An expert in child sexual abuse discusses some of the factors at play in “Leaving Neverland”.
Child abuse can take decades to be disclosed and affect the entire life of the abused child. Because children often do not disclose the abuse at the time, it can sometimes be easy to doubt their claims. However, we know that delay in reporting the incident and changes in story do not indicate that the abuse did not occur.
“Historically, as a society we have actually found it very difficult to believe allegations or to acknowledge possible signs that child sexual abuse is occurring.”
“Rarely does child sexual abuse involve violence or threats of harm (any threats that are made tend to relate to the consequences for their relationship should they be “found out”).”
“So there there can be an ongoing reticence and feelings of guilt for having reported the abuse. Sometimes statements are retracted as a result. This effect has been associated with a phenomenon known as “child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome”.”
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