The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome

1983: The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome by Roland C. Summit is published.

The above article has rightly been described as junk science. Like rape trauma syndrome, child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome is a condition that does not exist, yet it is likewise publicised widely, including by government websites. The word memory does not appear in the article at all, and the word false only once.

The syndrome is said to have 5 phases: secrecy; helplessness; entrapment and accommodation; delayed conflict and unconvincing disclosure; retraction.

The only problem with the above is everything:

“Most ongoing sexual abuse is never disclosed, at least not outside the immediate family.”

How does he know? He gives four citations, but again, how do they know?

“Whatever a child says about the sexual abuse, she is likely to reverse it”.

She might also retract if it had not happened. The reader will find several such cases herein, including that of Cassandra Kennedy.

In 1994, Summit published an (inadvertently) amusing article on the McMartin case.


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