Apr 21 2009

Do Adults Accurately Remember Being Sexually Abused? Read Linda Meyer Williams’ Research Article, Recall of Childhood Trauma: A Prospective Study of Women’s Memories of Child Sexual Abuse

While there is still some debate among uninformed professionals and the public, there is a growing body of research data supporting the reality of abuse amnesia and delayed recall of memory.

Linda Meyer Williams article presents her research of 129 adult women aged 18-31 years old whose sexual abuse was documented during extensive medical and psychological evaluations at a large metropolitan hospital in the 1970’s.

38% of them experienced abuse amnesia and had no recall their documented sexual abuse.

Read the entire article here.

One response so far

One Response to “Do Adults Accurately Remember Being Sexually Abused? Read Linda Meyer Williams’ Research Article, Recall of Childhood Trauma: A Prospective Study of Women’s Memories of Child Sexual Abuse”

  1. Liz McGowenon 21 Apr 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Fascinating article. Thank you for posting it. I sometimes feel my brain will turn to spaghetti with as little actual intellectual stimulation I actually get!

    A comment, after skimming the article. I found the example of the family story (the woman who had been told her uncle died before her birth) very interesting. I wonder whether in the cases of no recall it wasn’t the person who was too embarrassed or who had forgotten, but the entire family who had created a rather elaborate story to make themselves able to cope with the event. When a child is young (even as young as 6), it’s much easier for such a “family myth” to take root. I’ve worked with several families who have created these types of stories and essentially erased what happened.

    Also, I would be interested in whether the developmental stage of the victim has anything to do with the recall — eg, if someone is becoming sexually active, or just had a first child, or has reached the same age that they were when they were a victim, is there any greater likelihood of them recalling the event.

    Take care. Thanks for adding some substance to my brain!

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