Jessica, now twenty-two, was found last month and her mother has been arrested. According to ABC News, the mother and daughter have been running for fourteen year, living under aliases and moving often.
After Jessica’s father won shared custody of her, Jessica’s mother took her daughter on the run, alleging Jessica was sexually abused by her father. ABC News says that Jessica is refusing to meet her father. Her father says she has been brainwashed by her mother.
ABC News is reporting that Jessica has refused to see her father and remains in hiding. The alleged molestation victim has been quoted as saying that she is afraid her father will find her and knock on her door.
Jessica (not her real name) gave an exclusive interview to ABC News. She denies that her mother has influenced her mind. ABC News quoted Jessica as saying that she was “there for everything that happened. I could go into vivid detail. They were nauseating and horrific acts.” Jessica goes on to say that she is very afraid of her father and does not want him in her life.
Jessica admits that moving so frequently was difficult but says she had a happy childhood during the years on the run and she attended one high school. She is now married and has aspirations to attend an art institute.
Jessica says she tried to tell people about being molested by her father when she was still a child but says that no one other than a few people in her family would would listen. She says, “I’ve spent all these years hoping that my story could be told. Now that I’m an adult, I can stop feeling like a child no one cared to listen to.”
Jessica stands by her mother and says she is sad that her mother is being portrayed as a kidnapper. ABC News quoted Jessica, “She had nothing else in mind than to keep me from the monster that is my father.” It is being reported that Jessica’s father took and passed a polygraph and that there was never enough evidence to charge him with child sexual abuse. Jessica’s father is anxious to see his daughter.
ABC News referred to the mythical syndrome, “Parental Alienation Syndrome” which has been used to label women (and sometimes men) as lying to their children and creating false allegations of abuse in divorce cases. Yes, sometimes mothers and fathers make up accusations of abuse, but most of the time, the abuse allegations are based in truth, and the cases of lying parents do not make a “syndrome.” PAS was invented by the now deceased Dr. Richard Gardner who proclaimed that society’s “excessively moralistic and punitive reactions” about pedophiles surpass what he felt to be the magnitude of the crime. Gardner also suggested that when a child has been molested and has feelings of guilt about the abuse, the child may be ‘helped’ by being told that, in other parts of the world, child molestation is accepted as “normal.” Gardner further asserted that if the child’s sexual urges continue after the abuse ends, the victim should be “encouraged to masturbate.” Interestingly, much of Gardner’s work concentrated on false accusations of sexual abuse, yet he admitted that “probably over 95%” of sexual abuse allegations are legitimate.
Dr. David Fassler, the chair of the APA’s Council on Children, Adolescent’s and Their Families, stated that PAS is “out of the mainstream and not generically accepted in the field.” Other professionals have this to say, “On the basis of research that has been conducted so far, it is difficult to support an assertion that there are high rates of false allegations of sexual abuse consciously made by mothers in divorce situations.” PAS was invented out of thin air in order to try to discredit women making claims in family court about their husbands having abused their child.
As far as Jessica’s case goes, abuse not being substantiated means nothing. It is very difficult to find proof in most incest cases. It is often the accuser’s word against the accused. Physical evidence is not common because a high rate of children, even when being penetrated by the adult, don’t show physical signs of abuse. Most family members protect the abuser and not the child, and no one wants to know what the hell is going on behind closed doors so any circumstantial proof is ignored by friends and family. Lie detector tests are used as a tool, but cannot be considered as evidence of proof of innocence. People pass polygraphs, people convince themselves they have done nothing wrong, and polygraphs can give false results, and this is why they are not used as evidence in a court of law.
I have no idea if the allegations in this case are true or false but until I hear of evidence that discredits Jessica, I believe her.
Gardner, 1992, p. 549-593
Gardner, 1991, p. 7, 140
Chicago Tribune, Eric Zorn Published April 18, 2002 Pop psychology has brutal role in family court
Kathleen Coulborn Faller, David L. Corwin and Erna Olafson in the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Advisor. http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2002/05/22/molestation/index.html The ultimate weapon: Pederastic priests, molesting fathers — charges of sexual abuse are everywhere these days. But a growing movement of aggrieved men claim the accusations have gotten out of hand, Chris Colin, Salon.com