Dec 01 2007

More about recovered memories and the culture of denial

From the sound of the Chicago Sun Times story about the 40 year old man who “recovered memories ” of childhood sexual abuse, we get a glimpse into the debate about the validity of recovered memories.

Jim Hopper and the other reseachers in this area have done an excellent job in demonstrating that recovered memories and delayed recall of memories have been proven scientifically.

The research has been done and it is conclusive…a percentage of all those who have been victims of abuse have a type of abuse amnesia and/or delayed recall of memory.

So, if this has already been proven scientifically, why would anyone try to argue differently?

Well, it may be the only legal strategy available to the accused. It sure seems to be a common legal defense strategy to attack the memory of the accuser.

Attacking the memory of the accuser may also offer us a glimpse into the culture of denial we experience in the world today.
We are talking about adults who molest children sexually…it is not an easy to think about this. Most of us probably wish we could close our eyes and it would go away.

For sure, it is much easier for us to believe it does NOT happen, at least not as often as the media would have us believe.

The lawsuit of the victim alleges the teacher was moved about and protected by his religious order and never held accountable for the “rumors” of abuse that must have swirled around him.

Whether this is true in this story or not may be proven later. We know this has happened though from prior cases.

How can this happen? How can responsible adults deny the impact of abuse of any kind on those most vulnerable in our society? Why cast doubt on those who step forward and make claims of abuse?

How many more stories will we hear about? And when will those to whom we have given our trust stop accusing the victim of fabricating their stories of abuse?

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