Other Unsupported Techniques
Similar criticisms apply to children's books about sexual abuse, such
as Red Flag Green Flag People (Rape and Crisis Abuse Center, 1985).
In this book, after being led through a series of pages that present good
touch and bad touch, children are told to color portions of a figure where
they were touched. But neither this book nor any others have been validated
for diagnosing child sexual abuse.
Two techniques have been developed for assessing suspected satanic ritual
abuse. The Projective Story Telling Cards (Northwest Psychological
Publishers, 1990) and Don't Make Me Go Back Mommy: A Child's Book About
Satanic Ritual Abuse (Sanford, 1990) contain explicit pictures illustrating
satanic rituals and are used to encourage the child to describe the abuse.
Both lack adequate validation.
A child's behavior in play therapy may be used to substantiate abuse. Such
therapy is sometimes called disclosure-based and the sessions focus
on reenactments in play, expressing feelings, and talking repeatedly about
the alleged abuse. Although there is no evidence that play therapy is an
effective therapeutic procedure (Campbell, 1992a; Underwager and Wakefield,
1990; Wakefield and Underwager, 1988a, 1994; Weisz and Weiss, 1993) children
are frequently given therapy for sexual abuse before there has been any
legal determination that sexual abuse has occurred. But there is no support
for the supposition that behaviors in play therapy can be used as signs
to establish the truth of past events. This type of play therapy can influence
children to accept the beliefs of the therapist and can be a contributing
factor in cases of false allegations (Campbell, 1992b). Jones (1991) comments
that the use of the term "disclosure work" itself suggests the
interviewer has a preconceived bias and is not able to consider the alternative
that there may be nothing to disclose.