Don't be fooled
Everyone who has entered this debate is biased,
by their training, their loyalties (both personal and professional), and their
experience. If anyone claims to be without bias they are trying to fool you and
have probably already fooled themselves. My prejudices and beliefs are click here. So what is really going on?
Some undeniable but probably
The media is full of disturbing reports,
generally sensationalised and inaccurate, about repressed, recalled or
recovered memories and false memory syndrome
The debate splits professionals* in the mental
health community, I am concerned by some opinions expressed by professionals.
These are such that they require careful investigation and consideration. The
layperson who has serious concerns, is therefore left to research the
(* professionals are Psychiatrists,
Psychologists, Psychotherapists, therapists, Christian counsellors, counsellors
and may include social workers, psychiatric nurses and Church ministers and
How we treat people is often dependent on our
knowledge, beliefs and experience. Our society for many years believed sexual
abuse of children to be unthinkable and therefore never considered that it was
possible. This attitude left survivors with memories that no-one was willing to
consider, much less believe. Those who tried to share their memories were
either told not to be silly or thought of as evil. Today, as a society, we have
begun a journey of thinking the unthinkable, thereby releasing the survivor to
share his or her story.
A growing number of people are recalling or
recovering memories of childhood abuse; these memories may be triggered in a
number of ways including dreams, flashbacks and therapy.
Some of these memories are never validated
(that is remain neither corroborated or uncorroborated). However, in some cases
the alleged abusers have been confronted and it has been found that they were
innocent and wrongly accused. In other cases the alleged abusers were found
guilty and imprisoned. The truth is that it is very difficult to prove "beyond
all reasonable doubt" that child abuse took place after the passage of years.
Some people today still say that:
- Children are never sexually abused, it doesn't
- Traumatic memories cannot be repressed.
- Children would never be abused in church or by a
- Memories cannot be recovered or trusted.
- All therapists are evil or demonically motivated.
- Sex with children is an expression of God's love for
- Only our particular professional beliefs are
Christians who seeks to have an answer that is
both intellegent and full of faith will need to rise above his or her own
particular prejudices and personal experiences. They will need to look at ALL
the scientific and forensic evidence available, before they disregard or accept
the validity of any information. This will ensure best practice in their
response to and care of those people who have been courageous enough to divulge
their experiences or memories.