The S.A.I.D. Victim (Sexual Allegations In Divorce)
Accusations of sexual abuse in custody and visitation disputes continue and studies indicate the national divorce rate is increasing.
Article by William Reid Kimbrough, Jr. S.A.I.D. stands for Sexual Allegations In Divorce
Matrimonial attorneys are having clients, the accused as well as the accuser, undergo polygraph and psychological testing.
Statistics on the frequency of the accusations are inconclusive on this social problem that is not limited to the United States. Layman and professional cite high or low percentages that support education, training, experience, and personal beliefs. Only one study has been conducted on the issue, the results eventually became the foundation for the American Bar Associations' "SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY AND VISITATION CASES: A Resource Book for Judges and Court Personnel".
Resource material on child abuse and allegations of child abuse clearly indicate the mental health community is divided on the accusations issue. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, and counselors have taken definite sides, particularly in regard to sexual child abuse.
This article is about the falsely accused - how they react, the response they receive, what they learn, and what they propose. The intent is to point out that many falsely accused individuals react in ways that go far beyond 'I did not do what you have accused me of doing'. Another intent is to pose challenges to the mental health industry which is sustaining the accusations.
The accused are parents who have been falsely accused of sexually abusing a minor child in the context of either a custody or visitation dispute. While the majority of those accused are fathers, by pending or ex-wives, mothers have also been falsely accused under the same circumstances. For the most part their names are not known to the general public. Some cases occasionally appear in the press, but with few exceptions do we read about them in the national media.
For the purpose of this article the falsely accused will be called "SAID Victims", from the June 1987 Karol Ross and Gordon Blush paper "The SAID Syndrome: Sexual Allegations in Divorce". SAID Victims will be further defined as individuals who 1) never sexually abused a minor child, and 2) a court of law determined there was no sexual abuse.
Child abuse and allegations of child abuse are alarmingly real in our society today - reports are both true and false. They are made in good faith by mandated reporters protected by judicial immunity, by anonymous callers to state hotline phones, by malicious neighbors, by disgruntled day care employees, by students, by step-children in blended families, & by spouses in custody/visitation disputes. While this paper concerns itself with the SAID Victim, other falsely accused individuals may easily relate to the topic.
In 1925 Navy Lt. Lyman Swenson's former wife was awarded custody of the minor children of the marriage. The "tender years" doctrine applied. The former Mrs. Swenson interfered with visitation and "made charges and statements against (him) of a serious and derogatory nature, all of which were untrue and made without any foundation and for no cause whatsoever". In 1929 the California First District Court of Appeals awarded custody to the lieutenant.
In 1955, after almost three years of litigation, the Minnesota Supreme Court (Stoll v. Stoll) affirmed a trial courts decision to transfer custody from the mother to the father. The evidence indicated the mother had developed delusions that the father desired to perform indecent acts with the children and attempted to impress such thoughts upon the children. The court stated, "The strain upon all of these lives resulting from the (mother's) false accusations and fixed delusions has been severe, and is beginning to make itself felt in the formulating of the mental attitude and character of these children".
In 1961 the Supreme Court of Iowa ruled (Andreesen v. Andreesen) that the wife, who suffered from paranoia and accompanying delusions, was not entitled to have custody of the minor child. Among other things the mother believed her minor daughter had been sexually molested by the father and the child would become a prostitute. The court stated the mother "seems to be furtherest from normal on sexual matters".
In 1977 after a custody reversal from the mother to the father the New York Supreme Court (Appellate Division) stated in Hotze v. Hotze that in all her contacts with the son she reiterated the same destructive theme to him, "is your father beating you?", "try to escape", don't give up hope". She also made unfounded accusations of homosexuality against her former husband and accused him of sleeping with her daughter.
In 1981 S.L. Kaplan and S.J. Kaplan alerted the mental health community on accusations of sexual child abuse during divorce and custody proceedings. This is acknowledged as the first formal reporting of a potential problem.
In 1985 the House Committee on Children, Youth and Families was told, "As many as 10-15 percent of the evaluations involve the custody dispute between separated, divorcing, divorced spouses, and/or other co-habiting persons...It is clear that parents and lawyers have determined that the only way to deny permanent visiting privileges of another spouse is to allege child abuse or sexual abuse".
Accusations of sexual child abuse made in the context of custody or visitation litigation were abundant during the 1980's. A study on the correlation between the accusations and changes in state statutes on custody determinations and type (sole, joint, and so on) would be interesting. More fathers seeking custody during this decade is another factor that should be considered.
During this period an increase of child abuse was seen on a national level, many statistics failed to mention the rising incidence of reports made in custody or visitation litigation.
The SAID Victim - What They Learn
Recall the time in your youth when you and your playmates took apples from a neighbors tree and consider three scenarios: 1) You took the apples, you know the neighbor saw you, and you were confronted; 2) You took the apples however the neighbor did not see you, and you were confronted; and 3) You never took any apples but were accused. Remember your reactions to each.
In March 1986 Dr. Sharon Satterfield (University of Minnesota) testified before the Minnesota Attorney General's Task Force On Child Abuse Within the Family.
Dr. Satterfield was asked "what happens to the children who have been falsely identified as being sexually abused?" She replied, "the most horrendous thing that can happen to a family is to be falsely accused. There are many well documented cases of reported abuse where abuse did not occur. It is a nightmare for both the accused and the children". She continued, "the acute symptoms of families who have been falsely accused are similar to those symptoms of families where abuse has occurred. It is a post traumatic stress disorder that these families go through."
In October 1986 the final report on the Minnesota task force included the statement, "Not every allegation of abuse is true. The impact of false allegations on families can be devastating--the stigma within the community, the potential loss of employment, and the trauma to all within the family. In child custody cases this problem is particularly evident".
This task force followed the Scott County, Minnesota abuse cases. A report on that investigation was issued in February 1985.
Also in 1986, while Minnesota was gathering information for its task force on child abuse, the Research Unit of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts announced it was seeking input for the Abuse Allegation Project. This project sought information on sexual abuse allegations in divorce cases.
A notice on this project appeared in a 1986 copy of the Family Advocate, one of many publications not initially known to falsely accused persons. Networking by special interest groups urged SAID Victims to respond to the project and many did to the researchers at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
How then does an individual react after being accused of doing something they never did, specifically SAID Victims? There have been comments from the mental health community but no in-depth research studies are found in the resource material. Most material has been written by special interest groups and falsely accused individuals.
Until proper research is conducted, along with changes required in the mental health and legal disciplines, SAID Victims will continue an innate educational process on the social issue they involuntarily became involved in. Emotional support, effective issue-educated legal representation, and precise documentation are predominant needs for the falsely accused.
There are a number of things that SAID Victims must do when a false accusation occurs, however because of many factors they are not often in the best position to properly defend themselves (timeliness, the trauma of a false accusation, and lack of knowledge on the issue).
Extremely competent and knowledgeable legal counsel is required, whether or not an accusation of child abuse is made in the context of custody or visitation litigation. Attorneys have many cases in which they are involved, falsely accused persons have only one, which they know best.
Experience has shown that individuals who help their own cause have a better chance of success. The collecting of pertinent information, a chronology of events, and supporting resource material is very important and may be used as a basis for direct and cross-examination of witnesses by legal counsel.
Most SAID Victims initially respond to a false accusation by contacting lay groups. These groups provide some of the first resource material on the accusations issue as well as other social issues that easily explain why the groups were formed. SAID Victims quickly realize they are not alone; other individuals have been accused under the same circumstances, others are presently living the nightmare.
The falsely accused then find themselves involved in a networking phase with understanding and informative strangers: Bob Adams, Jimmy Boyd, Jim Cook, Peter Cyr, Nat Denman, Richard Doyle, Richard Esdale, Bob Hirschfeld, Randy Ingle, Robert Karls, George Kelly, Al Lebow, David Levy, Ken Lewis, Bob McGuigan, Michael Naylor, Ken Pangborn, John Rutherford, Peter Sokaris, Tony Steffes, Dick Woods, and many others.
Contacts with lay groups can be critically important to SAID Victims. Depending on when an accusation was made, and the status of legal matters, timely advice may be offered which can have a profound effect on the future of the falsely accused and the children involved. Thanks is given to the above individuals and their organizations for helping SAID Victims.
The falsely accused soon find themselves reading newsletters called Legal Beagles, Liberators, Court Watchers, Divorce Watchers, Father's Reviews, Father's Forums, Father's Journals, NetWORK, Transitions, Speak Out For Children, and numerous others. The subject matter in these publications tells more than who the SAID Victims are, concern is expressed for the true victims of the accusations - the children.
True SAID Victims acquire, share, and read everything they can on the accusations issue. Phone and mail expenses increase; networking expands (at times to other countries); and frequent trips to community, university, and legal libraries are made. Sports Illustrated, Popular Mechanics, and other publications of past interest are no longer read as an abrupt lifestyle change, born of necessity, emerges.
The falsely accused learn of professional associations, and private enterprises, they did not know existed: the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the American Orthopsychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Academy of Psychotherapists, and the Institute for Psychological Therapies are only a few.
For obvious reasons the first resource material that SAID Victims receive from special interest groups relates to accusations made in the context of custody and visitation disputes. The falsely accused learn of individuals from the medical, mental health, and other professions who express concerns on the many issues associated with sexual child abuse: Dr. Elissa P. Benedek, Douglas J. Besharov, Dr. Gordon Blush, Dr. Harold Boverman, Dr. Lee Coleman, Kathleen M. Dillon, Margretta Dwyer, Robert L. Emans, Dr. Richard A. Gardner, Corey L. Gordon, Dr. Arthur H. Green, Dr. Melvin Guyer, Dr. William F. McIver, Dr. David C. Raskin, Dr. Domeena C. Renshaw, Karol Ross, Dr. Diane H. Schetky, Professor LeRoy G. Schultz, Dr. Daniel C. Schuman, William D. Slicker, Dr. Ralph C. Underwager, Dr. Alayne Yates, Dr. John C. Yuille, and numerous others.
The falsely accused obtain publications these authors cite and note that they appear to represent one segment of the overall mental health community. The falsely accused is aware that learning only one side of an issue is fundamentally wrong, yet later discover many individuals, representing all levels of this community, have no interest in educating themselves on the accusations issue, and the word "mindset" is added to an expanding vocabulary.
In time the falsely accused become knowledgeable on true child abuse and its many forms: psychological, physical, prenatal, selling, and sexual. It is in this phase that SAID Victims realize the full extent of the two related social problems and that other professionals in the mental health community have widely different opinions on the accusations issue.
New names and material is read on true sexual child abuse as the falsely accused learns of their concerns: Dr. Gene Abel, Cordelia Anderson, Lucy Berliner, Angela Brown, Dr. Donald C. Bross, Dr. Ann W. Burgess, Dr. Jon R. Conte, Dr. David Finkelhor, Dr. A. Nicholas Groth, Dr. Astrid Heger, Dr. Judith L. Herman, Jan Hindman, Linda L. Holmstrom, Fay H. Knopp, Dr. Richard D. Krugman, Kee MacFarlane, Mary McQuiston, Ann Seig, Dr. Suzanne M. Sgroi, Dr. Frances Sink, Dr. Roland C. Summit, Dr. Sue White, Dr. Bruce Woodling, and many others.
True SAID Victims, and victims of other false accusations, often acquire large amounts of resource material on child abuse and allegations of child abuse. Such material may be defined as any type of information created by any individual or group of individuals who express concern on the two related subjects. The use of computers to manage extensive amounts of data is valuable in categorizing information, noting trends, analyzing statistics, and correlating names and topics.
It appears that one segment of the mental health community offered few or no opinions on the accusations issue until February 1988 when the American Bar Association published "SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY AND VISITATION CASES: A Resource Book for Judges and Court Personnel". This is based on a chronological review of the resource material on child abuse & allegations of child abuse from 1929 to the present. The review, as well as the background for this paper, included over 950 selections representing more than 5,000 pages of material.
The schism in the mental health community is evident as one reads the professional material, with the titles and subject matter primarily defining the writers position on child abuse and allegations of child abuse. As is common in the professions, researchers report on their findings, comment on, and reference the prior work of others. It is easy for anyone however to see how those in this community have reacted to the accusations issue. Their own material shows these individuals so divided that they trade professional barbs across the boundary that separates the two sides. More often than not they fail to acknowledge the findings of others within their own discipline, and when they do, those works with opposing views (often on the same topic of concern) are either dismissed, downplayed, or strongly criticized.
Quite often the references in these papers continually cite the same individuals who share and support the beliefs and opinions of the writer. One segment is more guilty in doing this than the other. One author cited material on the accusations issue from another segment of the mental health community as "one body of psychological literature".
At times the accusations issue within this community appears somewhat analogous to a husband-wife argument where whomever gets in the last word is "right". The last word being the most recently published paper in whatever prestigious journal published it. These individuals are at the top of the mental health profession and are not those employed in local mental health centers, county or state social service agencies, rape crisis centers, or woman's shelters.
If one reads enough material generated by the entire mental health community it is evident there are many authorities on child abuse and allegations of child abuse, specifically sexual child abuse. However, the actions of these professionals, along with some common sense, tells the falsely accused layman that with so much internal conflict the profession has removed itself from being called authoritative and raises the question as to whether there are any true "experts". The 1986 Minnesota Attorney General's Task Force On Child Abuse Within the Family, as well as more recent resource material, reflects a national concern on "experts".
Unfortunate as it is the law enforcement, legal, and media professions often look to the mental health community for guidance. "Nationally known expert", "sex abuse expert" and "expert testimony" are frequently seen in resource material from all disciplines. Consider, for example, the article by Margaret Cronin Fisk, "Abuse: The New Weapon", that was in The National Law Journal on July 17, 1989: "Too often in these cases, the lawyer on one side will get experts to verify that the sexual abuse occurred, and lawyers on the other side will line up experts to just as firmly refute the allegation".
Consider also the "psychologist" who had "enjoyed a national reputation as an expert in child custody and abuse cases". The individual practiced as a psychologist, had his license revoked, and his doctorate was in philosophy. He co-authored a paper in the American Bar Associations' "SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY AND VISITATION CASES: A Resource Book for Judges and Court Personnel". The bottom line is that there are ten's of thousands of authorities on child abuse in this country, but few true experts.
As concerned parents we are all aware of the child abuse prevention programs in our schools and communities, the good touch/bad touch books, the Marvel comic books, and the material available from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Parents Anonymous, and other social programs. The falsely accused notes that the individuals consulted for these programs, as well as the publications they provide, are mainly from one segment of the mental health community.
SAID Victims also notice that there are no children's books that portray what a child, who was never sexual abused, was thinking or feeling as they were questioned or medically examined. Lawsuits have been filed by falsely accused individuals on behalf of their children who were in truth psychologically and/or sexually abused during evaluation procedures.
Because of their concern for true child abuse the falsely accused attends conferences and obtains information from past conferences. SAID Victims note who the speakers were, what workshops were presented, who sponsored and attended the conference, and what questions were avoided and by who. The falsely accused observes trends on child abuse conferences & notices that more often than not those individuals with beliefs similar to the sponsors become the invited speakers and workshop presenters, and special interest groups do the same thing.
The accusations of sexual child abuse in custody and visitation disputes has been a focused issue since the early 1980's but the subject is either not presented or is inadequately presented at child abuse conferences, in particular at the levels where it should be. Whether the subject is included depends on who is speaking and who is sponsoring or co-sponsoring the conference (rape crisis center, state agency, professional organization, safehouse, or other).
In their education the falsely accused literally learns a new vocabulary and often the first phrase they hear is "behavioral indicators consistent with children who have been sexually abused". The layman SAID Victim compares these behavioral indicators of sexual child abuse with symptoms exhibited by children of divorce or whose parents are divorcing, behaviors of children where there is alcohol or other substance abuse in the home, homes where there is domestic violence, & behaviors of children with the attention deficit disorder.
When SAID Victims consider the internal conflict among the "experts" in the mental health community they come to the same conclusions and opinions that any other non-professional would make on the sexual abuse indicators.
Prior to an accusation the falsely accused may have built a doll house or made doll clothes, now they find themselves reading about dolls with anatomical parts and court rulings on the dolls for admissibility of evidence (Kelly-Frye test). The original intent of the dolls was as a therapeutic tool to treat young children who were sexually abused. Now their use has been extended to being a diagnostic tool to determine if sexual abuse did occur. The controversy continues on this use of the anatomical dolls.
The SAID Victim also reads about a sexual child abuse accommodation syndrome and the opinions of others on this syndrome. The falsely accused also becomes knowledgeable on other syndromes: the Parental Alienation Syndrome, Munchausens' Syndrome by Proxy, statement reality analysis, and the SAID Syndrome. SAID Victims later learn that many persons who investigate child abuse cases and many who do evaluations for sexual abuse have never heard of the latter four syndromes, and have no interest in learning about them.
The resource material indicates that new information is being provided by one portion of the mental health community on the last four syndromes and their relationships to the accusations issue. The sexual child abuse accommodation syndrome, frequently referenced in the past, is now being referenced less and less. The author of this syndrome was not included in the February 1988 American Bar Association publication, however this syndrome is still one of the basic training tools of those employed at the level where the accusations are first assessed and courtroom testimony on this subject is frequently part of legal proceedings.
Excellent professional work involving research studies and statistics on true sexual abuse of children have been reported for many years, however the resource material indicates only one in-depth study has been conducted on the accusations issue. Much can be said on determining statistics: who was contacted in gathering information, who was left out and why, what was really found, and what was finally reported.
Statistics can be used for many valid reasons, however in analyzing the resource material on sexual child abuse it appears statistics are often misused, intermixed, and partially presented to either support points of view or to obtain local, state, or federal funds for programs. The same applies for statistics on domestic violence.
Statistics on the accusations of sexual child abuse in custody and visitation disputes are inconclusive; they will remain so until further studies are conducted with involvement from all segments of the mental health community, from individuals not experienced in sexual child abuse, from special interests groups, and from SAID Victims.
Special interests groups & SAID Victims responded to the Abuse Allegation Project of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, however none of their input is seen in any papers that emerged from the project. Many disciplines become necessarily involved when an accusation of sexual child abuse is made whether in the context of a custody dispute or otherwise. All involved are not only part of the total statistics of a social issue but of an education process as well.
SAID Victims educate themselves to a greater extent than others on child abuse, and the accusations issue, and often provide information to the legal and media professions. The falsely accused learn the accusations were predicted as a weapon in custody disputes, read about proper and improper evaluation techniques, inadequate investigations, the use of video taping in interviews, incorrect use of subtests on MMPI scoring, new state laws on false accusations, and learn about a national underground kidnapping movement. The resource material constantly stresses the need for all disciplines to become better educated and trained on the issue.
The true experts in sexual child abuse, and accusations of sexual child abuse, obviously cannot be employed at the level where the accusations are first assessed and evaluations as to their authenticity are made. It is this level in the mental health community where ten's of thousands of authorities are employed that education is most crucial.
SAID Victims not only learn the common characteristics of evaluations but also the education, background, and personal beliefs of the evaluators, sometimes called validators. Frequently the evaluations are based upon the individuals education on behavioral indicators and the accommodation syndrome, and the utilization of drawings, play therapy, good touch/bad touch books, and anatomical dolls. More often than not these individuals believe that "children do not lie".
The resource material is indicating some who do the evaluations were themselves victims of sexual child abuse. Sexual abuse of any child is deplorable, however it does not require a degree in psychology to realize these individuals would have pre-conceived opinions when an accusation is made.
These evaluation procedures which, at times, reflect the personal history and beliefs of the evaluators, often questionable assessment techniques, and lack of education on the accusations issue, are conducted until the "truth" is extracted by non-objective adults who then conclude a child was sexually abused. It is then common to initiate psychologically damaging therapy for children who were not sexually abused but were parental pawns in custody or visitation disputes.
Improper evaluations and incomplete investigations lead to what is defined as "false positives". They result in the alleged abuser's name being entered in a state register as a child abuser and the alleged victim becomes a victim. No where in the resource material on national and state victim advocate groups is it seen that SAID Victims, or other falsely accused individuals, get classified as do victims of crime or domestic violence.
The present assessment techniques, which originated and are known by those at the top of the mental health community, indicate important educational changes are required, and these changes must be correlated with state and local child protection agencies.
It appears that the mental health community, and other disciplines, have not fully learned or implemented the lessons taught by, for example, the Scott County case or the McMartin preschool case regarding evaluation and investigation procedures. Both are still current controversies in the most recent resource material.
The many states that have had lawsuits filed against them basically caused their own problems. State child abuse task forces that do not consider the concerns of all professionals in the mental health community and state agencies that limit training of state personnel to selected individuals are not adequately fulfilling their role as true child advocates. Lawsuit claims of 'not providing adequate training in sexual abuse' are inherently correct.
State agencies also need to provide specialized training on the sex abuse accusations that occur in custody and visitation disputes. Because of the dynamics involved in the accusation cases training on sexual child abuse alone is no longer adequate. The granting of judicial immunity to perform one's duties is different than being fully responsible for one's actions, or having absolute immunity. There are mental health experts, as well as other individuals, who can provide this training, and whom state agencies have generally excluded in the past.
Not all accusations of sexual child abuse in custody or visitation disputes are false and it is has not been the intent of this article to imply they are. Sexual abuse of children by either parent is a valid reason to end a marriage, as is true domestic violence.
Almost a decade ago the mental health community warned itself on the accusations issue then proceeded to respond in a manner that created adult and child victims alike. This industry however is not fully responsible, but because of the roles these professionals fulfill in our society they have been a major contributor in allowing the issue to continue and get out of hand in the manner that it has.
Further responsibility should be attributed to the American Bar Associations' Young Lawyers Division. The Abuse Allegation Project, started in 1986 by Dr. Nancy Thoennes and Dr. Jessica Pearson, eventually led to the ABA publication "SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN CUSTODY AND VISITATION CASES: A Resource Book for Judges and Court Personnel". It is unfortunate this publication was intended for the audience cited. Compared to past material from the National Legal Resource Center for Child Advocacy and Protection a major disservice has been provided for children who become involved in the accusations issue.
The book was poorly edited and certain mental health professionals were selected to contribute. More than half of the book consisted of excerpts from previously published material, which the community knew about, and which did not really deal with allegations in custody and visitation disputes. While these excerpts were important, sexual abuse of children, and the accusations of sexual abuse, are two related issues which feature experts from the entire mental health community, and this was known by the editors of this publication. The valid concerns expressed by all within the community would have made the publication a true resource book. The Abuse Allegation Project, the American Bar Association resource book, and the individuals associated with both deserve a closer look.
According to the code of ethics of many professional mental health organizations the entire community has an ethical obligation to serve society. These professionals must compromise on the issues that separate them and mutually work together for a coherent community. The concerns of everyone must be correlated and all dynamics present in alleged sexual child abuse must be evaluated to make a proper determination of whether a child was in fact sexually abused.
Various segments of the mental health community can no longer remain adamant in their opinions on the accusations issue and changes must occur at the top of this community so they may filter down to that initial evaluator. The ABA publication is an excellent example of the lack of coherency that exists in this profession, with assistance from one segment of the legal profession.
Changes will come as they always do on social issues but often the trend in this country is that some well known person initiates the changes because they were personally affected. Alcohol and drug abuse are good examples. When someone known to us all becomes a SAID Victim then changes will occur.
We need not wait however because there are well qualified authorities in this nation to affect the necessary change. As we start a new decade the mental health profession is challenged to initiate this process and good starting areas for this divided community might be: 1) Joint child abuse conferences, 2) Combined research studies and papers on the issues, and 3) An in-depth research study on SAID Victims. A questionnaire is available from the author that may be used as a basis of research.
The following are just a few who can combine their expertise: Dr. Elissa P. Benedek, Lucy Berliner, Dr. Gordon J. Blush, Dr. Ann W. Burgess, Dr. Lee Coleman, Dr. Jon R. Conte, Dr. David Finkelhor, Dr. Richard A. Gardner, Dr. Arthur Green, Dr. A. Nicholas Groth, Dr. Melvin Guyer, Dr. Judith L. Herman, Dr. Richard D. Krugman, Dr. Sharon Satterfield, Dr. Diane H. Schetky, Dr. Suzanne M. Sgroi, LeRoy G. Schultz, Dr. Roland C. Summit, Dr. Sue White, and Dr. Ralph C. Underwager.
Thanks to the work of Dr. Groth and others, there is a substantial amount of research data on incarcerated pedophiles, child molesters, and sexual deviates. At one time these individuals most likely said, 'I did not do what you have accused me of doing'. The pedophiles and child molesters who are not imprisoned live in our communities and represent a bonafide risk to our children in social programs, and at public and school playgrounds.
This article has pointed out that true SAID Victims go far beyond simply saying, 'I did not do what you have accused me of doing'. They respond by educating themselves, identifying problems, and suggesting changes. A research study on SAID Victims is highly recommended, their input on the accusations issue is mandatory, and they can provide invaluable information to the mental health community on a social issue that changed their lives. January 1991 William Reid Kimbrough, Jr. is a free lance writer, the Director of Abuse Allegation Research for the National Congress of Men and Children and the Divorced Men's Association of Connecticut. He is the founder of REIDLINE Associates (litigation support service) and a single parent who lives with his ten year old son in Preston, Connecticut.