Commentary: I do not have much to say about or add to this article other than; read it and understand the importance of believing the child and being supportive. It is important to remember that we are human. If your initial reaction to a child’s revelation of abuse especially sexual abuse causes you regret or shame it is not too late. Whether, your understanding is in that moment or later make the choice to let the child know that you are ready to listen to them and ready to believe them. Also, remember that a child does not always disclose to a parent or a guardian for numerous reasons.
Here is an excerpt from Ginger Kedlec’s article. A link to the full article follows the excerpt. JDP
The #1 Reason Children Recant Abuse Allegations by Ginger Kadlec
In approximately 23% of child abuse cases, children recant (take-back) allegations of abuse. Research has been conducted to better understand why children do this:The #1 reason children recant abuse allegations is their primary, non-offending caregiver (which in the vast majority of cases is the mother) DOES NOT believe them.
46% of the children recant[ed] their prior disclosure when mothers merely suggested that they should.
In a study published by the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology entitled, “Children’s recantation of adult wrongdoing: An experimental investigation“, it states (see report for research scenario and testing information):
“46% of the children recant[ed] their prior disclosure when mothers merely suggested that they should. In contrast, no children in the supportive condition recanted, implying that children are unlikely to make spontaneous recantations following supportive caregiver reactions – at least when it comes to minor acts of wrongdoing committed by adults.”