An accusation of child molestation is an extremely serious one and needs to be addressed carefully. Suppressing a memory of a traumatic event, especially at a young age, is considered a defense mechanism. Today, an increasing number of cognitive psychologists believe repressed memories are genuine and can be recovered (Engelhard et al. 91). This post will discuss the client’s claim of being molested by her father when she was a child and whether the accused is guilty or not guilty of the crime.
The father of the client cannot be presumed to be guilty of the alleged molestation based on the unsubstantiated claims. Due to the event taking place several years ago and with no physical or circumstantial evidence provided, the guilt of the accused party cannot be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Although the complainant may believe her memories are real, they cannot be used as sole evidence of the father’s misconduct. Nevertheless, the decision can be supported by eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR allows patients to restore memories by following a moving object with their eyes during recall (Engelhard et al. 93). The therapy is proven to reduce the vividness and emotional intensity of remembrances, allowing access to repressed traumatic events (Engelhard et al. 93). However, the process of retrieving the repressed memories can lead to the creation of false recollections. Overall, although the EMDR can help the client reassess the remembered event, it can also produce false memories.
In summary, the client’s father cannot be found guilty of molestation based solely on her claims of repressing the event. Although there are instances of suppressing traumatic memories, these claims are not necessarily truthful, while the retrieval process can lead to the formulation of false recollections. For her father to be concluded guilty of the alleged crime, the client needs to provide more damning physical evidence.
Engelhard, Iris M., et al. “Retrieving and Modifying Traumatic Memories: Recent Research Relevant to Three Controversies.” Current Directions in Psychological Science, vol. 28, no. 1, 2019, p. 91–96.