Submitted by Andrew Parker (CA 187)
(NB This submission is a research proposal for a PhD thesis copied to the Committee)
VALIDATING MEMORIES AND ASSESSMENT OF WITNESS CREDIBILITY: THE DILEMMA FACED BY THE INVESTIGATOR OF HISTORICAL ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE.
There is no doubt that allegations of historical sexual abuse are difficult to investigate due to the length of time between the alleged event, realisation that an offence has occurred and disclosure to police. The background to such cases varies. The common expectation is that genuine victims report their abuse soon after the event and that any delay in coming forward is treated with suspicion not only by police but the CPS, the courts and society in general. Indeed, it may be that the perception that the allegation will not be believed may in some cases discourage reporting of abuse. Research carried out under the Sex Offences Review, sitting since January 1999, culminated in the publication of the consultation document "Setting Boundaries" in July 2000. This looks at the high level of attrition in cases of sexual assault between crime recorded and conviction rates (Harris and Grace, 1999), which show a dismal nine per cent of recorded rapes result in convictiondown from 24 per cent in 1985. Similar figures show a decline in reporting (Grubin, 1998), prosecution (Temkin, 1999) and conviction rates (Keenan and Maitland, 1999) for child sexual abuse.
In a sample of so called "recovered memory" cases, Gudjonsson (1997a) found only 13 per cent led to criminal proceedings; 62 per cent were charged and 21.6 per cent convicted. The majority of these did not involve recovered memory and those involving acquittal or dismissals were more likely to involve recovered memories. Accusations consisting of recovered memories were less likely to be taken seriously by the police or courts as the reliability and credibility of such accusations become less tenable. One consequence of this is that genuine victims of crime may be less likely to receive justice because of the lack of sophistication in determining the truth or falsity of an allegation. There is a difficulty in determining confidence levels in assessment of witness credibility.
There are numerous reasons, however, why some allegations are not reported immediately after the event. Children, particularly those occurring within a family setting, may frame abusive events differently to adults. There are significant developmental, cognitive, sociological and cultural differences between children and adults which may explain these effects on reporting and veracity. In terms of delayed reporting of abuse, some subjects have apparently recovered memories of abuse emerging within the context of therapy or through a process of self reflection and some delay disclosure for personal reasons. In many cases, there is no independent witness to events and no forensic or medical evidence to support the allegation. The only evidence available is often testamentary which may or not lead to prosecution on the basis of the strength or weakness of the credibility of the victim or nature of the offence. Reluctance to proceed on the basis of childhood memories of historical events without supporting validation of the evidence can deny the victim a sense of justice, and there are no doubt genuine cases not being proceeded with. Conversely, evidence not obtained through validated and robust interview and investigative processes can be highly vulnerable to miscarriage of justice or at least mark those accused falsely. Without corroboration such cases rarely reach the courts though nevertheless leave the victim with a tremendous sense of injustice and impacts on those accused who are often family members and friends of the person affected by the memories.
THE NATURE OF RECOVERED/FALSE MEMORY
A number of studies have sought to differentiate false beliefs and memories of abuse (Begg, Anas and Farinacci, 1992; Lindsay and Read, 1994). An allegation can develop from a belief without the person necessarily having memory to support that belief. The formation of beliefs is not always associated with therapy, although false beliefs may be a precursor to the development of false memory. In a study involving the membership of the British False Memory Society (BFMS), Gudjonsson (1997b) reveals that 26 per cent of the Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) accusations did not involve recovered memories. However, 93 per cent of those responding to a specific question concerning psychotherapeutic treatment said that recovered memories occurred at a time when the accuser was in therapy. While the majority of the accusations were associated with recovered memories occurring within a therapeutic relationship, therapy was not the only process through which recovered memories appeared to occur. Not unlike "coerced-internalised" beliefs, while in therapy, a patient's interpretation of events may be shaped by the therapist's quest to find an explanation for distress or difficulties. Drawing parallels between recovered memory and "coerced-internalised" confessions, Gudjonsson (ibid.) suggests that mechanisms positively reinforcing false beliefs through interrogative or therapeutic questioning may provide the right situation for the creation of false memories. In the case of the false confession the suspect develops a false belief on the basis of the repeatedly presented false scenario while being simultaneously isolated from information that may challenge that suggestion. Likewise, external influences such as co-accusing siblings (Gudjonsson, 1984) and the influence of authority figures (Toglia, Ross, and Ceci, 1992) provide a powerful source of positive reinforcement to accept alternative hypotheses as reality. Other influences in suggestion include, delay between event and attempted recall (Belli, Windschitl, McCarthy and Winfrey, 1992), repetition of suggestion (Zaragosa and Lane, 1994) and perceived plausibility (Read and Bruce, 1984).
THE NATURE OF THE FABRICATED OR FANTASTICAL ALLEGATION
An allegation may be false with regards to any of the defining attributes: the act, the perpetrator, or the setting (Aiken, Burgess and Hazelwood, 1995). An allegation may contain inaccuracies as to what happened, who was present and where the event took place. Combining these attributes, Aiken (1993) provides a model to explain "false allegations", which includes the antecedents (motivation to deceive), the intervening variables (background of the alleger), the empirical referents (means by which the statement is confirmed or disproved) and, more importantly, the consequences of the allegation for the alleged victim. Delusional or psychotically influenced allegation is specifically excluded from this model because of the absence of motivation to deceive. There are three major motivators for false reporting (Kanin, 1994). Firstly, a false account of events provides an alibi where the alleger is in fear of pregnancy or discovery of illicit consensual sex. Secondly, revenge, for instance, against a rejecting partner. Thirdly, false allegers may be seeking sympathy and attention.
This approach receives support from Aiken et al (1995) who further suggest that social/sex stress situations can exert both internal and external pressure on individuals, who then falsely report rape as a means of self protection or in order to mediate feelings of shame or embarrassment. Social and domestic situations may induce a person to say he/she did not consent to sex rather than admit to adultery. Financial motives may also induce false reporting, particularly in cases of prostitute rape, where an allegation of rape can be the only weapon available to enforce payment from a reluctant client. Additionally, there is an implicit unconditional consent within the conventional sexual encounter, from which it may be difficult to withdraw should the demands become distasteful or violent (West, 1987). Research on memory characteristics of traumatic events (Koss, Figueredo, Bell, Tharan and Tromp, 1999) indicates that individuals undergo a post-sex rationalisation and the normalisation process following a sexual experience outside their normal behavioural repertoire. Subjects may come to believe that they had contributed to the outcome in some way, leading to self-blame. Alternatively, if coinciding with negative feelings of shame and degradation, self-protective mechanisms may be triggered leading to denial of consent and allegations of criminal conduct. In such circumstances, it may be possible for a false allegation to co-exist with false denial. Despite its intuitive appeal, however, such models of false alleging remain largely speculative, untested and empirically unsupported.
PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED INVESTIGATION
The proposed study explores the use of formal Statement Validity Analysis (SVA) and a range of alternative criteria in the assessment of the veracity of allegations of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) made by adults on the basis of delayed disclosure of events occurring in childhood. Similarities will be made to cases involving delayed disclosure of sexual abuse following periods of amnesia or recall deficit due to physical and psycho-traumatic injury. The study will seek to inform the debate surrounding the lego-scientific status of recovered memories and delayed recall. It will review current cognitive research into memory of traumatic events, amnesia and its relation to hypermnesia as experienced by sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and the use of memory recovery techniques in psychotherapy. Finally, it will seek to apply a new investigative paradigm to enquire into the theoretical basis of the phenomenon that has become known as False Memory within the context of delayed disclosure of witness evidence. Within this newly developing area of research, it is hoped to establish a robust model of recovered memory, providing a testable basis upon which to more objectively examine witness testimony.
The present research seeks to provide improved means of testing the veracity of an allegation in order to support the credibility of a witness's account and so strengthen the likelihood of prosecution. In circumstances where there is little substantiating evidence of assault, it is hoped that the methods developed will assist in opening up lines of inquiry, suggest alternative hypotheses as a basis for exploration and guide investigative and prosecutorial decision making. Additionally, by examining the difference between historical, genuine and false allegations of sexual assault, attempt to provide investigating officers some practical guidance in the investigation of so called "recovered memories" and those where disclosure is delayed. Previous studies of the practical application of SVA within the forensic context (Esplin, Boychuk, and Raskin, 1988; Yuille, 1988) and my own work (Parker and Brown, 2000), has shown SVA to be a reliable method for testing the credibility of allegations of both CSA and adult rape. SVA provides an objective measure of the strength and weakness within the available evidence by allowing a range of investigative hypotheses to be used in the assessment of an allegation. This study seeks to utilise police files to obtain suitable statements from the victims of childhood abuse through recovered memories for comparison to be made with statements containing both confirmed malicious and genuine allegations of CSA.
The memorandum interview protocol for child and vulnerable witnesses emphasises that children should tell their own story, assisted by prompts and questions of gradually increasing explicitness in what is known as a "phased interview". However, there is an increasing tendency for interviewers to stray from the structure of the protocol (Davies et al, 1995). There are concerns over the lack of guidance for officers in the interviewing of children with special needs or whose first language is not English (Westcott and Davies, 1996). In a research study looking at national standards in investigative interviewing, Hughes, Parker and Gallagher (1996) identified significant gaps in officers' knowledge of child development, perpetrator behaviour and issues concerning complex and historical allegations involving recovered memories. Davies, Marshall and Robertson (1998) call for the revision of the memorandum to take account of the child's mental development and capacity to give evidence, in particular in relation to memory development, secrets and lies, suggestibility and use of language. This study therefore also assesses the effectiveness of current investigative techniques and child interview protocols to capture the unique nature of delayed allegations of child sexual abuse.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The research aims are grouped around three general areas of inquiry. Firstly, this study seeks to compare traditional SVA protocols (Steller and Kohnken, 1989; Raskin and Esplin, 1991a) with an adapted and extended version using "reality" and "validity" criteria validated specifically for cases of Historical Child Sexual Abuse (HCSA). The purpose is to determine each technique's respective accuracy in assessment of veracity of allegations of HCSA and to develop a unique set of criteria that perform at a high level of reliability in being able to differentiate unfounded beliefs from genuine memories of sexual abuse perpetrated in childhood. Secondly, the study will provide an objective assessment of some key assumptions within the recovered memory debate, particularly concerning confabulation and suggestibility within the interrogative/therapeutic context. Theoretical and practical advantages of statement analysis will be examined, alongside previous studies into recovered memories, to provide an overview of research into witness credibility. Finally, the study will assess whether traditional investigative processes and interview protocols sufficiently take account of individual vulnerabilities to memory distortion and whether unjustified bias is at work within the Criminal Justice System, which might mitigate against prosecution in cases involving delayed disclosure. The purpose is to provide practical guidance for the forensic and investigative assessment of recovered memory cases and to bring clarity to this widely debated research area.
In order to fulfil the purposes of the study, several general hypotheses are formulated. These hypotheses are expressed directionally where results from past experiments suggest directionality. When direction is unpredictable, both null and alternative hypothesis are expressed:
H1: There will be greater presence of "reality criteria" (CBCA) in founded allegations of abuse than unfounded allegations.
H1: There will be greater presence of "validity criteria" (Validity Checklist) in unfounded allegations of abuse than founded allegations.
Traditional v Adapted SVA
HO: There will be no significant difference in scoring between "traditional" (Steller and Kohnken, 1989 and Raskin and Esplin, 1991a) and "adapted" (Parker, 2002) sets of criteria in determining the veracity of allegations of abuse.
HA: There will be a significant difference in scoring between the two sets of protocols, reflecting the difference in underlying psychological constructs present in historical accounts within the each set of criteria.
Adult v Child
HO: There will be no significant difference in presence of scoring between adult and child allegations of abuse.
HA: There will be a significant difference in scoring between adult and child allegations of abuse reflecting significant age, developmental, cognitive and language differences in presentation and narrative structure.
HO: There will be no significant difference in scoring between allegations based on "recovered memories" and "continuous memories" of abuse.
HA: There will be a significant difference in scoring between allegations based on "recovered memories" and "continuous memories" of abuse reflecting differences in internal and external influences on the robustness of memory trace over time.
False v Fabricated
HO: There will be no significant difference in scoring between allegations based on "false memories" and "fabricated memories" of abuse.
HA: There will be a significant difference in scoring between allegations based on "false memories" and "fabricated memories" of abuse reflecting sustainability and genuineness of belief in the veracity of one's memories between the genuinely believed and intentionally manufactured accounts.
HO: There will be no significant difference in scoring of allegations based on contemporary disclosure and delayed disclosure of abuse.
HA: There will be a significant difference in scoring between analysis scores of allegations based on recovered memories and continuous memories of abuse.
H1: Inclusion of a pre-interview assessment of a witness's vulnerabilities and competence will have a significant effect on interview style, degree of structure and type of utterance used by an investigator that will influence outcome of the case.
H1: Interview style, degree of interview structure and interviewer utterance will have a significant effect on the responsiveness, detailedness and credibility of a witness's response that will influence outcome of the case.
BACKGROUND TO STATEMENT ANALYSIS AS A RESEARCH TOOL
The underlying assumption within any type of content analysis is that an individual's language contains information pertinent to their psychological state (Viney, 1983). Statement Analysis is a probabilistic guide to the likelihood that person's account is based on either actual experience or fantasy. The principles of SVA are based on the "Undeutsch hypothesis", which holds that statements from the memory of actual experience will differ in content and quality from subjectively based statements based on fantasy or made under the influence of extraneous factors (Undeutsch, 1982). The standardised SVA protocol consists of three distinct phases (Steller, Wellershaus and Wolf, 1988). First, a semi-structured "statement analysis interview" is carried out during which rapport is established as a foundation for recall (Lamb, Sternberg and Esplin, 1994). The product of this recall is written, or recorded and transcribed, then subjected to Criteria Based Content Analysis (CBCA). CBCA compares the statement's content against general, specific (motivation related), and offence-specific characteristics. Lastly, the psychological, motivational and interview characteristics are compared against a validity checklist. The combined SVA procedure serves as an information gathering exercise, for use in guiding an investigation, making administrative decisions and exercising prosecutorial discretion (Raskin and Esplin, 1991a).
The rationale underlying CBCA, as an evidentiary tool, is its ability to discriminate between two rivalling hypotheses concerning the origin of the statement: a "reality hypothesis" and an alternative hypothesis claiming that the statement is an intentional construction. The expert's task in statement evaluation is to gather information and arrive at a rational decision between these hypotheses not by an assessment of the dispositional honesty or truthfulness of the witness but by applying the reality criteria to that specific statement. The strength of SVA lies in its sensitivity to unique psychological aspects of the subject's description of events, which on the basis of psychological knowledge, adds or detracts to the likelihood that the event is the result of actual experience. The current research hypothesises is therefore that illusory memory will create a description of events that is unlikely to contain physical and psychological characteristics unique to CSA.
Previous studies of the practical application of SVA within the forensic context have shown SVA to be a reliable method in testing the credibility of allegations of both sexual abuse from child witnesses (Esplin, Boychuk, and Raskin, 1988; Yuille, 1988) and allegations of rape from adult witnesses (Parker and Brown, 2000). The extension of this technique from child to adult witness statements appears plausible (Lucas and McKenzie, 1999). Indeed, Kohnken, Schimossek, Aschermann and Hofer (1993) have undertaken some preliminary research to show the procedure can be useful in assessing the credibility of adult witness statements to broader range of offences. SVA provides an objective measure of the strength and weakness within the available evidence by allowing the testing of a range of investigative hypotheses in the assessment of an allegation. However, there have been calls for more research on a wider range of subjects to take account of age, developmental, cognitive and language effects that might have an effect on criteria scoring (Vrij and Akehurst 1998). Davies (2001) furthermore calls for extension of content criteria to distinguish illusory and real memories.
Despite SVA being originally devised for a child victim groups, recent research using adult populations (Kohnken, 1995; Lamers-Winkelman and Buffing, 1996) appear to suggest that the number of reality criteria (CBCA) fulfilled increased significantly with age. Facets such as victim-perpetrator relationship are also likely to have a significant effect on the strength of "reality criteria" fulfilment (Steller and Kohnken, 1989). Despite their relevance to assessment of delayed disclosure, however, these particular facets have never before been tested in relation to recovered memories. SVA, nevertheless, appears to be an original and suitable assessment measure of recovered and delayed disclosure of potentially any incident involving assault on the person.
The present study examines illusory memories, which can look and feel like real memories. In attempting to discriminate accurate from inaccurate statements of alleged abuse, Yuille (1989) extended SVA criteria to include facets of memory useful in distinguishing real from imagined experiences. Such memory facets as visual clarity and detail, vividness, event detail, comprehensibility in the order of events, and frequency of memory recalled could be used to enhance content criteria (Suengas and Johnson, 1988). Flashbulb memories have also been useful in capturing descriptive memories of highly surprising and consequential events (Winograd and Neisser, 1992). There is additional evidence that people tend to use slightly different language when describing illusory memories created by misleading questioning or suggestion (Raskin and Esplin, 1991b). However, it is not clear what effect long term exposure to memory retrieval techniques has on the subtle quality difference in words used when articulating recollections. Just as dissociation is thought to be a primary defence mechanism and method of coping with inescapable trauma (Courtois, 1988), Sheiman (1998) found certain psychological defences, such as dissociation, denial and repression, were related to the age of the victim at time of abuse. Sexual abuse survivors, regardless of memory loss, show higher levels of symptoms measured on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, second edition, (MMPI-2; Butcher, Dahlstrom Graham, Tellegen, and Kaemmer, 1989) which can be used to differentiate accurate from illusory memories is at the core of the present proposal. It is one of this proposal's objectives to advance some of these ideas in the development of new reality and validity criteria.
INTEGRATION OF RESEARCH WITHIN A NEW INVESTIGATIVE PARADIGM
The memorandum interview protocol for child and vulnerable witnesses emphasises that children should tell their own story, assisted by prompts and questions of gradually increasing explicitness in what is known as a "phased interview". However, there is an increasing tendency for interviewers to stray from the structure of the protocol (Davies et al, 1995). There are concerns over the lack of guidance for officers in the interviewing of children with special needs or whose first language is not English (Westcott and Davies, 1996). In a research study looking at national standards in investigative interviewing, Hughes, Parker and Gallagher (1996) identified significant gaps in officers' knowledge of child development, perpetrator behaviour and issues concerning complex and historical allegations involving recovered memories. Davies, Marshall and Robertson (1998) call for the revision of the memorandum to take account of the child's mental development and capacity to give evidence, in particular in relation to memory development, secrets and lies, suggestibility and use of language. This study assesses the effectiveness of current investigative techniques and child interview protocols to capture the unique nature of delayed allegations of child sexual abuse, and makes recommendations for investigative guidance which takes into account the extension of video interviewing to vulnerable and intimidated witness and implementation of Achieving Best Evidence (Home Office, 2001).
This study uses material contained in police files to obtain suitable testimony from cases in which people claim to have been sexually abused in childhood, having repressed and later disclosed memories of that abuse. These are compared against testamentary narrative from confirmed genuine and false complainants of abuse and those from persons later retracting their allegation. Substantial care will be taken to obtain independent confirmation of the origin of each statement used with rigorous criteria used to establish ground truth of an allegation. Both standard (Steller and Kohnken, 1989; and Raskin and Esplin, 1991a) and adapted SVA protocols will be used to analyse both sets of statements in mixed groups. The analysis will be carried out by a panel of statement analysts, who will be provided training on the use of each protocol used. Each panel member will work independently and blind to both the origin of the statement and panel membership.
The main study is based on a large sample of grounded allegations concerning verified genuine, confirmed false contemporary and historical allegations of sexual abuse made by child and adult victims on the basis of continuous and recovered memories selected from concluded police investigations. There are four main experimental groups of subjects within the present study: "adult" versus "child" allegations of sexual abuse; "recovered memory" (where there was some period of amnesia for events) versus "continuous memory" groups (always remembered events of abuse); "false memory" versus "fabricated memory"; and "contemporaneous disclosure" (early report following abuse) versus "historical disclosure" (delayed disclosure to abusive events). The "continuous memory" and "contemporaneous disclosure" groups are included as control subject groups throughout. Unfounded (false) statements are those in which the victim freely admits falsity of the account; where medical, forensic or witness evidence substantially contradicts the account; and where there are substantial grounds to believe that the allegation has no basis in fact and was made by a person suffering a delusional or substance induced state. Founded (genuine) rape cases are those which are based on presence of convincing evidence of rape, corroboration in the legal sense and with either with a suspect being identified or charged.
The criteria checklists used in this study employ a standardised mean scoring methodology and five-point Likert scale: 0Unscored (not relevant); oneAbsent (unequivocally not present); twoPresence equivocal (uncertain); threeCriteria partially present (once only); fourCriteria present (more than once); fiveConsistently present (more than twice). This is in preference to a dichotomous scoring scale (present/absent), relied upon by all other researchers in the area, although the data obtained can be later dichotomised as required for certain statistic analyses that uses categorical data. This provides a clear quantification of criteria sufficiency, although it is anticipated that suitable cut off points would need to be resolved. Values are assigned to each variable within the design, containing a number of variables and are expressed as a number entered directly into a computer database. Key variables will be compared for similarities and differences between the groups within the study, a statement validity analysis will be carried out blind by a panel of independent scorers using both original and adapted SVA protocols and results compared against outcome of each case studied.
A hybrid of multivariate statistical methods will be used to analyse data emerging from the study. Statistical significance of mean difference between statement groups ("credible" versus "non-credible") and SVA protocol ("traditional" v. "adapted") will be carried out to determine criteria most useful in determining truthfulness of statement. The main study will use a two ("adult" versus "child") x two ("recovered memory" versus "continuous memory") x two ("false memory" versus "fabricated memory") x two ("contemporaneous disclosure" versus "historical disclosure") factorial design in comparing a range reality and validity criteria. A package of multivariate statistical analyses will be conducted to investigate the key features within the data including hierarchical cluster analysis to cluster criteria around common emergent themes in the scoring which will be presented using Multidimensional Scaling (MDS), showing the topographical effect of individual scoring patterns to profile true and false statements and refine criteria selection.
NOVELTY AND CHALLENGES OF PROPOSED WORK
This is the first work to use Statement Analysis in the assessment the veracity of childhood sexual abuse allegations involving alleged recovered memories and cases involving delayed disclosure. This research attempts to integrate SVA and recovered memory literatures. In applying clinical methods in the consideration of forensic material, it may be possible to create new research paradigms that allow important individual differences to be examined, especially those relevant to the evaluation of individual claims of recovered memory. This is also the first inquiry into police methods of investigating delayed complaints sexual abuse. There is no standard approach to assist investigating officers, few of whom have knowledge or experience in this field. It is therefore proposed to review police methods and policy on the issue of recovered memory.
It is proposed that interviewing techniques should take into account what is presently known about memory of trauma, dissociative disorders, therapeutic and investigatory suggestive techniques. It will provide an objective socio-cognitive methodology in the investigation of delayed allegations of CSA. Lastly, it will increase our fundamental understanding of the knowledge and skills required interpreting these allegations. This work will provide the first steps towards training programmes to assist in recognising the signs and symptoms of traumatic distress and suggestibility in the vulnerable, particularly adult victims presenting evidence of alleged CSA. Finally, in introducing guidelines on the forensic use of memory recovery techniques, it is hoped to add value to the therapeutic and legalistic validity of such practices. Development of a descriptive-analytic methodology, identifying similarities and differences in allegation of CSA, is essential particularly where there is rarely any physical evidence. It is hoped that this work will add new dimension to our understanding of two ostensibly disparate areas of psychological study that will lead to practical benefits in the investigation of crime.
ANTICIPATED DIFFICULTIES WITH THE METHODOLOGICAL PARADIGM
The challenges of research in this area are undoubtedly great but nonetheless worthwhile. For instance, very small proportions of these cases are reported to police and even fewer are successfully prosecuted. The sample size has been restricted further by the need to exclude cases in which the "ground truth" cannot be reliably and independently determined. There have likewise been difficulties obtaining sufficient numbers of cases involving retraction of allegations of reported abuse to be able to investigate this aspect of the recovered/false memory debate. There are difficulties determining the reason why people retract their allegations. For instance, a growing number of people are retracting allegations as they recognise the suggestive techniques of their therapists (Goldstein and Farmer, 1993; Nelson and Simpson, 1994). That retractions occur does not prove the fallacy of false memories per se. Indeed, recantation lends no more, or less, credibility than an initial allegation but cycles of allegation and recantation are not uncommon; both intrusive and restrictive behaviours are commonly found in post-traumatic states (Kluft, 1998). Despite speculation that retractions may be due to social influence, or pressure from family members, emphasising greater compliance influences from significant others than previously thought, further work may be required to establish the truth of what individuals say independent of statement analysis or subjective assessment. To counter this, a comparative control group of other cases involving recovered/delayed recall not featuring recovered memory or involvement of therapeutic treatment, including cases involving CSA, have been used within the sample.
The study examines the personal description of events and relationships within written testimony, prosecution case files and case notes. Statements and transcripts of tape-recorded interviews, extracted from investigation or prosecution case files, will in most cases be in the public domain having been investigated and closed as being non-viable, or from cases that were not proceeded with, or having failed at prosecution stage. They are not therefore "sub-judice" or subject to usual confidentiality constraints and there little likelihood of any statement used being tendered in evidence. Identities of participants are protected and anonymity guaranteed through a system of cataloguing and scoring all personal details and statement analysis scores to maintain integrity and confidentiality of data. Scoring sheets and completed questionnaires will be maintained manually and assigned a unique reference before the details are entered on a database. A database is used in collation of all data variables, ensuring compliance with the requirements of Data Protection and Human Rights legislation.
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