Παρασκευή, 29 Αυγούστου 2008

Richard Niolon, Ph.D.

PAS AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS FOR SEXUAL ABUSE

Alienation
Dunne and Hedrick, in their article Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Analysis of Sixteen Selected Cases, discuss "Parental Alienation Syndrome," as proposed by Richard Gardner. Gardner wrote about cases in which a child shows an "obsessed hated of a parent" without apparent reason. Some studies have cited cases where the custodial parents' resentment and psychological vulnerability, coupled with the child's young age and impressionability, allow the primary or custodial parent (typically the mother) to "turn" the child against the secondary or absent parent (typically the father). Since studies have shown that 40% of maternal sole-custody and 30% of paternal sole-custody families had no overnight visits with the non-residential parent, they argue that such divorce cases could easily set the stage for a case of "Parental Alienation Syndrome." They selected 16 cases for analysis.
They analyzed cases for a number of variables, and concluded that "Parental Alienation Syndrome" is a complex issue. Cases described by this pattern of rejection can present immediately or two years after the divorce, in young children or in teens, in a child with a history of good relations with the father or without such a history, and in one or more than one child in the family. Although the alienating parent is typically the mother, some cases of alienating fathers were seen. Typically, a deep emotional injury was felt by the alienating parent, and they blamed the ex-partner for this and turned to the children to validate their feelings of mistreatment and pain. However, motivating factors beyond revenge are typically seen, and the justifications and claims made by the alienating parent are extreme.

The cases they reviewed did not meet all of the criteria set forth by Gardner. Rather than seeing it as a discreet and clearly diagnosable syndrome, they view it as representing an extreme form of children's normal reactions to divorce and destruction of the family. Therapy did not appear to significantly alleviate the rejection, and assessment of only the child or alienating parent was also similarly fruitless.

Physical Abuse Allegations
Leving adds that often these kinds of mothers will accuse the father of child abuse. The children may back up the mother's claims, both because they depend upon her and want her love, and because she has control over most of their lives. Leving cites the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, who report that only 10% of child abuse allegations are false when divorce is not included in the picture. However, in divorce cases when custody is in question, the number of false allegations jumps to 75% in some areas.

False Allegations
Sexual Abuse Allegations
Leving also notes that there are many false sexual abuse allegations that are levied against fathers. Professionals are left with the task of evaluating whether they think abuse actually happened or is being falsely raised. They then offer their opinion to the court, and the court must decide what to do. Copied from the web.
Leving offers a number of signs of false sexual abuse changes:
there were no abuse allegations while the couple was married, or in the early stages of the litigation and the mother's deposition
the couple is still involved in a nasty divorce in which key issues such as finances have not been decided
the report of the abuse the child gives matches the mothers report very closely, word for word in places, and has a rehearsed quality; the child appears angry and wants the father punished, and there is a lack of guilt, confusion, or discomfort discussing the trauma; the child is observed to be calm and relaxed in the presence of the "abuser" when the mother is absent

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