The Witch-Hunt Narrative

Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Author: Ross E. Cheit

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190226331

Category: Law

Page: 544

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In the 1980s, a series of child sex abuse cases rocked the United States. The most famous case was the 1984 McMartin preschool case, but there were a number of others as well. By the latter part of the decade, the assumption was widespread that child sex abuse had become a serious problem in America. Yet within a few years, the concern about it died down considerably. The failure to convict anyone in the McMartin case and a widely publicized appellate decision in New Jersey that freed an accused molester had turned the dominant narrative on its head. In the early 1990s, a new narrative with remarkable staying power emerged: the child sex abuse cases were symptomatic of a 'moral panic' that had produced a witch hunt. A central claim in this new witch hunt narrative was that the children who testified were not reliable and easily swayed by prosecutorial suggestion. In time, the notion that child sex abuse was a product of sensationalized over-reporting and far less endemic than originally thought became the new common sense. But did the new witch hunt narrative accurately represent reality? As Ross Cheit demonstrates in his exhaustive account of child sex abuse cases in the past two and a half decades, purveyors of the witch hunt narrative never did the hard work of examining court records in the many cases that reached the courts throughout the nation. Instead, they treated a couple of cases as representative and concluded that the issue was blown far out of proportion. Drawing on years of research into cases in a number of states, Cheit shows that the issue had not been blown out of proportion at all. In fact, child sex abuse convictions were regular occurrences, and the crime occurred far more frequently than conventional wisdom would have us believe. Cheit's aim is not to simply prove the narrative wrong, however. He also shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force, and how that theory stood at odds with a far more grim reality. The belief that the charge of child sex abuse was typically a hoax also left us unprepared to deal with the far greater scandal of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, which, incidentally, has served to substantiate Cheit's thesis about the pervasiveness of the problem. In sum, The Witch-Hunt Narrative is a magisterial and empirically powerful account of the social dynamics that led to the denial of widespread human tragedy.
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Child sexual abuse: whose problem?

Reflections from Cleveland (Revised edition)

Author: Richardson, Sue,Bacon, Heather

Publisher: Policy Press

ISBN: 1447350308

Category: Social Science

Page: 248

View: 5129

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In Cleveland in 1987 a medical diagnosis of child sexual abuse was made in 127 children, resulting in their removal from home. The consequent intense scrutiny and public criticism around the case, together with the subsequent Butler-Sloss inquiry, resulted in the medical evidence being discredited, giving rise to a system which relies on children to speak out about their abuse. This book argues that this 1987 crisis continues to shape child protection today, resulting in opportunities to protect children being missed. Now re-issued with a substantial new introduction and concluding reflections, this book provides the only account by key professionals directly involved in the Cleveland cases, allowing readers to understand what really took place in Cleveland and why it continues to matter today. It analyses the many failures to address the plight of sexually abused children and makes constructive suggestions for the way forward to provide more effective interventions for children at risk.
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Tackling Child Sexual Abuse

Radical Approaches to Prevention, Protection and Support

Author: Sarah Nelson

Publisher: Policy Press

ISBN: 1447313879

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 3441

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This book will inspire policy makers, practitioners, academics and journalists to rediscover courage in tackling child sexual abuse. Sarah Nelson proposes new models for child-centred, perpetrator-focussed child protection, for community prevention, and for work with survivor-offenders.
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My Lie

A True Story of False Memory

Author: Meredith Maran

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9780470944837

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 7953

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Silence and Memory

Author: Monisha Pasupathi

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Psychology

Page: 156

View: 5130

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This issue of Memory focuses on silence and its implications for memory, and also for the implications of silences that extend beyond memory, to the functioning of individuals, groups, and societies. Silence can represent things taken for granted, and also things unsayable. The memory implications of silencing are complex. In terms of traditional memory research concerns 'Č ; with accuracy and completeness 'Č ; silencing has clearly negative implications. But silencing is also a means by which self and group become aligned in their views of the past. The contributions here make a strong case for memory researchers to consider what is not recalled, as well as what is.
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Acts of memory

cultural recall in the present

Author: Mieke Bal,Jonathan V. Crewe,Leo Spitzer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 250

View: 6030

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A theoretically grounded interdisciplinary study of "cultural memory" in sites ranging from Chile, Bolivia, & South Africa to Germany & the US.
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Sociological Abstracts

Author: Leo P. Chall

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Sociology

Page: N.A

View: 4501

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CSA Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,800+ serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.
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