Attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors are not justified by research, Flawed Theories to Explain Child Physical Abuse

October 5, 2017 Comments Off on Attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors are not justified by research, Flawed Theories to Explain Child Physical Abuse


– Attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors are not justified by research
– Courtroom Antics Cast Doubt on Child Abuse Findings
– Flawed Theories to Explain Child Physical Abuse
What Are the Medical-Legal Consequences?

“Physicians, researchers, academic medical centers, journalists, and legal scholars have a responsibility to repudiate scientifically unsupported theories that falsely purport to explain child abuse and abusive head trauma.”

“In fact, scientific studies find that children are far less suggestible than we have been led to believe. Brain imaging studies have identified the neurological mechanisms involved in the process of forgetting and then recalling sexual abuse as an adult.  Delayed disclosure and amnesia are now understood as normal coping mechanisms in response to abuse.”

Attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors are not justified by research
New science of trauma and memory has shown that the assertions of ‘false memory’ advocates are exaggerated

Michael Salter  Sunday 1 October 2017
For a quarter of a century, the concept of “false memories” has provided a scientific fig leaf for sceptics of child sexual abuse allegations.

The “false memory” argument is deceptively simple: children and adults are prone to invent false memories of child sexual abuse that never occurred, particularly if encouraged by a therapist or some other authority figure.

So-called “recovered memories”, in which adults recall sexual abuse in childhood after a period of amnesia, have been a particular focus of disbelief.

Abuse inquiry reforms would put more paedophiles in jail, experts say

In fact, scientific studies find that children are far less suggestible than we have been led to believe. Brain imaging studies have identified the neurological mechanisms involved in the process of forgetting and then recalling sexual abuse as an adult.

Delayed disclosure and amnesia are now understood as normal coping mechanisms in response to abuse….

However, the new science of trauma and memory has shown that the assertions of “false memory” advocates were exaggerated.

Overwhelming experiences of abuse are encoded differently in the brain than other memories, and can produce amnesia and forgetting. My research has found that many perpetrators of severe abuse deliberately traumatise children in order to take advantage of this mechanism and prevent victims from disclosing.

It is vital that abused children and adults receive therapeutic support to address the psychological changes caused by sexual abuse, and their testimony should be taken seriously by law enforcement and the criminal courts.

Nonetheless, the imperative to deny and suppress these allegations is as strong as ever. Sexual abuse is a crime of the status quo. Offenders get away with abuse because they are camouflaged within their legitimate roles (as parents, relatives, friends, clergy, teachers and so on) in the lives of children.

As a result, allegations of sexual abuse are always a challenge to authority, revealing the weaknesses and failings of treasured social institutions.

In response, many are driven to reject the allegations outright, rather than examine the uncomfortable truths they reveal. For instance, church representatives have accused journalists of pursuing clergy abuse as part of a secular attack on Christianity….

In this light, attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors and advocates, and on the findings of the royal commission, need to be placed in political context. Despite their appeals to scientific expertise, such attacks are not justified by research on sexual abuse and traumatic memory; far from it.

The royal commission has revealed the pervasiveness of sexual abuse in child-focused institutions. Recent prosecutions, and the brave testimony of survivors such as Cathy Kezelman, highlights how family dynamics are manipulated by perpetrators of incest, to the point where non-abused siblings may be entirely unaware of the plight of the victim and groomed to disbelieve them if they disclose….
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/02/attacks-on-the-credibility-of-abuse-survivors-are-not-justified-by-research


Courtroom Antics Cast Doubt on Child Abuse Findings
Ingrid Hein  October 02, 2017
Flawed theories are being used in the courtroom to make the science that supports a diagnosis of physical child abuse look debatable, when, in fact, “there is no significant controversy about the diagnosis of physical abuse and abusive head trauma in clinical medicine,” according to an opinion piece published online recently in JAMA.

“When defense witnesses have decided to cite opinions that are not real diagnoses, or when they cherry pick information by looking at half a child’s findings and ignoring the other half, it’s upsetting,” said John Leventhal, MD, from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, who cowrote the piece with George Edwards, MD, from the University of Texas in Austin.

“This is not how physicians work,” Dr Leventhal told Medscape Medical News. “We try to understand symptoms, look at physical findings, do laboratory tests, and come up with a specific scientific diagnosis.”

“The defense experts are seeing things that are not present on the x-rays. They are seeing things that aren’t there,” he said. “That’s not good medicine.”….

Dr Metz and his team use a multitiered approach to gather facts, which includes consulting with radiology, looking at lab work, examining the patient, and taking a history from family members….

Vigorous testing is the only way to rule out abuse or mimics and, in the current climate of controversy, child abuse specialists have become more cautious.

“We have doctors testing for things even when they are certain it’s abuse, just because they want to be sure the testing has been done in case it gets to court,” Dr Metz explained.

Improvements in radiology, genetic testing, and laboratory tests have made it easier to identify signs that a child might be suffering from a disease that causes bruising, fractures, or other physical injuries that present as abuse, said Cindy Christian, MD, professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia….

“Sometimes injuries are not easily diagnosed,” she told Medscape Medical News. And “sometimes diseases look like an injury.”….

“I’ve seen radiologists and other physicians who think something is child abuse when it’s a disease, and I’ve seen cases where they think it’s a disease and its child abuse,” Dr Christian reported….

The systemic review questioning shaken baby syndrome “raises major medical concern,” and “may already have disrupted efforts to protect vulnerable children,” write Dawn Saunders, MD, from the Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust for Children, Institute of Child Health, in London, and her colleagues (Pediatr Radiol. 2017;47:1386-1389)….

Dr Metz compared the deliberation over shaken baby syndrome with the one on climate change.

“A large majority of the scientific community has an overwhelming opinion about the science, while a very few loud people object, raising doubts in people’s minds,” he explained.

It is helpful to have a debate that pushes science and looks at where science falls short, “but when the science is irrefutable, or well documented, the debate does it an injustice,” he said….

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2017 National Conference and Exhibition: H2115 Section on Child Abuse and Neglect Program. Presented September 17, 2017.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/886422


Flawed Theories to Explain Child Physical Abuse
What Are the Medical-Legal Consequences?

John M. Leventhal, MD1; George A. Edwards, MD2
Author Affiliations Article Information
JAMA. Published online September 18, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11703

….Proponents of these flawed theories argue that alternative diagnoses can look just like physical child abuse. They argue that if an alternative diagnosis is possible then it is not possible to conclude that abuse occurred. If it is not possible to conclude that abuse occurred, then no crime has been committed and there is no need to provide child protection. Some have even suggested that the shaken baby syndrome does not exist, despite documented admissions of shaking by perpetrators of abusive head trauma whose victims died or sustained serious neurological injuries.4

Some of these proponents of flawed theories have written articles about abuse or abusive head trauma; however, these articles have included unproven hypotheses, case reports with omitted facts and misrepresentations, descriptions of conditions that are fallacious, and commentaries or letters without supporting evidence.2,3 Such publications have then been cited or used in court to assert that there is no evidence base to support the diagnoses of abuse and abusive head trauma.

….Physicians who care for injured children must continue to use a scientific approach and careful clinical judgment in diagnosing abuse because it is critically important to get the diagnosis right. The same scientific approach and careful clinical judgment should be used by those who have advanced scientifically unsupported explanations of the findings of abuse. Denying that abusive head trauma occurs, quoting publications that describe flawed theories as if they are scientifically supported, and using fabricated diagnoses are actions that have no place in science or medicine. Furthermore, these flawed theories have no place in law or journalism. Advocacy of theories based on misrepresentation, omission, or both makes a mockery of scientific reasoning and does a disservice to children, families, and justice.

Physicians, researchers, academic medical centers, journalists, and legal scholars have a responsibility to repudiate scientifically unsupported theories that falsely purport to explain child abuse and abusive head trauma.
http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2654400


Child Abuse Research  https://ritualabuse.us 

False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

November 6, 2014 Comments Off on False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

Research

The term False Memory Syndrome was created in 1992. Research has shown that most delayed memories of childhood abuse are true. In general, it has been shown that false allegations of childhood sexual abuse are rare, with some studies showing rates as low as one percent and some studies showing slightly higher rates. It has been found that children tend to understate rather than overstate the extent of any abuse experienced. http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=False_Memory_Syndrome
http://goo.gl/t1oTue

Dallam, S. J. (2002). Crisis or Creation: A systematic examination of false memory claims. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse,9 (3/4), 9-36. “A review of the relevant literature demonstrates that the existence of such a syndrome lacks general acceptance in the mental health field, and that the construct is based on a series of faulty assumptions, many of which have been scientifically disproven. There is a similar lack of empirical validation for claims of a “false memory” epidemic.” http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/dallam/6.html

Memory, Abuse, and Science: Questioning Claims about the False Memory Syndrome Epidemic
Kenneth S. Pope http://www.kspope.com/memory/memory.php

False Memory Syndrome Facts Website http://fmsf.com/media.html

Memory & FMS https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/

Recovered Memory Data https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/

Hall, J., Kondora, L. (2005) “True” and “False” Child Sexual Abuse Memories and Casey’s Phenomenological View of Remembering American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 10 p. 1339-1359 DOI: 10.1177/0002764205277012 “The notion of false accusation is often raised in cases where physical evidence is not available and a period of time has passed or when there has been a delay in recall of the events by a survivor of child sexual abuse. This is not to imply that false memories are not possible. This article outlines how rare they must be, however, based on historical factors and a phenomenological analysis of memory itself….Most scientists investigating traumatic memory doubt that memories of abuse could be planted.”
http://abs.sagepub.com/content/48/10/1339.full.pdf+html

“The hypothesis that false memories can easily be implanted in psychotherapy…seriously overstates the available data. Since no studies have been conducted on suggested effects in psychotherapy per se, the idea of iatrogenic suggestion of false memories remains an untested hypothesis.  Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (1998).” Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law” (W. W. Norton) ISBN 0-393-70254-5

False Memory Syndrome : A False Construct by Juliette Cutler Page “The concept of “recovered memory”, that is, memory of a traumatic event that had been forgotten for some period of time, has been variously explained by such mechanisms as repression, amnesia, and dissociation. However, there are over 100 years of reports and descriptions of recovered memory in the literature, including instances from times of war, torture, bereavement, natural disasters, and concentration camp imprisonment. (HOROWITZ) Many corroborated cases have been documented in instances of recovered memory of sexual abuse…”

Legal Information

Ground Lost: The False Memory/Recovered Memory Therapy Debate, by Alan Scheflin, Psychiatric Times 11/99, Vol. XVI Issue 11, “The appearance in the DSM-IV indicates that the concept of repressed memory is generally accepted in the relevant scientific community. This satisfies courts following the Frye v United States, 293 F.1013 (1923) or Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993) rules regarding the admissibility of scientific testimony into evidence in court.” And “Although the science is limited on this issue, the only three relevant studies conclude that repressed memories are no more and no less accurate than continuous memories (Dalenberg, 1996; Widom and Morris, 1997; Williams, 1995). Thus, courts and therapists should consider repressed memories no differently than they consider ordinary memories.” At http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p991137.html

The “False Memory” Defense: Using Disinformation and Junk Science in and out of Court
Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., F.A.S.A.M. “This article describes a seemingly sophisticated, but mostly contrived and often erroneous “false memory” defense, and compares it in a brief review to what the science says about the effect of trauma on memory. Child sexual abuse is widespread and dissociative/traumatic amnesia for it is common.” http://web.archive.org/web/20070914163211/http://childabuse.georgiacenter.uga.edu/both/whitfield/whitfield1.phtml

Commonwealth vs. Paul Shanley.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, decided Jan. 15, 2010
The Leadership Council submitted an amicus brief in to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court advising the court on scientific knowledge regarding dissociative memory loss. On February 7, 2005, Paul Shanley was convicted of sexually abusing a child. The abuse occurred between 1983 and 1989 when the victim was attending classes at the church where the defendant served as a Catholic priest. Shanley appealed his conviction saying that it was based on recovered memory. His defense team contended that “…’repressed memory’ is a pernicious, unreliable, junk science notion without scientific verification.”

The LC submitted a brief explaining why this position regarding scientific acceptance of dissociative memory loss is inaccurate, and why the Court’s determination that testimony on dissociative memory loss and recovery is admissible was correct. The Court affirmed the conviction and held that ” the judge’s finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature.”
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/docs/ShanleyBrief.pdf

Silencing the Victim: The Politics of Discrediting Child Abuse Survivors
As a victim of child abuse who proved my claims in a landmark civil suit, there have been many attempts to silence and discredit me. This article provides an overview of my court case and its effects.
DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_3  Jennifer Hoult  pages 125-140
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a918444285
http://www.fmsf.com/ethics.shtml

Ralph Underwager….Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Anna Salter, Et Al., Defendants-Appellees., 22 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 1994) http://vlex.com/vid/36092881


Media and Information

Originally published in Moving Forward, Volume 3, No. 3, pp 1, 12-21, 1995. The Highly Misleading Truth and Responsibility in Mental Health Practices Act: The “False Memory” Movement’s Remedy for a Nonexistent Problem by Judith M. Simon “Over the past few years, the “false memory” movement has manifested primarily as a media presence that discounts sexual abuse survivors as first-hand witnesses to their own experiences.” http://web.archive.org/web/20050906011329/http://members.aol.com/conch8/antiTRMP1.html

False memory syndrome proponents tactics – False memory syndrome proponents have done the following to try and ensure that only their point of view is in the public view. Harassing debate opponents, misrepresenting the data in the field and controlling the media.
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/false-memory-syndrome-proponents-tactics/

U-Turn on Memory Lane by Mike Stanton – Columbia Journalism Review – July/August 1997
“Rarely has such a strange and little-understood organization had such a profound effect on media coverage of such a controversial matter.”  http://web.archive.org/web/20071216011151/http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp

Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned Author: Anna C. Salter DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_2  Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 115 – 124
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/confessions-of-a-whistle-blower-lessons-learned/

Calof, D.L. (1998). Notes from a practice under siege: Harassment, defamation, and intimidation in the name of science, Ethics and Behavior, 8(2) pp. 161-187. http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/notes-from-a-practice-under-siege/
http://goo.gl/vvNq6f

Battle Tactics
http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/historymatters/papers/NoelPackard.pdf

Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory Brian Moss, MA, MFT
https://ritualabuse.us/research/did/disinformation-and-did-the-politics-of-memory

Ariel Castro’s home to be demolished, Rolf Harris faces new Yewtree sex offences allegations, Sister of mystery man with amnesia says family had no idea where he was

August 7, 2013 Comments Off on Ariel Castro’s home to be demolished, Rolf Harris faces new Yewtree sex offences allegations, Sister of mystery man with amnesia says family had no idea where he was

Ariel Castro’s home to be demolished Wednesday
Jennifer Lindgren, WKYC-TV, Cleveland August 6, 2013
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland home where Ariel Castro held three young women for more than a decade will be begin to be demolished Wednesday morning. The demolition comes less than a week after he was sentenced.

After Ariel Castro’s sentencing last week, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Prosecutor Tim McGinty said the plan was to raze the house as soon as possible.

Castro, who was sentenced to life, plus 1,000 years, without the possibility of parole repeatedly denied during his sentencing that he had tortured Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight after he kidnapped them between 2002 to 2004, holding them captive in his home until Berry managed to escape and alert a neighbor May 6.

Castro, 53, pleaded guilty to 937 charges, including aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping, to avoid the death penalty.

The house on Seymour Avenue is not only condemned, it represents the horrors the three survivors faced for 10 years….
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/06/ariel-castro-home-coming-down/2625501/

Rolf Harris faces new Yewtree sex offences allegations
Rolf Harris Rolf Harris has been a fixture on British TV screens for more than 40 years   5 August 2013

Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has been re-arrested by police over further allegations of sexual offences.

He was first arrested in March by officers from Operation Yewtree, set up after claims of sex abuse were made against BBC presenter Jimmy Savile.

His arrests are not connected to the Savile investigation.

The Metropolitan Police said an 83-year-old had been “further arrested in connection with further allegations”, and rebailed until later in August.

Operation Yewtree was set up following the death of Savile in 2011, when hundreds of sex abuse allegations came to light.

The Met Police have not named Mr Harris, instead describing him as Yewtree 5.

He has been a fixture on British TV screens for more than 40 years, having arrived in the UK from his native Australia in 1952.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23581847

Sister of mystery man with amnesia says family had no idea where he was
16 Jul 2013

By Andrew Rafferty, Staff Writer, NBC News

A mysterious Florida man who awoke in a California hotel room with no recollection of his past has a sister, it was revealed Tuesday— and she says she hasn’t seen her brother in about 10 years and did not know if he was alive or dead.

Michael Boatwright, 61, was found unconscious in a Motel 6 room in Palm Springs, Cali. four months ago. When he regained consciousness, he called himself John Ek and, bizarrely, spoke only Swedish, The Desert Sun reported.

The newspaper was able to track down Michelle Brewer, Boatwright’s sister, in Louisiana. She said she and her family had no idea where her brother was and had no way to get in touch with him.

“He’s always been just a wanderer. Then he’d come back when he needed some money or something from somebody. Then he’d take off again,” Brewer told the Sun.

Authorities have struggled to piece together the story of the mystery man….

Doctors diagnosed Boatwright with Transient Global Amnesia in March. The condition can last for several months and is often triggered by trauma. It was unclear what, if any, trauma Boatwright may have experienced.

Friends told the Desert Sun that Boatwright was raised in Florida and first visited Sweden in 1981.

While there he fell in love with Ewa Espling, who told the newspaper that the two had planned to marry but that Boatwright was haunted by nightmares of what he saw during the Vietnam War….
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/16/19503246-sister-of-mystery-man-with-amnesia-says-family-had-no-idea-where-he-was

 

Survivorship Webinar June 16 – From Fragmentation to Integration

June 7, 2012 Comments Off on Survivorship Webinar June 16 – From Fragmentation to Integration

forwarded with permission

Saturday, June 16
3 pm Pacific Time – Please note the time change
Presenter: Dr. Cathy Kezelman
“From Fragmentation to Integration”

This webinar will depict my personal psychotherapeutic journey to explore the process of recovery from an extreme dissociative state, which was characterised by a complete amnesia for 10 years of my childhood and fragmentation of my self onto integration and recovery. Despite my therapist providing a safe reliable and contained space it took me a long time to trust her or appreciate that she could keep me in mind. She was empathic, compassionate and skilled and the relationship we developed was core to my survival and my recovery. Over years she bore witness to the dissociated fragments of trauma returning to my consciousness and the intense emotions which were overwhelming me. Through a committed analytical psychotherapeutic process she guided me from terror and confusion through chaos and onto acceptance and understanding.

It will explore the changes in me from having little insight into myself, my inner world, relationships or functioning as a whole being. I now know my own unique feelings and choices, and have the capacity to reflect, form deeper relationships and live a full rich life.

Dr. Cathy Kezelman is President at ASCA (Adults Surviving Child Abuse), an Australian national charity which advocates for a trauma informed approach to care and trauma specific services for survivors of complex trauma secondary to child abuse and neglect. She is a director of MHCC (Mental Health Co-ordinating Council NSW). She is an active advocate for Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma and informed mental health responses to trauma. Early in 2010 she published her memoir, ‘Innocence Revisited’ – a tale in parts, her story of recovery from childhood trauma. Cathy is also a mother of four adult children and a foster child.

REGISTRATION

Registration closes Thursday evening June 14, 2012

To reserve a space in the webinar, e-mail Shamai at shamai@survivorship.org   and give her this information:

1. Your name
2. The webinar you wish to attend: “The aftereffects of extreme child abuse and the resiliency of the human spirit.”
3. Amount and method of payment  (check, PayPal, money order)
4. Your preferred e-mail address (so we can send you instructions)
5. The name you will be using for the webinar. (This does not have to be your real name or your message board screen name.)

You will receive a confirmation email immediately and an invitation link and instructions after the registration closes

COST

Webinars are on a sliding scale from $50.00 to full scholarship (while we offer full scholarships for webinars please consider paying whatever you are able to. Even $5 will help to cover the cost of the webinar provider). Please remember to factor in the cost of the telephone call if you don’t have a computer headset. The PayPal button is near the bottom of the page at http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html

If you wish to pay by check please send it to: Survivorship, Family Justice Center, 470 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

PAST WEBINARS

Survivorship members may listen to past webinars in the members’ section.
For information on joining Survivorship, go to http://www.survivorship.org/about/membership.html

Complete details on all our webinars are at http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html

Survivorship Webinar “From Fragmentation to Integration” Sat. June 16

May 23, 2012 Comments Off on Survivorship Webinar “From Fragmentation to Integration” Sat. June 16

forwarded with permission

Survivorship Webinar “From Fragmentation to Integration”  Sat. June 16


Another great webinar coming up!


Upcoming Webinar:

Saturday, June 16
3 pm Pacific Time – Please note the time change
Presenter: Dr. Cathy Kezelman
“From Fragmentation to Integration”

This webinar will depict my personal psychotherapeutic journey to explore the process of recovery from an extreme dissociative state, which was characterised by a complete amnesia for 10 years of my childhood and fragmentation of my self onto integration and recovery. Despite my therapist providing a safe reliable and contained space it took me a long time to trust her or appreciate that she could keep me in mind. She was empathic, compassionate and skilled and the relationship we developed was core to my survival and my recovery. Over years she bore witness to the dissociated fragments of trauma returning to my consciousness and the intense emotions which were overwhelming me. Through a committed analytical psychotherapeutic process she guided me from terror and confusion through chaos and onto acceptance and understanding.

It will explore the changes in me from having little insight into myself, my inner world, relationships or functioning as a whole being. I now know my own unique feelings and choices, and have the capacity to reflect, form deeper relationships and live a full rich life.

Dr. Cathy Kezelman is President at ASCA (Adults Surviving Child Abuse), an Australian national charity which advocates for a trauma informed approach to care and trauma specific services for survivors of complex trauma secondary to child abuse and neglect. She is a director of MHCC (Mental Health Co-ordinating Council NSW). She is an active advocate for Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma and informed mental health responses to trauma. Early in 2010 she published her memoir, ‘Innocence Revisited’ – a tale in parts, her story of recovery from childhood trauma. Cathy is also a mother of four adult children and a foster child.

REGISTRATION

Registration closes Thursday evening June 14, 2012

To reserve a space in the webinar, e-mail Shamai at shamai@survivorship.org   and give her this information:

1. Your name
2. The webinar you wish to attend: “The aftereffects of extreme child abuse and the resiliency of the human spirit.”
3. Amount and method of payment  (check, PayPal, money order)
4. Your preferred e-mail address (so we can send you instructions)
5. The name you will be using for the webinar. (This does not have to be your real name or your message board screen name.)

You will receive a confirmation email immediately and an invitation link and instructions after the registration closes

COST

Webinars are on a sliding scale from $50.00 to full scholarship (while we offer full scholarships for webinars please consider paying whatever you are able to. Even $5 will help to cover the cost of the webinar provider). Please remember to factor in the cost of the telephone call if you don’t have a computer headset. The PayPal button is near the bottom of the page at http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html

If you wish to pay by check please send it to: Survivorship, Family Justice Center, 470 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

PAST WEBINARS

Survivorship members may listen to past webinars in the members’ section.
For information on joining Survivorship, go to http://www.survivorship.org/about/membership.html

Complete details on all our webinars are at http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html

Jewish Communities – Child Sex Scandals, Agencies Failed to Rescue Lilly Manning

August 2, 2011 Comments Off on Jewish Communities – Child Sex Scandals, Agencies Failed to Rescue Lilly Manning

Tempest in the Temple – Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals
Amy Neustein, ed.

Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life
Brandeis University Press
2009 Sociology / Jewish Studies 978-1-58465-671-5

Tempest in the Temple brings together fifteen practicing rabbis, educators, pastoral counselors, sociologists, mental health professionals, and legal advocates for abuse victims, each of whom offer insights into different facets of the problem.

This book is divided into three sections. The first section, “When the Vow Breaks,” describes rabbis who break their “vows” through active pedophilia. The second section, “Sacrificing Victims,” illuminates the community dynamics surrounding abuse: how a community unwittingly contributes to the cover-up of abuse; why victims of abuse are all too often ignored or cast off by their religious communities; and the mechanisms by which powerful religious institutions protect their own. The third section, “Let Me Know the Way,” addresses how Jewish communities can overcome the ignorance, bias, and corruption associated with clergy sexual abuse. Solutions—some already successful, others yet to be tried—are explored here.
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~upne/1-58465-671-9.html

describes severe abuse

California, Texas agencies all failed to rescue Lilly Manning
By Marjie Lundstrom Jul. 31, 2011

Lilly Manning was 15 when she escaped from a cramped closet in south Sacramento, after being stabbed and beaten and shoved into the darkness.
This time, she said, she knew she would have to save herself.

Government documents confirm she was right. Four different agencies visited the family at least 11 times on reports of suspected abuse or neglect in a five-year period but did not move to protect her or her siblings, according to confidential records obtained by The Bee.

“They came, they looked, they left,” said Lilly, now 19, reflecting on the parade of visitors from law enforcement, Child Protective Services and the schools, some of whom she had secretly called. “We just gave up.” Today, Lilly Manning lives with more than 100 scars etching her 5-foot-3 body, physical reminders of the hammer attacks, beatings, burns and strikes to the head with a 2-by-4 and a padlock swinging from a cord. Earlier this month, her adoptive mother and great-aunt, Lillian Manning-Horvath, was sentenced to up to six years in a mental health facility, followed by consecutive life terms in state prison.

The woman’s husband, Joseph Horvath, was convicted by a jury in 2009 and also sentenced to multiple life terms. Documents and interviews with family members also reveal how a domineering matriarch terrified people who witnessed and endured years of her verbal tirades and physical abuse….

Authorities swept in, and the rest of the children were taken into protective custody in the early morning hours of Nov. 6, 2007. The children would never go home again. Help that didn’t come

Lilly says she does not remember much about those chaotic first days and has “lots of blank spots” about her childhood. She knows that she and her four siblings were removed from their biological mother in the early 1990s and placed with their great-aunt Lillian, who later adopted them. In 2002, their adoptive mom married Horvath, a felon 18 years her junior.
Lilly wants to know more. She recently sought and received nearly 700 pages of documents from the Sacramento Juvenile Dependency Court, which detail the many missteps among government agencies. She shared those records with The Bee. CPS also is preparing to give her her file….

Ann Edwards, director of Sacramento County’s Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees CPS, said she could not legally comment on Lilly’s case for confidentiality reasons. However, she agreed to talk in general terms about issues raised by the case.
“It’s not uncommon for siblings to want to remain together,” said Edwards. “And it’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of the unknown.

“It’s quite remarkable that even children who are horribly abused typically still love their parents, or the people who are abusing them.”
Lilly says today that their adoptive mom often manipulated the kids into keeping quiet or lying, promising she would stop the abuse.
http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/31/3806037/california-texas-agencies-all.html

Questions and Answers Regarding Dissociative Amnesia

June 22, 2011 Comments Off on Questions and Answers Regarding Dissociative Amnesia

” Scientific evidence shows that it is not rare for traumatized people to experience amnesia or delayed recall for the trauma.

Amnesia has been reported in combat, for crimes, and for concentration camp experiences and torture. The more severe the trauma, the more likely it is to be forgotten.

Overall, a recovered memory is just as likely to be accurate as a continuously remembered one.”

The sociocognitive model of dissociative identity disorder: a reexamination of the evidence.
” No reason exists to doubt the connection between DID and childhood trauma.”

Questions and Answers Regarding Dissociative Amnesia
by Stephanie Dallam RN, MS, FNP

….there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.

….Is dissociation a rare phenomenon?
No. Scientific evidence shows that it is not rare for traumatized people to experience amnesia or delayed recall for the trauma. Amnesia has been reported in combat, for crimes, and for concentration camp experiences and torture. Evidence of this process can be found in the early literature on World War I and World War II.

….Carlson, E., & Rosser-Hogan, R. (April, 1993). Mental health status of Cambodian refugees ten years after leaving their homes. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 63 (2), 223-231.

Dissociation is also a frequent finding in survivors extreme terror. Between 1975 and 1979, an estimated one to three million of a population of seven million Cambodians were killed or died of starvation. Carlson, E., & Rosser-Hogan selected 50 subjects at random from a list of all refugees (~500) resettled by nonprofit organization between 1983 and 1985. None had any formal education and had lived in the US for a mean of 5 years. 86% met the criteria for PTSD. The mean number of traumatic experiences the refugees endorsed was 14 and “90% reported amnesia for upsetting events.”

….Krell, R. (1993). Child survivors of the Holocaust: Strategies of adaptation. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 38 , 384-389.

Krell reported on 22 Holocaust survivors who, as children, hid from the Nazis.
“As children they were encouraged not to tell, but to lead normal lives and forget the past . . .”
“The most pervasive preoccupation of child survivors is the continuing struggle with memory, whether there is too much or too little . . .”
“For a child survivor today, an even more vexing problem is the intrusion of fragments of memory – most are emotionally powerful and painful but make no sense. They seem to become more frequent with time and are triggered by thousands of subtle or not so subtle events . . .”

Marks, J. (1995). The hidden children: The secret survivors of the Holocaust. Toronto : Bantam Books.

One holocaust survivor, Ava Landy, describes her amnesia:
“So much of my childhood between the ages of four and nine is blank….It’s almost as if my life was smashed into little pieces . . .
The trouble is, when I try to remember, I come up with so little. This ability to forget was probably my way of surviving emotionally as a child. Even now, whenever anything unpleasant happens to me, I have a mental garbage can in which I can put all the bad stuff and forget it . . . .
I’m still afraid of being hungry. . . . I never leave my house without some food….Again, I don’t remember being hungry. I asked my sister and she said that we were hungry. So I must have been! I just don’t remember.” (p. 188).

What types of traumas result in dissociative amnesia?
A review of 50 studies revealed that amnesia rates tend to increase with severity of trauma and is particularly high in victims of sex crimes….

What is the relation of memory recovery to psychotherapy?
Albach et al. studied 97 adult victims of extreme sexual abuse and a control group of 65 women, matched for age and education who reported on their memories of “ordinary unpleasant childhood experiences.”  The abuse survivors were broken into two groups.  One group had participated in psychotherapy while the other group had not. There was no significant differences in amnesia, memory recovery, or other memory phenomena between the survivors who participated in psychotherapy and those who did not.

…How accurate are recovered memories?
Dalenberg, C. J. (1996). Accuracy, timing and circumstances of disclosure in therapy of recovered and continuous memories of abuse. Journal of Psychiatry & Law,24 (2), 229-75.

Accuracy for Continuous Versus Recovered Memories
Percent with evidence supporting memory
Continuous  75%
Recovered   75%

Conclusion
Scientific evidence shows that it is not rare for traumatized people to experience amnesia or delayed recall for the trauma. Amnesia has been reported in combat, for crimes, and for concentration camp experiences and torture.
The more severe the trauma, the more likely it is to be forgotten.
Overall, a recovered memory is just as likely to be accurate as a continuously remembered one. However, recovered memories have a prominence of emotional and sensory-perceptual elements vs. declarative (verbal) elements. They are often fragmentary and incomplete and thus hard to make into coherent story.
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/amnesia.html

The sociocognitive model of dissociative identity disorder: a reexamination of the evidence.
Gleaves DH.

According to the sociocognitive model of dissociative identity disorder (DID; formerly, multiple personality disorder), DID is not a valid psychiatric disorder of posttraumatic origin; rather, it is a creation of psychotherapy and the media. Support for the model was recently presented by N.P. Spanos (1994).

In this article, the author reexamines the evidence for the model and concludes that it is based on numerous false assumptions about the psychopathology, assessment, and treatment of DID. Most recent research on the dissociative disorders does not support (and in fact disconfirms) the sociocognitive model, and many inferences drawn from previous research appear unwarranted.

No reason exists to doubt the connection between DID and childhood trauma. Treatment recommendations that follow from the sociocognitive model may be harmful because they involve ignoring the posttraumatic symptomatology of persons with DID.

Psychol Bull. 1994 Jul;116(1):143-65.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8711016

Documentation of Child Abuse and Dissociation in DID/MPD

June 14, 2011 Comments Off on Documentation of Child Abuse and Dissociation in DID/MPD

Documentation of Child Abuse and Dissociation in DID/MPD
Alter Personality Physiological Differences in MPD

Objective Documentation of Child Abuse and Dissociation in 12 Murderers With Dissociative Identity Disorder
Am J Psychiatry 154:1703-1710, December 1997

RESULTS: Signs and symptoms of dissociative identity disorder in childhood and adulthood were corroborated independently and from several sources in all 12 cases; objective evidence of severe abuse was obtained in 11 cases. The subjects had amnesia for most of the abuse and underreported it. Marked changes in writing style and/or signatures were documented in 10 cases.

CONCLUSIONS: This study establishes, once and for all, the linkage between early severe abuse and dissociative identity disorder. Further, the data demonstrate that the disorder can be distinguished from malingering and from other disorders. The study shows that it is possible, with great effort, to obtain objective evidence of both the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder and the abuse that engenders it. (Am J Psychiatry 1997; 154:1703–1710)
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/154/12/1703

Visual function in multiple personality disorder
J Am Optom Assoc. 1996 Jun;67(6):327-34.

RESULTS:
Physiologic differences across alter personality states in MPD include differences in dominant handedness, response to the same medication, allergic sensitivities, autonomic and endocrine function, EEG, VEP, and regional cerebral blood flow. Differences in visual function include variability in visual acuity, refraction, oculomotor status, visual field, color vision, corneal curvature, pupil size, and intraocular pressure in the various personality states of MPD subjects as compared to single personality controls.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8888853

Optical differences in cases of multiple personality disorder.
J Nerv Ment Dis. 1989 Aug;177(8):480-6.

The results of these analyses showed that MPD subjects had significantly more variability across alter personalities than did their control counterparts on measures of visual acuity with correction, visual acuity without correction, visual fields, manifest refraction, and eye muscle balance. The data were also analyzed for clinical significance. Blind ratings of the data were performed by comparing the results of the individual dependent measures across the alter personalities of individual MPD and control subjects according to established ophthalmological criteria.

The ratings for clinical significance showed that the MPD subjects had 4.5 times the average number of changes in optical functioning between alter personalities of the control subjects, with a mean of 2.56 clinically significant changes for the MPD subjects and .55 clinically significant changes for the control subjects. This difference was also statistically significant (p less than .01).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2760599

Optical differences in multiple personality disorder. A second look.
J Nerv Ment Dis. 1991 Mar;179(3):132-5.
In the present study, data from 20 patients diagnosed with MPD and 20 control subjects role playing MPD were analyzed for statistical and clinical significance. The findings from the present study appear to confirm results from the earlier study that individuals with MPD experience differences in some aspects of visual functioning between alter personalities. The results further confirm that MPD subjects experience more differences across visual measures than control subjects simulating the disorder.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1997659

Differential autonomic nervous system activity in multiple personality disorder.
Psychiatry Res. 1990 Mar;31(3):251-60.
The cardinal feature of multiple personality disorder (MPD) is the existence of two or more alter personality states that exchange control over the behaviour of an individual. Numerous clinical reports suggest that these alter personality states exhibit distinct physiological differences. We investigated differential autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity across nine subjects with MPD and five controls, who produced “alter” personality states by simulation and by hypnosis or deep relaxation.

Eight of the nine MPD subjects consistently manifested physiologically distinct alter personality states. Three of the five controls were also produced physiologically distinct states, but these differed from those of the MPD subjects. A habituation paradigm demonstrated carryover effects at the ANS levels from one state to the next for both groups.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2333357

The psychophysiological investigation of multiple personality disorder: review and update.
Am J Clin Hypn. 1992 Jul;35(1):47-61.
…psychophysiologic differences reported in the literature include changes in cerebral electrical activity, cerebral blood flow, galvanic skin response, skin temperature, event-related potentials, neuroendocrine profiles, thyroid function, response to medication, perception, visual functioning, visual evoked potentials, and in voice, posture, and motor behavior. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1442640

Brain mapping in a case of multiple personality.
Clin Electroencephalogr. 1990 Oct;21(4):200-9.
Brain maps were recorded on a patient with a multiple personality disorder (10 alternate personalities). Maps were recorded with eyes open and eyes closed during 2 different sessions, 2 months apart. Maps from each alternate personality were compared to those of the basic personality “S”, some maps were similar and some were different, especially with eyes open.

Findings that were replicated in the second session showed differences from 4 personalities, especially in theta and beta 2 frequencies on the left temporal and right posterior regions. A rank ordering of the differences in the brain maps of the alternate personalities from S were similar to the rank ordering of the differences in personality characteristics, as judged by the psychiatrist dealing with this patient. Maps from S acting like some of her personalities or from a professional actress portraying the different personalities did not reveal significant differences.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2225470

Multiple personality disorder. A clinical investigation of 50 cases.
J Nerv Ment Dis. 1988 Sep;176(9):519-27.

To study the clinical phenomenology of multiple personality, 50 consecutive patients with DSM-III multiple personality disorder were assessed using clinical history, psychiatric interview, neurological examination, electroencephalogram, MMPI, intelligence testing, and a variety of psychiatric rating scales. Results revealed that patients with multiple personality are usually women who present with depression, suicide attempts, repeated amnesic episodes, and a history of childhood trauma, particularly sexual abuse. Also common were headaches, hysterical conversion, and sexual dysfunction. Intellectual level varied from borderline to superior.

The MMPI reflected underlying character pathology in addition to depression and dissociation. Significant neurological or electroencephalographical abnormalities were infrequent. These data suggest that the etiology of multiple personality is strongly related to childhood trauma rather than to an underlying electrophysiological dysfunction.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3418321

An examination of the diagnostic validity of dissociative identity disorder. Clinical Psychology Review 21(4) 577-608
(2001)

We review the empirical evidence for the validity of the Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) diagnosis, the vast majority of which has come from research conducted within the last 10 years. After reviewing three different guidelines to establish diagnostic validity, we conclude that considerable converging evidence supports the inclusion of DID in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders.

For instance, DID appears to meet all of the guidelines for inclusion and none of the exclusion guidelines; proposed by Blashfield et al. [Comprehensive Psychiatry 31 (1990) 15-19], and it is one of the few disorders currently supported by taxometric research.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11413868
full text
http://leadershipcouncil.org/docs/gleaves2001.pdf

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