Impact upon Siblings of False Child Sexual Abuse Allegations


Thomas Kennedy, a father wrongfully accused of raping his then 11 year old daughter, Cassandra, was convicted but eventually freed when the child came forward with the truth. Cassandra’s sister appeared with Thomas and Cassandra to discuss the implications for this family trauma on the Katie Couric show.

The siblings often suffer as a result of the child sexual abuse disclosure – whether it is truthful or not. The sibling is often placed in therapy to deal with the loss of the accused parent and to help support the victim child. But what of those cases when the accused parent is not guilty? In those circumstances where therapy is required for the sibling who does not believe the abuse, the forcing of therapy can be harm in and of itself. No matter how well-intentioned the professionals involved, the sibling’s resistance to believing that abuse occurred often prolongs the therapy required of them.

These difficult issues often plague the child welfare system. Therapeutic intervention occurs within the context of litigation. If you or someone you know requires help with these issues in child welfare litigation, please contact us at http://NewJerseyDYFSdefense.com.

Parental Alienation will NOT be included in DSM-V


Despite aggressive advocacy to accomplish the feat, the American Psychiatric Association has declined to identify Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) as a separate, diagnosable mental health disorder.

“The bottom line – it is not a disorder within one individual,” said Dr. Darrel Regier, vice chair of the task force drafting the manual. “It’s a relationship problem – parent-child or parent-parent. Relationship problems per se are not mental disorders.” Opponents to including PAS in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-V) also say that including the diagnosis would increased the cost and litigiousness of some high conflict litigants, as it would have provided another opportunity to debate whether one does or does not suffer from this very specific diagnosis, and if so, what degree of culpability can be assigned to the individual and what treatment modalities should be employed beyond those assigned to other diagnosable mental health ailments which the parent faces.

For a review of the varying opinions regarding this issue, check out this article discussing the recent news:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/parental-alienation-is-no_n_1904310.html