November 14, 2017

A psychologist on sex abuse

Michael W. Davidson, Psychologist - The research suggests that as many as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men have been sexually abused before the age of 18, though the Justice Department estimates that only 30 percent of cases get reported. In my clinical experience, very few are ever reported. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat with someone who was telling her story for the first time, often after years or decades. Even then, only in their therapist’s office after weeks or months of therapy, do they finally feel safe enough to share it.

... Yes, I’ve heard the false stories where a likely innocent person was accused often in the midst of a bitter custody battle. Research suggests that only 4-8 percent of reports are false and those are usually made by a parent in a custody case. In my experience, false reports are rare, while the incidence of actual sexual abuse/sexual assault is quite common. Tragically, the victims of sexual abuse are four times more likely to develop addiction, four times more likely to develop post traumatic stress disorder and three times more likely to develop depressive disorders. There are clear and significant differences between the false stories and the true. The argument that we should not believe any woman unless there is absolute proof is absurd. That argument is simply a manipulative tool used to protect abusers.


Anonymous said...

I agree that we should not require “absolute proof” of an allegation, even though I have no idea what “absolute proof” means. But in puritanical, punitive, prison-crazy America, we must not forget the presumption of innocence. Nor should we forget that period in the 1990s when there was so much talk of satanic sex-abuse cults preying on children. Turned out to have been a period of mass hysteria, with tons of false allegations elicited by psychologists and social workers and cops well trained in the art of psychological manipulation. The people who suffered from that craziness includes kids who really were abused. There were lots of them, and many were falsely disbelieved after the child-abuse cult stories were proven to be false.

Anonymous said...


There is a world of difference between the satanic sex abuse cases of the 1990s, where children were manipulated into giving false allegations, and dozens of women coming forward to tell of their teenage or adult experiences with sex abusers, unprompted and of their own choice.

The children in those 90s satanic sex abuse cases were abused, by those manipulating them to tell these false allegations and other people, and it is criminal that they were not believed after the whole satanic sex abuse scandal madness. I totally agree with that, but...

Equating the stories of manipulated children, with women who are bravely stepping forward to speak of their victimization is an example of Gaslighting.