Saturday, February 10, 2018

Bret Stephens is Wrong

On February 9th,  Bret Stephens penned an Op-Ed for The New York Times entitled " The Smearing of Woody Allen".  In the piece he argues that Woody Allen is getting unfairly treated because his adopted daughter Dylan said he sexually abused her when she was 7.  Bret Stephens is wrong.

I've been investigating child sexual abuse for over 2 decades.  I've previously written about my belief in Dylan Farrow's assertions.  In my opinion she's telling the truth. She's always been telling the truth. In order to understand why, you need to walk with me for a minute about how children disclose and and how the initial investigation of Dylan's allegations were botched. 

In reviewing the way Dylan was interviewed and examined, there were so many mistakes made, it's little wonder that as Stephens writes " An in-depth, contemporaneous and independent investigation into the allegations, conducted over several months by the Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1992 and 1993, noted that there were “important inconsistencies in Dylan’s statements,” and that “her descriptions of the details surrounding the alleged events were unusual and were inconsistent.” It concluded categorically: “It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen.”

The fact is, if Dylan had been interviewed using modern forensic techniques, the outcome of the investigation may have been very different. Today, forensic interviewers interview child victims one time. Children are not questioned by teams of doctors and social workers and police and attorneys.

Dylan's statements being inconsistent can be attributed to a very common mistake made in talking to children. Children generally want to be right when giving an answer to a direct question. So the fact that she said different versions to different questioners was the fault of the questioner, not the child. She was trying to give the best answer she could to appease the questioner.

Stephens asserts that 'if Allen is in fact a pedophile he appears to have acted out his sick fantasies on exactly one victim".  

First of all a child sexual abuser isn't always a pedophile. A pedophile is only aroused by pubescent or pre pubescent children per the DSM 5. A child sex abuser abuses children of any age. Secondly, does one have to abuse multiple children to be a monster? I mean most people think that fondling one child is bad enough. 

It's easy to doubt all of this. It's easy to say Dylan has a false memory. What's hard is believing her. What's hard is understanding that your Hollywood icon is a monster. 

Child abuse isn't something anyone wants to see or believe or accept.  I've seen enough to know that it's real, it happens and no matter how famous and powerful the perpetrator is, the 7 year old was telling the truth. 

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