Posts Tagged ‘Lundy Bancroft’
CAN THE FAMILY COURT GET UP TO SPEED ON THE PAST FORTY YEARS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE RESEARCH?/ Lundy Bancroft
Originally posted by our own Lundy Bancroft on his Healing and Hope blog (link below)
Family courts across the continent are continuing to operate largely disconnected from the last four decades of research and clinical writing on incest perpetration, including the stories of survivors. The unfortunate result in many cases that I have researched is that court and court-appointed personnel are basing their decisions on myths and misconceptions that went out long ago, sometimes leading to disastrous results for children and their non-offending parents. Here are some of the key points that family courts are often missing (I use “he” for the suspected perpetrator and “she” for the alleged victim, since this is statistically the most common scenario):
* A child’s relationship with a parent that is sexually abusing her will often have some positive (or at least positive appearing) aspects.
Courts in some cases stop looking carefully at evidence of sexual abuse by a father if they get reports that the child is sometimes happy to see him, is physically affectionate with him, or expresses interest in seeing him. The reality is that incest perpetrators typically develop a bond (though not a healthy one) with their victims through doing favors, giving positive attention, expressing love (and even describing the sexual abuse as proof of that love), and buying gifts. This is extremely confusing for the child and tends to leave her with powerful ambivalent feelings and adds to the difficulty she faces in making the hard decision of whether to disclose his behavior, and then whether to testify against him.
Furthermore, incest perpetrators do profound psychological damage to their victims without being horrible to them all the time. In fact, survivors say that the positive-appearing aspects of their relationships with their fathers made the emotional wounds in many ways deeper and harder to heal from.
I have been involved in a number of cases where court personnel acknowledged that the sexual abuse had occurred or had probably occurred, but then have gone on to state that the child’s relationship with the father has some positive aspects, and therefore is very important to preserve in an extensive form. This conclusion does not follow from the research evidence regarding harm and is specifically contradicted by survivors’ stories; contact between an incest perpetrator and a victim should occur only with highly-trained and vigilant supervision, and should stop any time the victim wishes it to or starts to show significant emotional deterioration following visits.
* It is common for a victim to recant disclosures of sexual abuse some time later, and even more so in cases where she has continued to have unsupervised contact with the suspected perpetrator.
Incest perpetrators are known to control and intimidate the victim in various ways following a disclosure; commonly reported tactics include threatening to harm the child or actually doing so, telling the child that he will go to jail if she doesn’t recant, threatening to harm the mother, telling the child that she will never get to see him (the father) again if she doesn’t recant, promising her purchases, vacations, or other rewards in return for recanting, and promising her that the abuse will stop in return for recanting. Obviously the more extensive access the suspected perpetrator has to the child through visitation, phone calls, texting, and email, or if the child is continuing to live with him, the greater the risk of a forced recantation.
* The suspected perpetrator will make angry, outraged, and hurt-sounding denials in close to 100% of cases. A correctly-accused perpetrator will be very difficult to distinguish by his public behavior, including his behavior at court, from one who is false accused. The perpetrator is often a respected and successful member of the community.
Courts have to rely on the evidence, not on how the suspect presents himself or what his public reputation is like.
* Incest perpetration is almost always surrounded by a other behaviors by the man that violate the child’s boundaries in subtler, less overtly illegal, ways. These behaviors usually begin well before the outright sexual abuse begins, and then continue along side it.
Courts sometimes make the mistake of discounting evidence of boundary violations toward a child “because they don’t rise to the level of sexual abuse.” Such boundary violations need to be taken seriously always, but in a case where there are other indications of sexual abuse — such as a child’s disclosure, for example — such lower level boundary violations should be treated as evidence pointing to the likelihood that the outright sexual abuse being disclosed did in fact take place.
* It is virtually unheard of for children younger than teenagers to make up reports of sexual abuse, and even in teenagers it is very rare.
Mistaken reports of sexual abuse do not come from children making them up. They come from one of the following sources: 1) A statement by the child that was misinterpreted by adults; 2) The child having been manipulated or intimidated into making the false allegation. Proper unbiased investigation makes it possible to find out if one of these two is functioning in a case.
* Most sexual abuse allegations that are brought to the attention of family courts are brought in good faith, not as a “tactic.”
Every large-sample study that has been done has found that true reports of sexual abuse are substantially more common than mistaken ones even when they occur in the context of child custody litigation. Further, the research has found that even most mistaken allegations are brought in good faith, meaning that the parent heard a disclosure or witnessed behaviors that would have worried most responsible parents. And finally, the research shows that sexual abuse allegations that are deliberately false are made equally by fathers and mothers; there is no basis for the belief that women are especially likely to make a false sexual abuse report during litigation.
* Domestic violence perpetrators (specifically, men who batter women), have been found in study after study to commit a far higher rate of incest than non-battering men do.
You can read a review of many studies on the subject in Chapter 4 of my book The Batterer as Parent. When there is persuasive evidence of a history of domestic violence, courts should make sure to investigate sexual abuse disclosures, and reports of lower level (not illegal) boundary violations, by that father with even more care and diligence.
* When a child discloses sexual abuse to a parent (by anyone), the parent needs to believe the child and take every possible step to protect her.
It may seem odd that I have to say this, but it is regrettably common for mothers in family courts to be criticized for believing the child, particularly if other systems such as child protection or the family court have declared that they cannot find enough evidence to restrict the father’s visitation. If a mother persists in believing her child, and tries to explain the different ways in which systems failed to make a properly thorough and unbiased investigation, she may have various negative labels attached to her by court personnel or may be threatened with having the child removed from her even if any other responsible parent in her position would also remain concerned, given the facts of the case.
Everything I wrote above remains true if the child making the disclosure is a boy, by the way.
It is my fervent hope that family courts across the continent will take rapid steps to get themselves in alignment with the research and with the published accounts of survivors. A tremendous number of lives are in the balance.
This article was originally posted on Lovefraud
5 reasons why we fall for con artists
We discover that our romantic partner is a complete and utter fake.
The proclamations of love, the stories of his or her past — nothing was true. All the money that our partner desperately needed — or promised would buy a life of luxury for the two of us — well, that evaporated into expensive and unnecessary toys, or a secret life with one or more other lovers (targets).
When it finally sinks in that we’ve been conned, the first question we ask of ourselves is, “How could I have been so stupid?”
Followed by, “Why didn’t I see this coming?”
Feeling like chumps, we come down really hard on ourselves. But we aren’t the only ones who are blind to the social predators living among us — our entire society is blind.
The fact that millions of sociopaths live among us is like a giant skeleton in the closet of the human race that nobody wants to talk about. This sets us up to be victimized.
Sociopathic con artists take advantage of this collective and individual blindness. With the skill that comes from practicing their craft from a very young age, they manipulate our empathy and emotions. They use us to accomplish their objectives du jour, whatever they may be.
So here’s why we end up in romantic relationships with sociopathic con artists:
Reason #1 – We don’t know sociopaths exist
Most people think sociopaths are all criminals and deranged serial killers — this isn’t necessarily true. Social predators live among us, and most of them never kill anyone. Still, these people have no heart, no conscience and no remorse.
The numbers are staggering. Lovefraud uses the term “sociopath” to cover all social predators — people who would be clinically diagnosed as being antisocial, psychopathic, narcissistic or borderline. If you add up the official estimates of people with these conditions, perhaps 12% of the population — 37 million people in the US — have personality disorders that make them unsuitable to be romantic partners.
And we, as a society, don’t know it.
Reason #2 – We believe people are basically the same
In the United States, from the time we are small children, we are bombarded with messages about fairness, equal opportunity, giving people a chance and tolerance. In school, we learn that we’re all created equal. In church, we learn that we’re all God’s children.
As a result, we believe all people are basically the same, there is good in everyone, and everyone just wants to be loved. Unfortunately, there is a segment of the population for which this simply is not true.
Sociopaths view the world as predators and prey — they are the predators, and everyone else is prey. They are not motivated by love; they are motivated by power and control. These people pursue romantic relationships not for love, but for exploitation.
Reason #3 – Humans are lousy lie detectors
Research shows that people can identify a lie only 53% of the time — not much better than flipping a coin.
All those signs that are supposedly giveaways that someone is lying — like looking away, failing to make eye contact — well, they simply don’t apply when a sociopath is doing the lying.
Sociopaths are expert liars. They spend their whole lives lying. They feel entitled to lie. They lie for the fun of it. In fact, there’s a phenomenon called “duping delight” — sociopaths get a thrill out of staring right into their targets’ eyes and pulling the wool over them.
People who are not liars never see it coming.
Reason #4 – Sociopaths hijack the normal human bonding process
Trust is the glue that holds society together. Trust is so important to the human race that it is programmed into our biology.
A hormone called oxytocin is released in our brain and bloodstream whenever we feel intimacy — emotional or physical. Oxytocin then makes us feel calm, trusting and content, and alleviates fear and anxiety. Nature created this process to make people want to stay together to raise children.
When sociopaths target us for romantic relationships, they either spend a lot of time building what seems to be trust, or they rush us into emotional, physical or sexual intimacy. Either way, they get the oxytocin flowing in our brains, which makes us trust them. They keep piling on the intimacy, and we, to our detriment, keep trusting.
For more information, read Oxytocin, trust and why we fall for psychopaths, on Lovefraud.com.
Reason #5 – The betrayal bond makes it difficult to escape
Once the love bond is in place, the sociopath does things that create fear and anxiety in us — like cheating on us, or taking more and more money.
Contrary to what we might expect, instead of driving us away, this actually makes the bond we feel with the sociopath stronger. It becomes a betrayal bond — a powerful bond that we feel with someone who is destructive to us.
We want desperately to return to the heady experience of the beginning of our involvement, which was filled with what we believed was love and affection. We keep waiting for the sociopath to make the situation right.
But he or she never does. The exploitation continues.
Betrayal bonds are highly addictive and difficult to break. That’s why we stay in the relationship far longer than we should — until we can no longer escape the fact that we’ve been conned.
Happy Fathers’ Day To The Good Dads/ Janice Levinson Protective Mothers’ Alliance INTL. Executive Director/ Co-founder
View the original post here
What Makes A Good Dad????
I posed this question to our PMA INTL.Protective Moms, Advocates , Administrators, Leaders and Members. We came up with the following list:
Note: this list also applies to dads no longer in a relationship with the mother of their child/children
1. Any dad who supports the mother of his child/children emotionally, physically, and financially.
2. Dads who teach their child/children by words and actions to respect their mothers and women in general.
3. Any dad who sets an example for his child/ children that his family is always his priority.
4. Dads who stand firm as a role model for his child/ children of honesty, integrity, dependability and kindness.
5. Dads who are available for their families emotionally and physically.
6. All dads who role model for their child/children positive work ethics.
7. All dads who discipline in a firm, yet fair and loving way.
8. Dads who are concerned for the safety of their child/children and their child/ children’s mother.
9. All dads who know how to disagree with respect and without violence or abuse of any kind.
10. Any dad who teaches his child/children that it is ok to make mistakes and points out his mistakes as an example.
11. All dads who embrace the washing machine and diaper changing.
12. Any dad who knows how to find the kitchen.
13. All dads who comprehend, appreciate and respect the challenges women and mothers face in our world today.
14. Any dad who knows how to tolerate and even pretend to enjoy a trip to the mall, theme park, children’s’ concert ect. with his family.
15. Dads who can demonstrate that family time is more important than his favorite sports event.
16. Any dad who can be a good listener and a strong consistent shoulder
17. All dads who are not afraid to get silly .
18. Dads who embrace water fights, pillow fights and up -all- night sleepovers .
19. Any dad not afraid to sing , dance, and play on the floor with his child/children
20. Dads who play dress up and have tea parties
Add to our list in the comment section . We would love to hear your thoughts.
We at PMA International honor “The Good Dad” on this Fathers’ Day.
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” ~ David O. McKay
PMA has previously posted links and articles about developing critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is especially helpful in healing from the damaging effects of abuse, as it can help you to identify the controlling and deceitful tactics of the abuser so you can begin to heal, and re-establish your identity free of violence. Taught to children, critical thinking contributes to healthy self-esteem and the ability to think independently Critical thinking skills may also be a buffer against DV By Proxy. PMA INTL will go further down this path by discussing BIAS.
Identifying and dealing with bias involves the use of critical thinking skills; this article will reveal the different types of bias and discuss how bias affects a person’s ability to see the world as it really is. Some bias is a normal part of life, to some degree everyone has bias; but left unchecked bias can damage the ability to think rationally, and damage the ability to develop healthy relationships with others. For traumatized protective mothers recognizing personal bias and using critical thinking skills, may help protect against re- victimization and manipulations from any source. This article will offer tips on how to prevent bias from becoming an unhealthy influence, again using critical thinking as a powerful tool for self empowerment.
Bias is defined as prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Nowhere is it more crucial for information to be precise than in the intelligence community. In this arena it is a matter of life , death and global peace to be certain that information received is exact and not viewed from the lens of biased eyes. Yet, there have always been problems associated with the accurate analysis of information within the intelligence community. These problems always occur because the human mind is easily influenced by many factors in the environment. In the case of the Cold War, these factors contributed to problems and failures in intelligence. Biases and perceptions can lead to a misconstrued view of reality and the way we process information. http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/bias-and-perception-how-it-affects-our-judgment-in-decision-making-and-analysis
What is Psychological Bias?
Psychologists Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic, and Amos Tversky introduced the concept of psychological bias in the early 1970s. They published their findings in their 1982 book, “Judgment Under Uncertainty.”
They discovered that psychological bias – also known as cognitive bias – is the inclination to make decisions or take action in a less than logical way.
Common Psychological Biases
Below, are five psychological biases that are common in decision making. Along with suggestions on how to overcome them
1. Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is looking for information that supports your existing beliefs, and rejecting information that go against your beliefs. A 2013 study found that confirmation bias can affect the way that people view statistics. This can lead you to make biased decisions, since all relevant information is not factored in to your decision.
How to Avoid Confirmation Bias
1. Seek out information from a range of sources, to challenge what you think and learn more about a subject.
2. Use an approach such as the ‘Six Thinking Hats” technique to consider situations from various perspectives. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm
3. Discuss your thoughts with others. You may consider joining a club, attending community ed or attending an open mic or jam session as way to participate in or hear lively discussions.
4. Surround yourself with a diverse group of people. You may consider going to community or religious celebrations different than your own, visiting museums/historical sites or volunteering in your community to be exposed to new experiences.
5.Listen to opposing views. This could be as simple as listening to a radio station you have never heard before, or taking the time to talk with a rebellious teenager (kidding).
6.Seek out people and information that challenge your opinions, please use boundaries (especially if you have a history of abuse) to ensure the conversations remain respectful as well as enjoyable.
7.Assign someone you trust to give feedback for major decisions or decisions you struggle with.
2. Anchoring (“ first impression bias”)
This bias is the tendency to jump to conclusions before all the facts are gathered.
How to Avoid Anchoring
Anchoring may happen if you have a tendency to act hastily or are under pressure to make a decision.
NOTE: This is different from the triggers victims of abuse commonly experience; triggers are reactions to past trauma that cause a chemical reaction in the body, causing a person to relive the or experience flashbacks of trauma. A person reacting to a trigger is not biased, though they do experience intense pressure or anxiety it is related to something that has caused them to re-experience or remember a painful event. This is NOT a bias.
1.Reflect on your history, and think about times when you have a past history of rushing to judgment
2.Make decisions slowly, use relaxation or calming techniques if you need (deep breath, music, positive affirmations, etc.)
3. Ask for longer time for decision making. (If someone is pressing aggressively for a decision, this can be a sign that the thing they’re pushing for is against your best interests.)
3. Overconfidence Bias
Placing too much faith in your own knowledge. Believing that your contribution to a decision is more valuable than it actually is.
How to Avoid Overconfidence Bias
Consider the following questions:
1.What sources of information do you tend to rely on when you make decisions?
2 Are these fact-based, or do you rely on hunches?
3. Who else is involved in gathering information?
4.Has information been gathered systematically?
Consider what you can do to gather comprehensive, objective data, if you feel your information has been unreliable.
4. Gambler’s Fallacy
With the gambler’s fallacy, you expect past success to always influence the future
In fact, outcomes are highly uncertain. The number of successes that you’ve had previously has a small impact on the future.
How to Avoid Gambler’s Fallacy
1. Look at trends from a number of angles, especially those that challenge past events.
2. Look deep into data, research, studies.
5. Fundamental Attribution Error
Blaming others when things go wrong, instead of looking objectively at the situation. Blaming or judging someone based on a stereotype or a perceived personality flaw.
How to Avoid Fundamental Attribution Error
1.Look at situations, and the people involved in them, non-judgmentally.
2. Use empathy
3. Look at situations from a cultural perspective, if appropriate..
It’s hard to spot psychological bias in ourselves because it often comes from subconscious thinking.
For this reason, it can often be unwise to make major decisions on your own. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/avoiding-psychological-bias.htm