Society Denial Quotes

Quotes tagged as "society-denial" (showing 1-30 of 133)
Frederick Douglass
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
Frederick Douglass

Judith Lewis Herman
“The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.

Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.

The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.

The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

“Violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live without it. There are those who still, once again, are poised to invalidate and deny us. If we don't assert our truth, it may again be relegated to fantasy. But the truth won't go away. It will keep surfacing until it is recognized. Truth will outlast any campaigns mounted against it, no matter how mighty, clever, or long. It is invincible. It's only a matter of which generation is willing to face it and, in so doing, protect future generations from ritual abuse.”
Chrystine Oksana, Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual Abuse

Bessel A. van der Kolk
“Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society

W.H. Auden
“Truth, like love and sleep, resents approaches that are too intense.”
W.H. Auden

Erin Merryn
“Along with the trust issues, one of the hardest parts to deal with is the feeling of not being believed or supported, especially by your own grandparents and extended family. When I have been through so much pain and hurt and have to live with the scars every day, I get angry knowing that others think it is all made up or they brush it off because my cousin was a teenager. I was ten when I was first sexually abused by my cousin, and a majority of my relatives have taken the perpetrator's side. I have cried many times about everything and how my relatives gave no support or love to me as a kid when this all came out. Not one relative ever came up to that innocent little girl I was and said "I am sorry for what you went through" or "I am here for you." Instead they said hurtful things: "Oh he was young." "That is what kids do." "It is not like he was some older man you didn't know." Why does age make a difference? It is a sick way of thinking. Sexual abuse is sexual abuse. What is wrong with this picture? It brings tears to my eyes the way my relatives have reacted to this and cannot accept the truth. Denial is where they would rather stay.”
Erin Merryn, Living for Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness

Nell Freudenberger
“... you sometimes had to force people to say things they would rather not articulate, just so they could hear their own words. It was interesting the way people could know things and not know them at the same time. Denial, he said, was like a thick stone wall.”
Nell Freudenberger, The Dissident

Judith Lewis Herman
“when traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement and remembering.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

“Actually, nothing hurts like hearing the word slut, unless it is hearing the word rape dropped about carelessly. Again, a word I wouldn't have thought much about, except that when I was in high school a girl gave her senior speech on her best friend's rape. She ended not with an appear for women's rights or self defense, but by begging us to consider our language. We use the word 'rape' so casually, for sports, for a failed test, to spice up jokes. 'The test raped me.' 'His smile went up to justifiable rape.' These references confer casualness upon the word, embedding it into our culture, stripping it of shock value, and ultimately numb us to the reality of rape.”
Christine Stockton, Sluts

Arun D. Ellis
“It’s not the word that’s important, it’s the right to say any word you want to and to form any sentence you want to, that’s the point and once they start to legally restrict what we can say and what we can’t say then we are on a slippery slope to authoritarianism.”

“We’re talking about racists,” said Karen.

“No one should be allowed to be racist,” said Mark.

“But that’s not down to the Government or the courts,” said Rob desperately, “that should be down to us, we should make it difficult for people to be racist, we should frown upon such language and activity, it should be by peer pressure that we stop people from being abusive and unpleasant, not down to the Government.”

“Why not?” demanded Karen, “they make the laws so it’s down to them to make the punishments.”

“It’s not about punishment,” pressed Rob, “it’s about morality and social conscience, it’s about standing up for what’s right versus moral laziness, it’s about courage versus cowardice.”
Arun D. Ellis, Daydream Believers

“I am not sure if we are numbed to the reality of rape, but here's the sad irony. While the word rape can add an edginess to your language, talking about actual rape is taboo. I didn't know this until one of my friends was raped. Then I knew this, because I didn't want to tell anyone. If she were mugged, I would have told everyone and raged.”
Christine Stockton, Sluts

“(Talking about the movement to deny the prevalence and effects of adult sexual exploitation of children)
So what does this movement consist of? Who are the movers and shakers? Well molesters are in it, of course. There are web pages telling them how to defend themselves against accusations, to retain confidence about their ‘loving and natural’ feelings for children, with advice on what lawyers to approach, how to complain, how to harass those helping their children. Then there’s the Men’s Movements, their web pages throbbing with excitement if they find ‘proof’ of conspiracy between feminists, divorcing wives and therapists to victimise men, fathers and husbands.
Then there are journalists. A few have been vitally important in the US and Britain in establishing the fightback, using their power and influence to distort the work of child protection professionals and campaign against children’s testimony. Then there are other journalists who dance in and out of the debates waggling their columns behind them, rarely observing basic journalistic manners, but who use this debate to service something else – a crack at the welfare state, standards, feminism, ‘touchy, feely, post-Diana victimhood’. Then there is the academic voice, landing in the middle of court cases or inquiries, offering ‘rational authority’. Then there is the government. During the entire period of discovery and denial, not one Cabinet minister made a statement about the prevalence of sexual abuse or the harm it caused.
Finally there are the ‘retractors’. For this movement to take off, it had to have ‘human interest’ victims – the accused – and then a happy ending – the ‘retractors’. We are aware that those ‘retractors’ whose parents trail them to newspapers, television studios and conferences are struggling. Lest we forget, they recanted under palpable pressure.”
Beatrix Campbell, Stolen Voices: The People And Politics Behind The Campaign To Discredit Childhood Testimony

“In order to believe clients' accounts of trauma, you need to suspend any pre-conceived notions that you have about what is possible and impossible in human experience. As simple as they may sound, it may be difficult to do so.”
Aphrodite Matsakis, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

“Several psychologists (L. Armstrong, 1994; Enns, McNeilly, Corkery, & Gilbert, 1995; Herman, 1992; McFarlane & van der Kolk, 1996; Pope & Brown, 1996) contend that the controversy of delayed recall for traumatic events is likely to be influenced by sexism. Kristiansen, Gareau, Mittleholt, DeCourville, and Hovdestad (1995) found that people who were more authoritarian and who had less favorable attitudes toward women were less likely to believe in the veracity of women’s recovered memories for sexual abuse. Those who challenged the truthfulness of recovered memories were more likely to endorse negative statements about women, including the idea that battered women enjoy being abused. McFarlane and van der Kolk (1996) have noted that delayed recall in male combat veterans reported by Myers (1940) and Kardiner (1941) did not generate controversy, whereas delayed recall in female survivors of intrafamilial child sexual abuse has provoked considerable debate.”
Rachel E. Goldsmith

“It was that culture of denial that allowed my abuse to take place to start with. Did you know that it wasn't until 1984 that the Department of Health added the category of "sexual abuse" to its list of harms that can befall children? When I was being raped and made pregnant at the age of 11, it wasn't just my own dissociative process that told me that it wasn't happening; it was society too. "We don't have a category for that. Computer says no."͏”
Carolyn Spring, Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Campaigning Voices

“The survivor movements were also challenging the notion of a dysfunctional family as the cause and culture of abuse, rather than being one of the many places where abuse nested. This notion, which in the 1990s and early 1980s was the dominant understanding of professionals characterised the sex abuser as a pathetic person who had been denied sex and warmth by his wife, who in turn denied warmth to her daughters. Out of this dysfunctional triad grew the far-too-cosy incest dyad. Simply diagnosed, relying on the signs: alcoholic father, cold distant mother, provocative daughter. Simply resolved, because everyone would want to stop, to return to the functioning family where mum and dad had sex and daughter concentrated on her exams. Professionals really believed for a while that sex offenders would want to stop what they were doing. They thought if abuse were decriminalised, abusers would seek help. The survivors knew different. P5”
Beatrix Campbell, Stolen Voices: The People And Politics Behind The Campaign To Discredit Childhood Testimony

“This monograph by Special Agent Ken Lanning (1992) is merely a guide for those who may investigate this phenomenon, as the title indicates, and not a study. The author is a well known skeptic regarding cult and ritual abuse allegations and has consulted on a number of cases but to our knowledge has not personally investigated the majority of these cases, some of which have produced convictions. p179
[refers to Lanning, K. V. (1992)
Investigator's guide to allegations of "ritual" child abuse. Quantico, VA: National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.]”
Pamela Sue Perskin, Cult and Ritual Abuse: Its History, Anthropology, and Recent Discovery in Contemporary America

“The themes that exercised the minds of survivor movements and their allies within the health and welfare professions generated a political project: how to revolutionise medical and judicial approaches to injured adults and children, how to raise awareness so that other people didn’t have to suffer the same, and how to understand, and then challenge, offenders who so love what they do to children that they can and must shut their minds to the feelings of children who have put their trust in them. P4”
Beatrix Campbell, Stolen Voices: The People And Politics Behind The Campaign To Discredit Childhood Testimony

“Another preoccupation fed into this dynamic relationship between discovery and denial: does sexual abuse actually matter? Should it, in fact, be allowed? After all, it was only in the 19070s that the Paedophile Information Exchange had argued for adults’ right to have sex with children – or rather by a slippery sleight of word, PIE inverted the imperative by arguing that children should have the right to have sex with adults. This group had been disbanded after the imprisonment of Tom O’Carroll, its leader, with some of its activists bunkered in Holland’s paedophile enclaves, only to re-appear over the parapets in the sex crime controversies of the 1990s. How recent it was, then, that paedophilia was fielded as one of the liberation movements, how many of those on the left and right of the political firmament, were – and still are – persuaded that sex with children is merely another case for individual freedom?
Few people in Britain at the turn of the century publicly defend adults’ rights to sex with children. But some do, and they are to be found nesting in the coalition crusading against evidence of sexual suffering. They have learned from the 1970s, masked their intentions and diverted attention on to ‘the system’. Others may not have come out for paedophilia but they are apparently content to enter into political alliances with those who have. We believe that this makes their critique of survivors and their allies unreliable. Others genuinely believe in false memories, but may not be aware of the credentials of some of their advisors.”
Beatrix Campbell, Stolen Voices: The People And Politics Behind The Campaign To Discredit Childhood Testimony

“Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33
TAT: No. I don't know anymore than you know they're not. But, I'm talking about boundaries and privacy here. As a therapist working with survivors, I have been harassed by people who claim to be affiliated with the false memory movement. Parents and other family members have called or written me insisting on talking with me about my patients' cases, despite my clearly indicating I can't because of professional confidentiality. I have had other parents and family members investigate me -- look into my professional background -- hoping to find something to discredit me to the patients I was seeing at the time because they disputed their memories. This isn't the kind of sober, scientific discourse you all claim you want.”
David L. Calof

“And if we do speak out, we risk rejection and ridicule. I had a best friend once, the kind that you go shopping with and watch films with, the kind you go on holiday with and rescue when her car breaks down on the A1. Shortly after my diagnosis, I told her I had DID. I haven't seen her since. The stench and rankness of a socially unacceptable mental health disorder seems to have driven her away.”
Carolyn Spring, Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Campaigning Voices

“There is a much greater skepticism toward the memories of those who claim abuse than toward the memories of those who deny it.”
Sue Campbell, Relational Remembering: Rethinking the Memory Wars

“With respect to the acceptance of dissociative disorders, as with most issues in life, it is counterproductive to spend time trying to convince people of things they don't want to know.”
Warwick Middleton

“Treating Abuse Today (Tat), 3(4), pp. 26-33
Freyd: You were also looking for some operational criteria for false memory syndrome: what a clinician could look for or test for, and so on. I spoke with several of our scientific advisory board members and I have some information for you that isn't really in writing at this point but I think it's a direction you want us to go in. So if I can read some of these notes . . .

TAT: Please do.

Freyd: One would look for false memory syndrome:

1. If a patient reports having been sexually abused by a parent, relative or someone in very early childhood, but then claims that she or he had complete amnesia about it for a decade or more;

2. If the patient attributes his or her current reason for being in therapy to delayed-memories. And this is where one would want to look for evidence suggesting that the abuse did not occur as demonstrated by a list of things, including firm, confident denials by the alleged perpetrators;

3. If there is denial by the entire family;

4. In the absence of evidence of familial disturbances or psychiatric illnesses. For example, if there's no evidence that the perpetrator had alcohol dependency or bipolar disorder or tendencies to pedophilia;

5. If some of the accusations are preposterous or impossible or they contain impossible or implausible elements such as a person being made pregnant prior to menarche, being forced to engage in sex with animals, or participating in the ritual killing of animals, and;

6. In the absence of evidence of distress surrounding the putative abuse. That is, despite alleged abuse going from age two to 27 or from three to 16, the child displayed normal social and academic functioning and that there was no evidence of any kind of psychopathology.

Are these the kind of things you were asking for?

TAT: Yeah, it's a little bit more specific. I take issue with several, but at least it gives us more of a sense of what you all mean when you say "false memory syndrome."

Freyd: Right. Well, you know I think that things are moving in that direction since that seems to be what people are requesting. Nobody's denying that people are abused and there's no one denying that someone who was abused a decade ago or two decades ago probably would not have talked about it to anybody. I think I mentioned to you that somebody who works in this office had that very experience of having been abused when she was a young teenager-not extremely abused, but made very uncomfortable by an uncle who was older-and she dealt with it for about three days at the time and then it got pushed to the back of her mind and she completely forgot about it until she was in therapy.

TAT: There you go. That's how dissociation works!

Freyd: That's how it worked. And after this came up and she had discussed and dealt with it in therapy, she could again put it to one side and go on with her life. Certainly confronting her uncle and doing all these other things was not a part of what she had to do. Interestingly, though, at the same time, she has a daughter who went into therapy and came up with memories of having been abused by her parents. This daughter ran away and is cutoff from the family-hasn't spoken to anyone for three years. And there has never been any meeting between the therapist and the whole family to try to find out what was involved.

TAT: If we take the first example -- that of her own abuse -- and follow the criteria you gave, we would have a very strong disbelief in the truth of what she told.”
David L. Calof

“Det er lettere å dømme minoritetsgrupper enn majoriteten. Minoriteten er den svake part. Det er lett å la den være hakkekyllingen.”
Robert Savosnick, Jeg ville ikke dø

“All abusive systems are facilitated by bystanders, whose awareness of what is disavowed is always partial, resulting in a state of knowing and not-knowing. As dynamics shift, bystanders may behave like victims—passive, helpless, frightened and frozen, or like perpetrators—taking vicarious and voyeuristic pleasure in abuse or actively aiding and abetting the abusers.”
Sylvia Solinski

Christy Leigh Stewart
“You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken; even if we know society is broken none of us are aware of every sliver.”
Christy Leigh Stewart

“In the past, child abuse has been a problem without a solution, with distressing case after case accumulating in public awareness without apparent end. At least the ‘false memory’ narrative offered a potential, if illusory and damaging, resolution to this intolerable situation, in the (re)suppression of victim complaints.”
Michael Salter

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
“incest is unfortunately commonplace, but that recognition of this, is less so”
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Darius Cikanavicius
“We live in a society where people are often more offended by those who point out child abuse than by the abuse itself. In other words, society does not view abuse as the problem; the problem is you pointing it out. Society's basic mindset is that "If we don't talk about abuse, then it's not happening." Similarly, children are attacked when they point out the dysfunction around them.”
Darius Cikanavicius, Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults

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