Children's Testimony More Reliable than Physical Exams

May 14, 2000/Newswise

Although many people find a child's testimony in cases of sexual abuse hard to believe, a new study proves that their allegations should be taken seriously.

The study, conducted at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati, shows that allegations made by child victims match closely with confessions of pedophiles. The study also shows that genital exams are most often normal in victims of sexual abuse, even when genital penetration is admitted to, making it all the more imperative to listen to what children say, according to the study's authors.

The lead author of the study was Amy Arszman Daso, a medical student at Case Western University School of Medicine, who worked with Robert Shapiro, M.D., co-director of Cincinnati Children's child abuse team and co-author of the study.

"Physical exams are an unreliable indicator of sexual abuse," says Dr. Shapiro. "We're not saying that children never make things up, but the responsible reaction is to listen carefully to allegations of abuse so that abused children will be identified and false allegations recognized."

The researchers reviewed the records of 31 pedophiles who confessed between 1994 and 1999. The case files contained all available victim, witness and perpetrator statements, and pertinent victim medical records. They analyzed each case for admissions or denials of specific sexual acts. They also analyzed victim medical histories, examinations and reports from criminal investigators for specific histories of sexual assault and exam findings.

The 31 perpetrators confessed to a total of 101 acts of sexual abuse, some of which they committed multiple times. The perpetrators abused 47 children. The 45 old enough to provide a history described 111 acts of sexual abuse.

The perpetrators confessed to 68 percent of their victims' allegations, and they denied 6 percent. The only acts denied were some allegations of penile-vaginal and penile-rectal penetration, possibly because of the stiffer criminal penalties associated with penetration, according to Dr. Shapiro, an emergency medicine physician at Cincinnati Children's. The perpetrators were not specifically asked about the other 26 percent of victim allegations.

"Unlike other areas of medicine, when we interview an alleged victim of abuse, we frequently find that one or more of the historians are being untruthful," says Dr. Shapiro. "The lessons learned from this study help us to decipher conflicting histories and surprising examination findings in cases of alleged child abuse."

Contact: Jim Feuer, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati; 513-636-4420


And the difference...

The difference between penetration and non-penetration is 2-10 years as opposed to 25 years.  And that penetration
can be the admitting to using the finger up to the first knuckle of the pointer finger; while the hymen is still intact and no
intercourse happened.  Just some facts to go along with this article.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

huge difference

Sadly, I believe there are many fostered/adopted children who are being penetrated by things that go beyond a finger, knuckle or penis... and yet these child abusers are never questioned or sentenced because the children are too afraid to speak.  [After all, how many adults believe a child is being sexually abused by those who have been pre-screened and "checked" by child placement/adoption services?]


There was no intercourse involved but the mental abuse is beyond belief.  He is in prison for 25 years because he confessed.  I am the one he confessed to and I am the one who called the police.  I live with the fact that I did this without
knowing the full facts, because my daughter lied.  My empathy is for my daughter.   But my anger is toward the state who
destroyed my daughter further by threatening her NOT to change her story and thus put her in this catatonic state where
she has not yet told the real truth.  They do not allow her to change her story even though they know she is living a lie.  It
would make them look bad.  But this is only one case as opposed to all the rape and physical abuse that goes untold
because, like you said, "After all, how many adults believe a child is being sexually abused by those who have been pre-screened and "checked" by child placement/adoption services?"
And this is where lumping all sex offenders into the same category as John Couey,  keeps the prisons full of 18 year olds who pee behind bushes or have sex with a 15 year old girlfriend instead of putting them all into different categories and
providing therapy for the ones who truly want to change.  This is why there is a group who are never questioned and they
get by with horrendously abusing foster children or adopted children because they are not about to confess and the children
know no one will believe them.  So there needs to be some BIG changes in the blanket laws that make families NOT turn in their family members because they will be sentenced to 25 years without therapy and these people do not want to live the rest of their lives knowing it was they who put them in prison with no therapy and no distinction between a John Couey and any other form of sexual abuser.  People are not coming forward because of the Vote Whores who keep making harsher and harsher punishments that apply to those who just need help all the way up to those who need to be in prison for life.  I hear
only the most heinous types of abuse mentioned here and it makes me want to vomit for the suffering of these innocent kids.  And I'm not saying my husband doesn't deserve his punishment; after all, I'm the one who turned him in.  But to lump all Sex Offenders in the category of a John Couey is not right.  To put an offender in prison and have NO treatment available for years and years; to deny him visitation with his family for those years and years; to take every freedom there is away from him; to treat him less than a human being is not right.  Sex offenders recidivism is at 5%; just above the lowest which is a murderer and yet a murderer is given treatment, has family visits, does not live in fear of being killed, has a sentence that is 1/4 of that of a sex offender... well, I am NOT a SEX OFFENDER LOVER!  I am the wife of a man who confessed; who is repentant; who was sentenced for things he did not do and yet accepts it all, except the fact that he is denied visitation with his family.  His other children only know a good daddy.  He never ever was mean or hurt them or abused them and for that I will NEVER turn them against him because THEY COUNT, TOO!  Yet the state does not see them as human beings at all.  The children of a Sex Offender live in fear.  We have known vandalism and hatred and shunning and we DID NOTHING!  They have been looked down upon and have been treated harshly because people believed lies that have not been brought to the attention of the public; it is kept a deep dark secret that the court made a mistake and the DHS/CPS were wrong and believed lies and even when they learned they were lies they kept it a secret.
He is being punished... which is more than can be said for the abusers of those who are represented here.  He confessed; and again, I don't believe the abusers of those victims here have confessed.  But I am here to tell each and every one of you that confession and true remorse does not get you justice.
There is only revenge being sought out there.  There is no justice for the repentant and truly sorrowful man who sees the errors of his ways; there is no help for those who seek help; there is only the harsh reality that this world holds NO place for forgiveness; and the belief that all sex offenders are a John Couey.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Just wondering

~when children are examined by the medical profession, and it gets extremely personal- ie; examining of the genitals and even touching them,(I suppose)- how is that not actually interpeted by the child as another assualt. Personally, I think it is.

I think alot of molesters touch and don't cause pain, persay-

then you have a DR. or some other medical professional touching and not causing pain, persay....

what is the difference in a childs mind. Both are  touching spots that aren't supposed to be touched by anyone else- I have to wonder about this since there is no info given on this particular subject.

good touch/bad touch...

I think a lot of molesters touch and don't cause pain, per-se..." 
This is what I used to think, too.  DM did not use force; he was a con-man who manipulated a little child and an older woman (me).  And I know what you are saying.  She even says there was pleasure... but the mental pain was horrid.  She says she felt like a whore; always used for HIS pleasure.  She said something that made me feel somewhat better (if that can be):  She found my vibrator and learned how to have an orgasm.  Well, well, well...   If these incestuous child abusers only knew just how less of a man they really are.  I never could figure out why DM always acted like he was cool and macho; liked himself so much.  They are so delusional.
When I wrote the first post here, I was unaware of DM's true diagnosis.  I was led to believe she was available... yeah, I know, stupid me.  But I still believe it is NOT in the best interest of the public to keep these men locked up for years before getting them into therapy.  It has taken me over three years to get the truth out of DM.  I'm sure there is more.  There always is...
When I had a pap smear by a man, I would freak-out and scream.  When I had a pelvic snipping I was worse.  A little child needs the mother right there when they receive an exam because, as you say, they have no way to relate to the touch.  It must be very confusing for a child; it is for me.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

so cool and so macho

Oooohh what a gag, My ex used to be the same way. {make me want to vomit}

Yes, I agree the mental pain is the whopper~

Knowing how any mental baggage piles up, the problem is there's no where to just lay it down and walk away. Once your mind has taken on the task of trying to unravel the abuses in some sort of sensibility, it is now a unfettered burden. Because it is so closely aligned into your person, and tied to everything you think, feel, or do, it is often overwhelming. Sadly there is no justice against whom has perpetrated against us. It will never give the peace of mind 1 is entitled to as a human being unscarred. Often it takes years just to realize just how wrong or bad it really is. Flashbacks, and PT SD, are the norm, not the rare. I hate the weight of it all, for myself and for people who've been victimized as you all who've been sexually assualted at such a young, impressionable age.

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