In 1993 the hunt was on.
A backlash against the wrong sort of memory, remembered by the wrong sort of people (women)
You could pick up a newspaper in the UK and read about so-called False Memory Syndrome almost everyday (1).
All over the country there were women supposedly suffering from it.
We were described us as daughters who were destroying families. We were given no other identity by the media
Stories about us were sensationalised in the tabloids and weighted down with scientific anecdotes in other newspapers. This was before the internet and there was nothing that we could find that contradicted this onslaught of backlash literature.
There were no stories that told “our side” of the story
Some of us approached the mainsteam media with a different perspectives on this so-called syndrome but the false memory people threatened these newspapers concerned with libel (3).
A book that was critical of the UK false memory people had to be withdrawn the day before publication because of libel threats by those associated with this group. (5)
But none of this compared with the violence that we had to endure privately at the time.
Some of us didn’t survive. Others went underground, chose homelessness rather than stay in a place where we could be attacked. Or chose to say that our memories were not true just to get a bit of peace.
Twenty years later newspaper articles still pop up from time to time which ridicule us.
We have had enough now. Stop it.
Listen to this song if you want to know how it felt to be hunted back then
But most bizarre of all; the organisation that was attacking us was a Registered British Charity
(1) Jenny Kitzinger ‘Media Representations of Sexual Abuse Risks’ Child Abuse Review (Vol 5 No5 , 319-333)
(2) Charity Commission of England and Wales https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission
(3) Kitzinger. ibid
(4) Kitzinger. ibid
(5) Beatrix Campbell
(6) See for example : Cable, Amanda. The women brainwashed by their therapists to beleive their parents abused them. Daily Mail. 10 feb, 2014.
French, Chris. False memories of sexual abuse lead to terrible miscarriages of justice. The Guardian. 25 november. 2010.