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Are Recovered Memories From Child Abuse Reliable

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Jennifer Willis

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Are Recovered Memories from Child Abuse Reliable

In the past there was a vast gray area between the time and the substance of an alleged childhood sexual abuse and the subsequent recollection of that abuse. With the intense focus by psychiatric community and the criminal justice system to ascertain the truth, the grey lines are becoming more black and white. With the reliance more on scientific methodology and better methods of achieving memory recall there is less reason for twelve jurors to question whether abuse occurred or not.

Traumatic amnesia is a documented, verifiable syndrome. The numerous studies that have been seen made , some concurrent with the sexual abuse, others come from memory recall of the abused are statistically reliable and evidentiary of the facts. Sexual abuse creates trauma that is impossible to duplicate in a laboratory setting because the emotional responses that are experienced by the abused are far more complex than anything that can be stimulated artificially. Our better understanding of memory and how it works is really new paradigms for differentiating traumatic ,memory recall from false memory (implanted ideas that are subsequently "recalled."In the article by Ann Cossins (recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse- fact or fantasy?), Cossins builds an excellent foundation for the acceptance of memory recall to validate the existence of abuse while rejecting the proponents of FMS, as potentially unscientific and basing their "truths" to be the subjective judgements of the accused. To adhere to a belief that recalled memory of sexual abuse is not reliable. We know empirically that this is not



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