British False Memory Society’s letter

by
24 March 2010

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From Lucy Huntington

Sir, — As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and as a committed Christian who is anxious to see the Church taking a more positive approach to helping survivors, I was horrified to see the British False Memory Society (BFMS) given press coverage (News, 19 March).

Your report did not purport to support the views of the BFMS, but by quoting extensively from their letter to the Archbishop of Canter­bury gave a possibly assumed validity to the society’s views.

My memories of my extremely traumatic abuse are all recovered memories and, therefore, open to question concerning whether they are true. All I can say is that none of them were recovered when I was in therapy; that I am the person it has been hardest to convince of their truth; and that nobody, given the choice, would choose to recover such memories.

There is now a large amount of scientific evidence to show how the brain responds to trauma. That memory of trauma can indeed be hidden for many years.

The BFMS stance is incredibly damaging to any survivor struggling to come to terms with, and heal from, his or her abuse. It also provides a useful excuse for families when they are unable to face the truth that a perpetrator is a family member.

LUCY HUNTINGTON
Cumberland Court
Church Street, Wye
Ashford Kent TN25 5BJ

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