Allegations Of Child Sexual Abuse In Divorce Cases: Responding To Criminal Charges
Tawnya Maddox and Chrissy Chrzanowski were hosting a live talk show program on Friday August 29, 2008, known as SplitNTwo, with guest Dr. Reena Sommer. The topic was essentially how to handle false allegations of child sexual abuse in high-conflict divorce and custody cases. These issues have a significant relationship to Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting, where one parent attempts to sour the other parents relationship with their own children. Parental Alienation and using these tactics are also "child abuse."
Dr. Reena Sommer specializes in addressing issues pertaining to false allegations of child sexual abuse and also maintains several web resources like the website: Solutions4PAS
"A major thrust of Dr. Sommer's work is in the area of separation and divorce and assisting divorcing couples explore options in restructuring their lives. In the past, Dr. Sommer conducted court ordered custody evaluations and oversaw courted ordered supervised access. From time to time, Dr. Sommer is asked to provide expert testimony."
"Dr. Sommer is guided by the belief that children should not be denied a relationship with their parents simply because their moms and dads decide to divorce. She views her role as a family life consultant to help men and women develop effective parenting plans that make it possible for them to maintain a positive connection with their children."
I was able to pose a couple of questions, comments, but more importantly discovered an amazing resource for parents that suspect false allegations might come up from the other parent and shared it with those that were participating. I shared the resource below with Chrissy Chrzanowski, Tawnya Maddox, Dr. Amy Baker, Dr. Reena Sommer, and Katrina Daniels, whom I often refer to as the "Parental Alienation Task Force."
The article/study was authored Charles E. Bridges of Bridges, Nichols & Seibel. The link above is a repost of the original content at Delta Bravo, an affiliation of Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center (S.P.A.R.C.)
The introduction sets the tone of the piece:
"This article will focus on those procedures which may lead to false allegations of sexual abuse. By focusing on false allegations, I will be emphasizing what I believe are the weaknesses in the present system of identifying sexual abuse in children. My personal opinion is that the vast majority of sexual abuse allegations are true and that the dedication of the experts that I am critical of in this article has resulted in the conviction of sex offenders who might otherwise have gone free to abuse other children. So much deserved praise has been given these experts that I do not feel the need to say more. However, there has been so little deserved criticism of these experts that I do feel the need to criticize those procedures that can lead to false accusations of sexual abuse. False accusations can be devastating both to the innocently accused and to the child incorrectly diagnosed as a sexual abuse victim."
For anyone that might be facing the possibility of false allegations of child sexual abuse, know first and foremost that it is a very real threat and you could face jail time if the event is not handled correctly. It might not even be a bad idea to print out the report and pass it along or burn a copy of the talk show program "SplitNTwo" with Dr. Reena Sommer to a cd as a gift. Knowledge is power and making a mistake in handling false allegations can be devastating and cause the complete loss of your freedom and/or access to your children. No matter what, hang in there and share the information.