health intervention in this situation was the destruction of this family and grievous harm to these children.


Confrontation Clause Revisited: Supreme Court Decisions Idaho v Wright, and Craig v Maryland - A Psychologist's Response 1990

These two Supreme Court decisions relating to questions of constitutional constraints and requirements for the justice system in handling allegations of child sexual abuse demonstrate the great difficulties in the relationship between the legal system and the science of psychology.  The Maryland v. Craig decision particularly sets up a requirement that no reasonable nor responsible mental health professional should even begin to attempt to meet.  The impact of this ruling and the contretemps it will create for psychologists must be discussed.

The Syllabus summarizes the requirement "(c) The requisite necessity finding must be case specific.  The trial court must hear evidence and determine whether the procedure's use is necessary to protect the particular child witness's welfare; find that the child would be traumatized, not by the courtroom generally, but by the defendant's presence; and find that the emotional distress suffered by the child in the defendant's presence is more than de minimis."

This ruling appears to demand that there be an evidentiary hearing, prior to the trial, at which there will be testimony, most likely by experts, about the effect on the specific child of testifying in the presence of the person accused.  A judge may, of course, question a child but it is a rare judge who will say "I alone can determine the questions raised by the Supreme Court's rulings."  If the judge decides the child will, indeed, be so harmed by the appearance of the defendant in the presence of the child, then the judge may order the use of a videotape process so that the child testifies but is not able to see the defendant.  However, the prosecution apparently must elect to try to get videotaped testimony before the fact finder rather than place the child on the stand to testify in the presence of the defendant.  Then there will be the hearing on this issue.

The experts, therefore, who will be asked to offer opinions on this question are most likely psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, the professionals who currently offer expert opinions in child sexual abuse cases.


Underwager, Ralph, and Hollida Wakefield

Response to Crane Ruling 2002

The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Crane case, January 22, 2002, is thought by many to alter the way in which sexual predator civil commitment laws are to be applied in specific cases.  The issue which appears to be changed is the degree of voluntariness or control required in order for an individual to be deemed to be appropriate for a civil commitment proceeding.  This ruling does not define "inability to control behavior" in an absolute or precise manner.  Rather, it is held to be enough to to say there must be proof of serious difficulty in controlling behavior.  This response is our current thinking after reading the ruling and as we continue to work with it and get additional information, we may choose to add additional comments.

First, we will briefly summarize the basic concepts and assumptions in the way the legal system and the science of psychology deal with the issue of volition and individual control of behavior.  They are different and, as the Crane ruling states "psychiatry [science of psychology] is an ever advancing science, whose distinctions do not seek precisely to mirror those of the law."  This is also stated in the Introduction to DSM-IV, pp. XXXII-XXXIII ()().

The law is based almost entirely on the assumption that human beings are practical reasoning rule-following persons whose actions must be understood in terms of beliefs and desires.  In the law's actions toward the insanity defense a mental disorder is believed to be a causal variable.  If it is the mental disorder that causes the criminal behavior, then the person may not be held responsible for the behavior.  However, it is also assumed that the person's mental disorder rendered the individual unable to appreciate the wrongfulness or the nature of the act.  This is also adducing reasoning rather than a deterministic and reductionist stance.

The assumption is that moral responsibility, criminal liability, and state of mind are negated if behavior is caused by some abnormal variable such as a mental disorder, mental illness, or mental abnormality.


The Taint Hearing 1998

ABSTRACT: The New Jersey Supreme Court in State v. Michaels in 1994 created a procedure allowing defense attorneys to request a pretrial "taint" hearing to challenge the investigative interviews of the children. The taint hearing procedure is spreading to other states as defense attorneys request such hearings. Taint hearings can provide a remedy for defective interviews, but the presence of suggestive, coercive interview procedures does not in itself make the accusation false. The totality of the information about a given accusation needs to be assessed carefully by forensic psychologists, who will provide expert testimony in such hearings.

Psychological Evaluations You Need for Trial: What They Can and Cannot Do 1995

ABSTRACT: Psychological evaluations can provide information that increases the accuracy of the decision-making process of the justice system. Attorneys, however, must understand both their usefulness and their limitations. Psychological evaluations of defendants in criminal and civil cases, of plaintiffs in civil cases, and of child witnesses are discussed.

Abusive Behaviors Alleged in Two Samples of Likely False Allegations 1994

ABSTRACT: We conducted a preliminary descriptive study to examine the types of abusive behaviors described when sexual abuse allegations are likely false.  We looked at the behaviors alleged in two entirely different samples and compared the results to the types of behaviors engaged in by actual child sexual abusers.  Compared to the behaviors of actual abusers, in these samples, the behaviors alleged were of highly deviant and low base rate behaviors.  The children were much younger than in reported cases of actual abuse.  In one of the two samples, many more women were accused than has been reported in the literature.

Misinterpretation of a Primary Prevention Effort 1994

ABSTRACT: In 1990, Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield gave an interview to the editor of Paidika, The Journal of Paedophilia, a scholarly journal published in Holland. The interview was published in 1993. Since that time, statements from the interview have been taken out-of-context and misinterpreted as indicating that RU and HW approve of pedophilia and child sexual abuse. Here, they respond to these criticisms and accusations.

Untying the Gordian Knot: A Return to Reason 1994

ABSTRACT: The Country Walk case in Miami, Florida, in which Ileana Fuster confessed, is often used as an example of a day care case where the bizarre, ritualistic abuse was, in fact, corroborated.  Recently however, Ileana Fuster gave a sworn statement in which she described extremely questionable behaviors on the part of her defense attorney, two psychologists, and the state's attorney, Janet Reno. Ileana's statement suggests that her confession was most likely false and was elicited by highly coercive procedures over the two years she was in solitary confinement prior to the trial.  This introduction is followed by the transcript of Ileana's deposition.

Antisexuality and Child Sexual Abuse 1993

ABSTRACT: Our current sexual abuse system promotes an antisexual view of human sexuality. This is seen in the depiction of sex as bad in sexual abuse prevention programs, the readiness to define a sexual or affectionate interaction as abusive, the criminalization of childhood sexual behavior, and the genitalization of human sexuality. The consequences of this are likely to be negative for children, adults, and the society.
In October, 1988, a prosecutor made a closing argument in a criminal sexual abuse trial in Ohio that illustrates the antisexuality of the way we respond to allegations of child sexual abuse. A man had befriended a woman who was a single parent with a 10-year-old son. After several months of friendship, he asked the lad to spend Good Friday with him. They had a good time making Easter eggs and after dinner the lad asked if he could stay overnight with the man. The man called the mother who said it was fine. When they were ready for bed, the man kissed the boy on the cheek and patted him on the buttocks. The man slept downstairs on a couch and the lad used the bed upstairs. The next day the lad went home.

A week later the man was arrested for sexual abuse. In the trial the only discrepancy from the above account was that the lad said the man kissed him on the neck. In her closing argument the prosecutor said, "No man should ever be allowed to get away with anything that makes a child uncomfortable by claiming he was just being affectionate." She claimed that because the child felt uncomfortable when he was kissed this was an act of sexual abuse. The man was more powerful than the child who could not resist being kissed. The man was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison.


A Paradigm Shift for Expert Witnesses 1993

ABSTRACT: The recent United States Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals dramatically changes the criteria by which scientific testimony is admitted as evidence in court. The unanimous ruling states that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, refutability, or testability. This, in effect, replaces the Frye test with the Popperian principle of falsification as the determinant of scientific knowledge. If properly understood and followed this ruling is likely to render inadmissible testimony based on such concepts and theories as the child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome and claims that childhood sexual abuse has been repressed.

Cur Allii, Prae Aliis?  (Why Some, And Not Others?) 1991

ABSTRACT: Why do some professionals believe in widespread satanic, ritual abuse of children while others do not? Both believers and nonbelievers agree that there have been no findings of physical evidence corroborating the claims of satanic cults, human sacrifice, orgies, or a widespread conspiracy. Both agree on the basic perception of social, historical, and anthropological facts, although there may be differences in interpretation. The answer to the question, "Why do some professionals believe and not others?" is likely to be found in the personality characteristics of the believers and nonbelievers.

Central Registry: Protection or Oppression 1991

ABSTRACT: The proposed National Child Protection Act of 1991 includes a national central registry similar to those in most of the states. Such a registry, if the legislation is enacted, will likely have unintended consequences, including the violation of the civil liberties of those whose names will be included on it.

Psychological Evaluation of an Alleged Sexual Abuse Victim by the Defense 1989

ABSTRACT: A psychological evaluation of the alleged victim by the defense can be useful and important in cases of child sexual abuse.  A motion for such an evaluation along with the Appellate Court Ruling is presented here.  In this case, the evaluation was conducted and the defendant was acquitted in the criminal trial.  

Prosecution and Child Sexual Abuse 1989

ABSTRACT: The prosecution system's treatment of child sexual abuse is examined in terms of the role and behavior of lawyers.  The history of how lawyers emerged in Western civilization is discussed in terms of the development of targeted prosecutions.  Prosecutors are aggressively promoting the prosecution and conviction of suspected child abusers, with the result that increasing numbers of people are becoming convinced that the system is unjust and oppressive.  

Underwager, Ralph, Hollida Wakefield, and Eliot Clauss

A Suggested Civil Action When Falsely Accused 1990

When falsely accused, some persons want to get it behind them, close it off, forget it, and build a new life.  Others are so damaged and depressed they choose to withdraw and may cease to function.  For others there is a strong desire for vindication and justification.  They want to find a way, somehow, to clear their name of the label child molester.  In some instances there is an additional element of anger and seeking vengeance.  Some say they want to find a way to change the system so others will not have to go through the hellish stress they have experienced.  The most frequent sentiment we have heard is the desire to do something that will protect children from the damage and harm done to children by false accusations.

Those who have been falsely accused and have gone through adjudication to hear a not guilty verdict or a finding of fact of no abuse invariably hear someone say, "Well, that doesn't mean he didn't do it.  It just means we couldn't prove it."  Often the person saying that will add "... and I know (believe) he really did it."  Against such arrogance and insistence upon self-serving higher knowledge there is little or no recourse.  Therefore falsely accused individuals often find themselves frustrated, blocked, and forced into a continued defensive posture about their life and character.  Most persons falsely accused at one time or another consider a civil action as a recourse, a remedy, or an attempt to clear their name.  They soon discover, however, that it may be difficult to find an attorney willing to take their case.  Civil actions are costly, hard to establish and prove, and encounter the immunity, either absolute or qualified, courts have granted to reporters and professionals within the system.  Malice, particularly, is difficult to prove.


Underwager, Ralph, Hollida Wakefield, and Louis Kiefer

United States Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Brief 1990




Ralph Underwager, Ph.D. and Hollida Wakefield, M.A., a partnership doing business as the The Institute for Psychological Therapies (IPT) hereby respectfully move for leave to file the attached brief amicus curiae.  The attorneys for the petitioner and the respondent have consented.
This brief has been requested as a response to the amicus curiae brief submitted to the Court by the American Psychological Association (APA) in State of Maryland v. Sandra Ann Craig. As such it is in support of respondent, Sandra Ann Craig.

VVeraa, Arnold

[*/ Critique: Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (2007)</a>

ABSTRACT: This review assesses the evidence this report quotes in support of its conclusion that the sexualization of “girls” is widespread and that it has damaging consequences.  It was found that the report relies heavily and inappropriately on adolescent and adult data to support this contention.  No direct evidence was detected in this report that supports the claims that “girls” may suffer from self-image problems, eating disorders, depression or an inability to develop a healthy sexuality as a result of “sexualization”.


Child Sexual Abuse: The Sources of Anxiety Making and the Negative Effects 2009

ABSTRACT: Christian moral belief about child sexuality and feminist theory and practice are considered as the primary causes for the anxiety about, and exaggeration of, child sexual abuse.  The negative effects of this anxiety making are discussed in relation to research and literature, the negative influences this has had on professional performance, and the subsequent deleterious consequences upon institutions, families and children.  It is proposed that the manufactured moral alarm about child sexual abuse has done more harm than good.  

Victor, Jeffrey S.

Sexual Attitudes in the Contemporary Legend About Satanic Cults 1993

ABSTRACT The contemporary stories about satanic cults arise from an ancient legend that can be traced to the eleventh century.  None of the current claims are supported by reliable evidence and historians agree that no Devil worshipping religious cults ever existed.  These legends arise during periods of disruptive social change and provide explanations and scapegoats for the anxieties people have about their society and their future.  The current satanic scare is the result of anxieties about the perceived moral corruption in modern society resulting from the rapid social changes in gender roles, child rearing and sexual attitudes since the 1960s.  Stories of sexual deviance are prominent in the satanic cult legend in which innocent children are seen as victims of an absolute evil in the form of sadistic and bizarre sexual perversion.  

The Satanic Cult Scare and Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse 1991

ABSTRACT: The satanic cult scare is an expression of collective behavior that is defined in terms of an unplanned, relatively spontaneous pattern of persistent behavior, which is a response to underlying, shared sources of stress in a society.  This collective behavior is likely to persist, despite the lack of corroborating evidence for satanic cult ritual abuse allegations, because it has become organized into volunteer organizations and regularly held conferences and because of the media attention given to the stories.  The satanic cult scare can be seen as a form of deviant behavior which exists only in the preconceptions of a group of professionals who see what they expect to see.  

WW.W. and P.T.

Complaint and Motion 2003

Editor's Note:
The following complaint and motion from the Avenal Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in New Jersey is significant for two reasons.  The first is that it presents a view from the inside of a treatment and assessment procedure.  There is a considerable controversy about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of sexual offender treatment programs.  A voice seldom heard in the literature on this issue is that of the people who are recipients of the assessment and treatment procedures.  It is reasonable to expect that there is some level of bias possible in research programs that are designed, administered, and interpreted by those persons who vend the programs and the assessment procedures.  It may be important to hear what the people who are assessed and treated have to say about what they experience.  It may assist in improving both assessment and treatment.  The second significant aspect of this complaint and motion is that it demonstrates what a group of people can accomplish, living in a Draconian, Spartan, and rigidly controlled environment with very few resources.  It may be difficult for anyone not actually living in a prison environment to grasp or comprehend what it may be as far as ability to function.  It is likely that many of the persons functioning quite well in a normal academic or business environment could not make it at all in a prison.  This effort from within that environment deserves respect and acknowledgement even if is is not agreed with as a complaint.
Ralph Underwager August 11, 2003
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Wakefield, Hollida

The Vilification of Sex Offenders: Do Laws Targeting Sex Offenders Increase Recidivism and Sexual Violence?  (In our <*/ Library</a>) 2006

ABSTRACT:  Sex offenders are universally hated and despised and seen as dangerous sexual predators unless locked up and kept under surveillance.  Following a number of highly publicized violent crimes, all states passed registration and notification laws and many passed civil commitment laws.  Although these laws were passed as a means to decrease recidivism and promote public safety, the resulting stigmatization of sex offenders is likely to result in disruption of their relationships, loss of or difficulties finding jobs, difficulties finding housing, and decreased psychological well-being, all factors that could increase their risk of recidivism.  The civil commitment programs amount to expensive preventive detention and incapacitation rather than treatment; very few have been released.  The high costs of the civil commitment programs divert resources from other programs with a better chance of being effective in reducing sexual violence.  

The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse: Truth Versus Political Correctness 2006

ABSTRACT: Research over many years establishes the negative effects of child sexual abuse are not as pervasive, severe, and long-lasting as generally assumed.  But rather than being seen by victims' advocates as good news, such research results are met with resistance, anger, and personal attacks.  This controversy reached its height in 1999 when the media, conservative organizations, and the United States Congress condemned a 1998 meta-analysis in the Psychological Bulletin by Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman.  The American Psychological Association's response to the furor was to distance itself from the article and its authors.  This episode demonstrates the difficulty of doing and reporting research where conclusions contradict strongly held beliefs.

Guidelines on Investigatory Interviewing of Children: What is the Consensus in the Scientific Community? <*/ American Journal of Forensic Psychology</a>, 24(3), 57-74.  (In our <*/ Library</a>) 2006

<*/ American Journal of Forensic Psychology</a>, 24(3), 57-74 (2006)
Research over the last several years dramatically demonstrates how child witnesses are susceptible to misleading information given to them in leading and suggestive interviews.  As a result of this research, professionals now agree on the basic ways children must be interviewed in order to get accurate, uncontaminated, forensically useful information.  Interviewers must avoid preexisting preconceptions about what happened and encourage children to tell about relevant events in their own words and interviews should be taped.  But despite this consensus, field interviewers often fail to use proper techniques.  Instead, they readily slip into interviewing behaviors that risk compromising the reliability of the information obtained.

Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody Disputes  (In our <*/ Library</a>) 2004

Child sexual abuse allegations arising during divorce and custody conflicts are complicated.  It is difficult to get objective, reliable information, approach the evaluation with an open mind, and develop multiple hypotheses or explanations for the allegations.  But try to get all of the information you can.  Pertinent documents include protective services records, police reports, transcripts and/or tapes of prior interviews, medical records, therapy, and school records.  Look at the dynamics of the family system, the timeline of the case, the circumstances surrounding the disclosure, the quality and nature of all formal and informal interviews, possible motivational factors, and any preexisting biases on the part of the prior interviewers.  Familiarize yourself with the relevant literature, which I will summarize in this article.  

A Successful Malpractice Action Against a Therapist 1996

ABSTRACT: The following article describes the case of a successful malpractice action against a therapist.  The therapist prematurely concluded the father had sexually abused his daughter and subjected the child to suggestive and coercive questioning in therapy.  The father's visits were terminated and the mother and child disappeared.  The father sued the therapist for professional negligence.  Midway through trial the therapist's insurance company agreed to pay a substantial settlement.  The <*/ trial memorandum] and the <*/ memorandum on law] on the legal insufficiency of the immunity defense are reproduced.

The Confrontation Clause and the Child Witness 1990

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence (emphasis added).
The Confrontation Clause protects the right of the defendant to cross-examine his accusers.  It aids in the truth-finding process by allowing the fact finder (judge or jury) to look at the witness and judge by his demeanor on the stand and the way he gives his testimony whether what he says should be believed.

The Confrontation Clause has also been interpreted as encouraging truthful testimony.  It is assumed that it is more difficult to tell a lie about someone in their presence.  Therefore, by requiring the witness to testify in front of the accused, the untruthful witness may find it more difficult to lie.  This was addressed in Coy v. Iowa, 101 LEd 2d 857 (1988) 869 by Justice Scalia:
The State can hardly gainsay the profound effect upon a witness of standing in the presence of the person the witness accuses, since that is the very phenomenon it relies upon to establish the potential "trauma" that allegedly justified the extraordinary procedure in the present case.  That face-to-face presence may, unfortunately, upset the truthful rape victim or abused child; but by the same token it may confound and undo the false accuser, or reveal the child coached by a malevolent adult.  It is a truism that constitutional protections have costs.
With the increase in child sexual abuse cases in which the only witnesses to the alleged crime are young children, there have been efforts to find ways for children to testify other than what is required by a strict reading of the Constitution.  Prosecutors and child care specialists claim that already traumatized child victims must be protected from the further trauma they believe will result from testifying in open court in front of the defendant.
But defense attorneys argue that this stance presumes guilt and deprives the defendant of the presumption of innocence.

Wakefield, Hollida, and Ralph Underwager

[*/ The Use of Anatomically Detailed Dolls in Forensic Interviews</a>  (In our <*/ Library</a>) 2006

Forensic interviewers may use a variety of techniques when interviewing young children about sexual abuse allegations.  These include anatomically detailed dolls, books, puppets, drawings, projective cards, clay, games and toys (Conte, Sorenson, Fogarty, Rosa, 1991; Kendall-Tackett, 1992).  The anatomically detailed dolls are the most controversial; in fact the controversies over the dolls led to the California courts banning information obtained in interviews when the dolls were used (In re Amber B. and Teela B., 1987 and In re Christine C. and Michael C., 1987).  

Brief History of Research on Child Witnesses

To better understand the anatomical doll controversy, it is helpful to review briefly the research on child witnesses.  In the early part of the 20th century, research on children's memory focused on children as witnesses in court.  Most of this research was conducted in Europe, especially Germany and France.  The area was little studied in the United States until the 1920s and even then there were only a few studies on child witnesses until the 1980s (Ceci & Bruck 1993, 1995).  The general conclusion from this research was that young children were suggestible and vulnerable to making serious errors in their court testimony (Ceci & Bruck, 1993, 1995; Goodman, 1984; Wakefield & Underwager, 1988).
Following this early period, little research was done for years.  But then the increases in reports and allegations of sexual and physical abuse led to changes in the legal system regarding the admissibility of child witnesses' testimony

Assessing Violent Recidivism in Sexual Offenders 1998

ABSTRACT: Forensic and clinical psychologists have long been asked to make predictions about violence, despite the fact that, in the past, such predictions have been notoriously inaccurate.  Several states now have sexual predator laws which require predictions to be made concerning the likelihood of recidivism.  Since the U.S. Supreme Court in Kansas v. Hendricks (1997) upheld Kansas's sexual predator laws, such requests are likely to increase in the future.  Fortunately, there is now ongoing empirical research which has improved psychologists' ability to predict violence in high risk groups.  Several schemes for predict violence are in the process of research and development.   
The Sexual Predator Laws
In the 1980s, several states began to pass sexual predator statutes that required sexual offenders judged likely to reoffend to be civilly committed until they were judged to be no longer at risk.  The constitutionality of these statutes was challenged in Kansas vs. Hendricks and on June 23, 1997 the U.S. Supreme court handed down a 5 to 4 decision confirming the constitutionality of the statute.  Currently there are sexual predator statutes in several states, including Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Jersey, Washington, and Wisconsin, and Delaware and Missouri have prefiled bills along the same lines.  Other states are likely to pass such laws; 45 states and territories filed briefs supporting the Kansas law (Gordon, 1998) and Michigan and New York have developed similar legislation (Doren, 1998).

Assessing Credibility of Children's Testimony in Ritual Sexual Abuse Allegations 1992

ABSTRACT: In alleged ritual child sexual abuse, there is seldom any corroborating evidence and the case hinges on the statements of young children. Although the behaviors alleged are bizarre and improbable, adults accept them as true since it seems impossible that a child would lie or fantasize such detailed and unusual accounts. However, crucial to assessing credibility is a careful analysis of adult social influence on the children involved. When children are subjected to multiple formal and informal interviews, sessions of therapy, and interactions with adults who believe that ritualistic abuse is real, the adults inadvertently shape, mold, and reinforce the stories and drive children into their fantasies. When this happens, the child is likely to internalize the details and believe in the truth of the stories. Understanding this process of social influence is central to assessing the credibility of children's testimony.

Uncovering Memories of Alleged Sexual Abuse: The Therapists Who Do It 1992

ABSTRACT: Allegations of recovered memories of sexual abuse have been appearing frequently. The abuse is said to have been "repressed" for years until, with the help of a therapist, the memory is recovered. Therapists specializing in this effort maintain that memory deficits, amnesia, and dissociation are characteristic of trauma, that up to half of all incest survivors do not remember their abuse, and that abuse survivors must be helped to retrieve their memories in order to recover. The therapists retrieve memories with intrusive and unvalidated techniques including direct questioning, hypnosis, reading books, attending survivors' groups, age regression, dream analysis, and a variety of unorthodox procedures. They support their assumptions through concepts such as repression, dissociation, traumatic amnesia, body memories, and multiple personality disorder. However, there is no support in the scientific literature for the way these concepts are used, nor any credible evidence that it is common for children to undergo repeated, traumatic sexual abuse but, as adults, have no conscious memories of the abuse until it is uncovered by a therapist "skilled" in such matters.

Sex Offender Treatment 1991

ABSTRACT: For those convicted of sex crimes, probation with mandated treatment along with some jail time is a common disposition.  The major goal of treatment for sex offenders is the prevention of sexual offenses in the future.  However, until recently there has been little evidence that treatment reduces recidivism.  The type of treatment which is most likely to succeed is an individually-tailored approach that includes careful assessment and uses a broad mix of cognitive-behavioral techniques to support individual behavior change.  There is little evidence for the effectiveness of many commonly-used treatment approaches.  

Sexual Abuse Allegations in Divorce and Custody Disputes  (In our <*/ Library</a>) 1991

Child sexual abuse allegations arising during divorce and custody conflicts are complicated and difficult.  Most professionals believe that the highest percentage of false allegations occurs in this circumstance, but there is disagreement over just how many of these allegations are false.  In evaluating cases of suspected sexual abuse, the professional must remain open and objective, carefully examine each case, and take an empirical stance.  Assessment and evaluation must be done with rigorous adherence to the highest standards of the profession, and professionals must attend to the characteristics of real versus false allegations.  They must not immediately dismiss an allegation as false because the parents are in the midst of a divorce but must also guard against presuming guilt and aligning themselves with the reporting parent's agenda.

Personality Characteristics of Parents Making False Accusations of Sexual abuse in Custody Disputes 1990

ABSTRACT: Files from contested divorce and custody cases where there were false allegations of sexual abuse were reviewed. In many of the files, there was sufficient information to form an opinion about the individual's personality characteristics. We compared the personalities of 72 falsely accusing parents and 103 falsely accused parents to each other and to a control group of 67 custody only parents (who were involved in custody disputes but without allegations of sexual abuse). All cases had come into our private practice clinic.
The falsely accusing parents were much more likely than were the other two groups to have a personality disorder such as histrionic, borderline, passive-aggressive, or paranoid. Only one-fourth were seen as normal. In comparison, most of the individuals in the custody control group and in the falsely accused group were seen as normal. This is discussed in terms of the dynamics involved. A suggested typology of individuals who make false accusation of sexual abuse in divorce and custody disputes is presented.

Interrogation Of Children 1989

ABSTRACT: The question of how children can say sexual things happened to them when nothing happened is addressed in terms of the way children are interviewed in sexual abuse cases.  It is a mistake to assume children are lying; instead the child's behavior should be understood in relationship to the environment which includes adult social influence.  The facts from social psychology are discussed in relationship to the interrogation process and typical techniques such as anatomical dolls, play therapy, books and drawings are evaluated.  The results of an ongoing project of analyzing audiotapes and videotapes of actual interviews is described.  It is concluded that the way children are typically interviewed is frequently leading, suggestive and coercive and has a high potential for introducing error and reducing the reliability of their statements.  When there is no corroborating data or admission from the alleged perpetrator, children's statements standing along must be treated cautiously.  

Manipulating the Child Sexual Abuse System 1989

ABSTRACT: There is a concern about false allegations of sexual abuse in divorce and custody disputes.  Although deliberately fabricated accusations probably account for a minority of false accusations, they can occur.  A conversation with a nurse is presented to demonstrate how a fabricated accusation can be supported and encouraged by a professional. In contrast, a conversation with another professional is presented to illustrate the appropriate way to respond to a fabricated allegation.  

Wakefield, Hollida, Ralph Underwager, and Ross Legrand

Alleged Behavioral Indicators of Sexual Abuse 1989

ABSTRACT: Lists of behavioral indicators for suspected sexual abuse have been widely publicized in the media and in the professional literature.  The difficulty is that the problem behaviors claimed to be signs of sexual abuse are general signs of stress in children.  To spread these lists without appropriate cautions and information about their limitations can generate confusion and mistakes.  The same behavioral signs were used almost a century ago as behavioral signs for detecting masturbation in children.  

Wakefield, Hollida, Ralph Underwager, and William McIver II

Behavior of Abused and Non-Abused Children in Interviews With Anatomically Correct Dolls 1989


Wakefield, Hollida, Ralph Underwager, and Martha Rogers

Female Sexual Abusers: A Theory of Loss 1990

ABSTRACT: Awareness about female sexual abuse perpetrators has increased in recent years. However, some of the recent literature is likely to have included cases of false accusations which gives a misleading picture of the frequency of female sexual abuse and the characteristics of such women. There is a great range in the estimated frequency from different studies and the definition of sexual abuse, sample selected, and methodology must be considered. Taken as a whole, the literature indicates that although most sexual abusers are males, child sexual abuse by females does occur and is probably less rare than was once believed. There are widely different circumstances in which women sexually abuse children and these circumstances may often differ from those causing men to do so. Many studies depict female abusers as socially isolated, loners, alienated, coming from abusive backgrounds, and having emotional problems, although most are not psychotic. A theory of loss as one circumstance underlying female sexual abuse is described and four case studies are discussed in detail.

Wakefield, Joseph

Recovered Memories of Alleged Sexual Abuse: Memory as Production and as Reproduction 1992

ABSTRACT: The concepts of memory as production and memory as reproduction are examined in terms of memories of abuse recovered in therapy.  Such memories may be psychically real for the patient but they cannot be considered to reflect actual historical events.  It is a mistake for the therapist to act on memories from therapy as if they were literal history.  

Westerberg, Siv

Children as the Primary Losers When Sexual Abuse is Falsely Alleged: Two Swedish Cases 1997

ABSTRACT: Two cases in Sweden involving false sexual abuse allegations are described.  In each, the entire family was grievously damaged because of how the allegation was handled by the authorities.  The children in these cases were the primary losers.

Whalen, Jeff

Florida Abuse Registry Loses in Federal Court 1991

A federal judge in Tallahassee, Florida ruled last year that the "indicated-perpetrator unknown" classification of Florida's abuse registry is unconstitutional.  Judge Maurice Paul granted the motion for summary judgment because "Florida Statute 415.504 is facially unconstitutional as it does not provide any procedural safeguard or due process."  The relevant part of FS 415.504 read: "Any person named in an indicated report shall not have the right to challenge the department's classification system through the department or through administrative hearing" (emphasis supplied by judge).  The ruling resulted from a lawsuit by the Florida Teaching Profession-National Education Association (FTP-NEA) in behalf of three educators and the entire class of 211,000 persons listed on the "indicated" category of the abuse registry computer.  Judge Paul's October, 1990 ruling opened the door for 211,000 lawsuits against the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (H.R.S.).  The Florida Legislature, during the spring, 1991 session, removed the "indicated-perpetrator unknown" classification from state law books in order to avoid substantial litigation costs.

Two years and two months after the horror of a false accusation, our teachers' union lawyer handed over a $25,000 check from the state of Florida.  My wife's award for damages resulted from an out of court settlement over wrongdoing by child protection services.

Wideman, John C.

Investigative Procedures in Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse - Part II: Victim and Subject Interviews 1990

ABSTRACT: This is the second of a series of articles on investigative procedures in child sexual abuse.  The object of this series is to suggest how an investigation should be done correctly.  This article discusses how to interview alleged victims and perpetrators.  

Investigative Procedures in Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse - Part III: Indictment and Trial 1990

ABSTRACT: This is the second of a series of articles on investigative procedures in child sexual abuse.  The object of this series is to suggest how an investigation should be done correctly.  This article discusses how to interview alleged victims and perpetrators.  

Investigative Procedures in Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Part IV: The Defense Perspective 1990

ABSTRACT: In the first two parts of this series, basic investigative procedures in approaching child sexual abuse cases were discussed.  The third part addressed the investigator's role in the indictment and trial.  In this part, the investigator's role from the defense perspective is discussed.

Investigative Procedures in Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Part V: The Defense Perspective (Continued) 1990

ABSTRACT: This is the final part of a series on basic investigative procedures in child sexual abuse cases.  The investigator's role from the defense perspective is discussed in terms of defense strategies and and the investigator's role at trial.  Common defenses, such as alibi, mistake, social influence and conditioning, and revenge are described and important areas of investigation for each are noted.  The investigator can be helpful in obtaining and organizing evidence, interviewing witnesses, examining police investigative procedures and evidence, and working with the attorneys during the trial.


Investigative Procedures in Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse - Part I: The Initial Criminal Investigation 1989

ABSTRACT: This is the first of a series of articles on investigative procedures in child sexual abuse.  The object of this series is to suggest how an investigation should be done correctly.  It is important that no assumptions be made prior to the investigation as to whether an actual incident has occurred.  Suggestions are given as to how to ensure an objective and accurate investigation.  

Wimberly, Lesley

The Effects of a False Accusation of Sexual Abuse on the Spouse of the Accused 1994

ABSTRACT: False accusations of sexual abuse can be devastating to all concerned.  The author discusses the traumatic effects of a false accusation from the perspective of the spouse of the person accused.  

Wolf, Therese L. and Terence W. Campbell

Effective Treatment for Children in Cases of Extrafamilial Sexual Abuse 1992

ABSTRACT: Many therapists believe that individual therapy is the most appropriate therapeutic treatment fir children who have been sexually abused.  They assume that working with the child on a one-on-one basis will reduce the effects of "trauma."  However, this belief is not empirically supported.  This paper outlines a family therapy technique for working with the non-incestuous family whose child has been sexually abused Through this approach, parents develop the confidence and ability to assist the child and become the child's major support system.   
We maintain that it is inappropriate to treat children for sexual abuse per se.  Sexual abuse is an event, not a clinical condition.  Undertaking treatment for children only because they have been sexually abused, without specifying the condition that warrants treatment, is tantamount to physicians claiming that they treat patients for automobile accidents.


Zepezauer, Frank S.

Believe Her! The Woman Never Lies Myth 1994

ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence does not support the widespread belief that women are extremely unlikely to make false accusations of male sexual misconduct.  Rather the research on accusations of rape, sexual harassment, incest, and child sexual abuse indicates that false accusations have become a serious problem.  The motivations involved in making a false report are widely varied and include confusion, outside influence from therapists and others, habitual lying, advantages in custody disputes, financial gain, and the political ideology of radical feminism.  

Zuberi, Ramazan, <*/ George Riley</a>, <*/ Horace Glenn</a>, <*/ James J. Krivacska</a>, <*/ David Tuytjens</a>, <*/ Jeffrey Parker</a>, and <*/ Joel Durmer</a>

Amicus Curiae Brief of the A.D.T.C. Legal Subcommittee — A.A. v. Codey, Docket No.: 59,521 2006


See also

Issues In Child Abuse Accusations (ipt) (journal)

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