Articles & Essays


One of the many goals of this conference is to address sensitive issues in a professional manner so people from diverse backgrounds can learn to develop better intervention and prevention programs.
It is our belief that in order to continue to protect victims and prevent abuse, we must be able to come together and openly discuss issues, no matter how controversial they may be.
Sounds reasonable, no-one would disagree that open, honest and professional discussion is precisely what we need to "protect victims and prevent abuse." Except that the conference was designed in part to " …expose such myths as "parental alienation syndrome," discuss various techniques of domestic violence offender treatment..." Use of boilerplate advocavy terminology indicates the level of "open discussion" taking place at this conference. As for professionalism, read on:

there is an organized effort to shut down our conference by urging co-sponsors, collaborators, and others to withdraw support and not attend the 7th International Conference on Family Violence...
The letter campaign focused on two of the 150 sessions to be presented at the conference. It is spear-headed by a specific organization (the FMSF), mostly composed of those accused of abusing their own children, whom believe there is no such thing as repressed memories of childhood abuse, that there is an epidemic of "false memories" by those who report being abused in their childhood (hence their name, the "False Memory Syndrome Foundation"), that dissociation does not exist, and that most psychotherapy techniques should be eliminated.
…the fallacy of attempting to stifle the issues of child sexual abuse, to pretend that such abuse does not happen, and to cover up the situation.

These are very serious virtual allegations. I did not find a reference on the FMSF website to the conference or to material that supports collusion in child sex abuse. A list of board members for this "fringe advocacy organization" includes some well-known and well-respected members of the psychological community, beginning with Aaron Beck, known to psy 101 students as the "Father of Cognitive Therapy." Following Beck, the long list of PhDs and universities provided sufficient information to determine that, in this case, the "blowback" from name-calling and character assissination directly effects the credibility of the author and the org he represents.