The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women

By Diana E. H. Russell | Go to book overview
Serving as an expert witness for the defense in genuine cases of false memory is an important service. Presumably, Loftus has often testified in such cases. What makes her a hired gun in this particular case--and I suspect many others--is that she had no reason to believe this was a false memory case before she agreed to be an expert witness for the defense. She admitted to the court that she had only "skimmed" the testimony of Witness A and others in this case, and that she had not spoken to any of the investigators involved ( ICT, p. 618). Yet she was willing to contribute her expertise to create doubt about the validity of the memories of a known torture/rape victim in an infamous genocidal and femicidal war. Instead of admitting that there is no research on the relationship between false memories and PTSD, Loftus contributed a speculation that could be used against most victims of rape and serious cases of child sexual abuse. Moreover, Victim A had certainly never forgotten that she had been raped and tortured.This account of Loftus's behavior illustrates my concern that false memory advocates are going to raise doubts not only about recovered memories of child sexual abuse, but about all memories of child sexual abuse--and perhaps rape of adult women as well.If we fail to be vigilant (and militant, if need be), we may have a devastating counterrevolution in store for us--one even more destructive than the counterrevolution represented by the incest recovery movement. This is why it is especially vital that feminists reclaim incest as a political issue. Because The Secret Trauma focuses on incestuous abuse as a social, not an individual, problem, and provides a feminist analysis of this crime, it can play a valuable role in this reclamation.
References
Armstrong Louise. 1978. Kiss Daddy goodnight: A speak-out on incest. New York: Hawthorn Books.
----------. 1994. Rocking the cradle of sexual politics. New York: Addison-Wesley.
Bass, Ellen, and Davis Louise. 1988. The courage to heal. New York: Harper & Row.
Brandon, Sydney, Boakes, Janet, Glaser, Dana, and Green Richard. 1998. "Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse." British Journal of Psychiatry 172: 296-307.
Briere, John, and Conte Jon. 1993. "Self-reported amnesia for abuse in adults molested as children." Journal of Traumatic Stress 6 ( 1): 21-31.
Butler Katy. 1995, February 5. "Did Daddy really do it?" Los Angeles Times Book Review, pp. 1, 11.
Butler Sandra. 1978. Conspiracy of silence: The trauma of incest. San Francisco: New Glide Publications.
Crews Frederick. 1995. The memory wars: Freud's legacy in dispute. New York: The New York Review of Books.
Dawes Robyn. 1995, January. Book review of Return of the furies: An investigation into recovered memory therapy, by Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager. False Memory Syndrome Foundation Newsletter:11-13.

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