Thursday, April 23, 2015

Junk Science - The Myth of CSAAS

A second tool that CPS and the criminal courts will use in the prosecution of sexual offenders is a theory called "Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome" (CSAAS). It even has its own place in the "blueprint" for prosecution manuals that are available on the internet.

Developed by Roland Summit in 1983, the theory explains why a variety of things occur after a child has been sexually abused, and among them were delayed disclosure and the entire kitchen sink of acting out behaviors.

The key point is that the theory is ONLY valid if the child has actually been sexually abused.

Unfortunately, CPS and prosecutors have latched on to the theory as being a diagnostic tool, and claim that any demonstration of any of the listed behaviors can be used to PROVE that sexual abuse has occurred.

The pathological misues of his theory became so rampant that in 1993, Roland Summit published an article on "Abuse of the Child Sexual Abuse Accomodation Syndrome".

What is very enlightening is that in the Jon Massey Case, the county psychologist did NOT diagnose Ruby as having been sexually abused. Without a diagnosis of sexual abuse, any behaviors she exhibited could not be and should not have been attributed to CSAAS.

And that is a second major reason why the county's expert psychologist was not called to testify for the prosecution. Not only would have had to document the change in Ruby's testimony by a full year - a change that he would have to also report as being unreliably by his own testimony on July 8, 2013, he would also have had to report that he failed to diagnose Ruby with sexual abuse.

Instead, the prosecutor's office brought in a so-called "expert" who was used to imply by inference that all of Ruby's behaviors resulted from this non-existent sexual abuse. The credentials of this expert (MSW) were far lower than the county psychologist (PhD), so her testimony would not outweigh his. Additionally, this expert either was not provided with the psychologist's report or chose to ignore it when giving her report on CSAAS and how it related to the case.

To give you a better perspective, a similar situation would be the following:

You walk into a room, begin coughing, complain about being chilled and achy, and your face is reddened and looks like you are running a fever.

Immediately every adult in the room pulls out a mask, gets on their cell phone, and demands that their primary care provider call in a prescription for Tamiflu, because of course you have the flu!

Better yet, they start reporting your symptoms to a doctor who, without ever doing any type of exam on you, getting a history, or speaking to you, diagnoses you with the flu.

But wait, it was snowing outside, with a fairly brisk wind, and your car was last in the driveway so you got to shovel. And it was that heavy, wet, sticky snow, so you got soaked through while shoveling. And the cold air gave you a tickle in your throat, so you needed a drink of water to settle it down after all that exertion.

If a doctor had diagnosed you with the flu, you would expect the response from the other adults. However, since you knew there was a different reason for the symptoms, you thought the adults were borderline hypochondriacs.
This was the situation with Ruby in the Jon Massey Case. Her "acting out" behaviors had been present for years - long before Jon Massey renewed a relationship with her mother.

If the "symptoms" of CSAAS were used to diagnose sexual abuse in every instance when they occur, the parents and family members of at least 60% of all middle school students would either be sitting in jail or having their parental rights fast-tracked for termination by CPS.

It is time to speak out against systemic abuse and stop the use of discredited theories and junk science to persecute and abuse families.

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