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The Good Daughter: When an Adult Recovers “Memories” of Parental Child Sexual Abuse

The speaker will describe how being the sibling of an accuser affected her sense of identity and wider family relationships. She will explore the psychological impact of trying to apply objectivity to a personal crisis and describe the fall-out of an unresolved accusation.


Sex, rape, innocence, betrayal, childhood and fear of mortality – an objective response to allegations of childhood sexual abuse in the context of recovered “memory” by adults is arguably impossible, stirring up, as it does, so many fears, vested interests and conflicting conscious and unconscious emotions. The speaker will describe how being the sibling of an accuser affected her sense of identity and wider family relationships. She will explore the psychological impact of trying to apply objectivity to a personal crisis and describe the fall-out of an unresolved accusation.

The speaker proposes that people recoil from explanations of false memory where the recovered “memory” is of child sex abuse. Various factors shape this response. These include: widespread confusion over the functioning of memory; fascination with multiple personality disorder played out literally via works of fiction; natural horror at the thought of the alleged crime; a projected identification with the “recovered” child; terror of being on the wrong side if the allegation turns out to be true; and societal guilt for downplaying rape as a crime. These factors and many more play a part in building a landscape which victimifies [sic] the accuser and criminalises the accused regardless of context and outcome. Even when an accuser later retracts an allegation, case reports show even trained healthcare professionals becoming aggressive and accusing the retractor of lying.

The speaker is a member of a research ethics committee, volunteers with a carers’ association and works professionally as a freelance writer. In the healthcare field, she has written patient information leaflets for an NHS Trust, edited papers and presentations as well as facilitating numerous educational meetings for GPs and specialists.


Speaker(s):

Anon ymous | talks

 

Date and Time:

27 October 2009 at 6:00 pm

Duration:

1 hour

 

Venue:

Psychology Seminar Series, Goldsmiths' College
Richard Hoggart Building
New Cross
London
SE14 6NW
020 7919 7871
http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/apru

More at Psychology Seminar Series, Goldsmiths' College...

 

Tickets:

Free

Available from:

Additional Information:

SEMINARS ARE FREE and there is no need to book in advance.

Talks are open to all.

They start at 6:10 PM IN ROOM 256, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths.

For further information, contact Chris French email: c.french@gold.ac.uk).

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