Investigation of Reliability when Child Sexual Abuse is Alleged
A case study of
Accusations of incest in connection with divorce
Taken from Ch. 2: Incest? Two case descriptions in Lena Hellblom Sjögren: Hemligheter och minnen. Att utreda tillförlitlighet i sexualbrottmål/ Secrets and memories. To investigate reliability in sexual criminal cases/ , Norstedts Juridik, Stockholm 1997)
Translation by Sven H.E. Borei
[Should any question of interpretation arise concerning the translated text, the original Swedish text shall always be considered as the final arbiter.]
Per and Ann Andersson separated on March 5, 1992, following a marriage that did not quite reach the five-year mark. Both have stated that the relationship had been troubled. At the time Per worked as a child welfare services assistant for the municipality. Ann, a nursing assistant at a child health clinic, had not worked since 1985, at which time she was put on the sicklist following a work-related injury. At the time they separated they had three children – Eva, nearly four having (born July 5, 1988), 2 1/2 year-old Lena (born October 26, 1989), and a son named Kalle (born February 12, 1992). They were deeply in debt, having lived only two months in their newly built house.
Eight weeks after their separation, Ann filed a police complaint claiming that Per had abused both daughters sexually. A preliminary investigation was begun which in turn led to Per being charged. During this time the daughters both lived with their mother.
The account of the criminal act charged
On February 15, 1993, ten months after Ann’s complaint about ”sexual abuse of a minor”, a summons application was filed by the district attorney. Eva is listed as the injured party and the acts described as follows:
”Per Andersson, father to the injured party, has on several occasions during 1991 and up to March 5, 1992, in X-city, had sexual relations with the injured party, both at his place of employment (the so-called X-base) and at the residence on X-hill. The relations consisted of his having persuaded her to touch his penis and of his having touched her genitals with his penis in a manner similar to intercourse.”
The investigative commission
Before formally charging the defendant on February 15, 1993, the District Court ordered a psychologist employed at the Psychiatric Clinic for Children and Youth to conduct a psychological investigation of the witness. The defendant was formally charged after she submitted her report. However, her report was criticised by the attorney for the father. After submitting several formal critical statements, the attorney petitioned the court to appoint a new expert after the formal charge had been lodged. The court finally agreed and the author was appointed.
The court’s commission to me was that, as an expert in witness psychology I was to express an opinion on:
”The origin of the statements regarding Eva Andersson’s statement that Per Andersson had carried out sexual acts against her that had the characteristics of sexual relationship and that these acts should have occurred during 1991 and up to March 5, 1992.”
Since the mother’s allegations on April 24, 1992, had stated that the younger sister Lena also had been abused and that she consequently had participated in the inquiry, my analysis included her as well.
The original Swedish text translated below is from the time of my official inquiry, specifically from when my report was being completed (January 14, 1994). The text was somewhat shortened and some small editorial changes were made.
Methodology and hypotheses
In order to analyse the origins of the statements, I have asked myself the following questions:
Are these personal statements made by Eva herself? Has she made the statements with her body? If so, when, what and for whom? How is this documented? What sources of error exist? Are these conveyed reports? Have Eva’s statements and behaviours been interpreted? If so, by whom. How have the statements been made and how in turn been interpreted? What reliability can I assign to information that has been conveyed indirectly?
The methodology which Arne Trankell called ‘formal structural analysis’ calls for using scientific systemology for examine the whole structure the people concerned are part of, for testing formulated hypotheses are tested on parts and the whole, as well as taking all accepted research finds in relevant psychological areas into consideration. Having analysed the direct statements available in documented police interrogations, in video taped conversations with the original psychologist, and the audio cassettes recorded by the mother, I have investigated whether there are any observations that support the accusations against the father.
Subsequently I carried out my own investigatory interviews designed to test my main hypothesis and its opposite:
- The information that Eva Andersson has been sexually abused by her father is something that has its origin in Eva’s own experience and expression.
- The information that Eva Andersson has been sexually abused by her father is something that does not have its origin in Eva’s own experience and expression.
My interviews coupled with the earlier analysis led to new hypotheses and caused me to request the journals for the Psychiatric Clinic for Children and Youth (BUP), the Child Health Care Centre, the Paediatric Reception and the local social services department. I also talked with the attorney who represented the mother in the civil action and Eva in the criminal action.
Getting the journals proved no easy task. In spite of a reference on January 10, 1994, to the judge handling the case, followed by a renewed promise from the social services department, I did not get access to the journals I had requested since November 1993. After approval by Eva’s and Lena’s mother, I did get partial access to the BUP journals. I have never received answers to the questions I have put to the chief physician, being told by the clinic director that there was no reason for the chief physician to reply. There was no order from the court to release the journals.
The situation at the time of my investigation
The situation was difficult for everyone concerned. Ann said it was very difficult for her to be the one who had to deal with the reactions from the girls, ones she interpreted as fear of their father. She said that Eva’s outbursts of unhappiness and self-destructiveness were very painful. Ann’s interpretation was that Eva’s unhappiness stemmed from the sexual abuse that Ann was convinced Per had subjected her to. She was also completed convinced that Per had subjected Lena to sexual abuse as well and was disappointed that the charge against Per only included Eva.
Per expressed a very strong longing for his children. He said he knew what he had done and that he had never done what he was accused of. He had been suspended from his job since the early summer 1992, with formal effect since 1993 on the grounds that there were good reasons for suspecting him guilty of a crime that he could serve time for. After that he had mostly been on the sicklist.
Most of the chances for visitation that Per was supposed to have had with his son Kalle had been cancelled. The only times they had met had been at an institution and then only briefly. Per had demanded to meet his daughters (who were not told at the time that he met their little brother) in the presence of a contact person. The injunction against visiting issued by the district attorney on July 13, 1992, states that Per ought to be allowed to meet his daughters. However, the Family Rights Group and the Treatment Group did not appoint a contact person, nor had they in any other way helped the father meet his daughters up to the time for my investigation at the beginning of 1994.
The girls met their mother, their maternal grandmother and her new husband every day, since the last two lived across the street. They had not seen their father since March 1992. They had only been allowed to meet their maternal grandmother and aunt twice during the summer 1993.
What did the mother say in the complaint?
The interrogation with Eva’s and Lena’s mother Ann was held as early as April 24, 1992, the day of the complaint. Below is a quote from the minutes of that interrogation (Kalle is the then newborn little brother, two months old in April 1992). The interrogating officer was named F and was the incest expert for the X-city police department. He has written down his interpretation of the mother’s interpretation of what the mother says that Eva said:
”At that point Eva continued to move her hand down along Kalle’s penis. She fingered the penis, moved the foreskin backwards and fingered the glans. Ann thought her daughter’s actions were odd and asked her in a normal tone why she did that. Eva answered, ‘daddy does that.’ Ann asked, ‘Have you seen that?’ Eva answered in the affirmative and said it had happened at [daddy’s] job. Eva then related spontaneously that Lena, Eva and daddy had been in the toilet at his job. They played that they were tigers and lions in a cage. Eva continued, ‘and then daddy did that.’ At that point she described with her hand the same motion she had performed on Kalle’s penis. The girl showed in the air how she fingered the glans. Eva continued by separating her legs as she said, ‘and then daddy did this.’ At this point Eva took her hand and rubbed her genitals. She touched her lower abdomen. Eva continued further, telling that when daddy did that, Eva did the movement, the fingering or rubbing with [her] fingertips on her daddy’s penis.
Ann said that Eva’s description came completely spontaneously and very quickly. Eva looked up at Ann and probably saw Ann’s reaction. At that point Eva assured spontaneously, ‘that it didn’t hurt, mommy.’ During the time that Eva was talking, Lena interrupted and said something like ‘I was there too, daddy did that on me too.’ After that Ann asked if they had done ‘that’ earlier and Eva answered, ‘at X-hill and at grandma’s.”
By F’s way of quoting the conversation with the girls’ mother it is clear that he believes that the mother is retelling what actually happened and that he enters into the situations he is describing.
Had this conversation been recorded it would have been possible to hear the mother’s description of Eva’s story and the mother’s choice of words, as well as the policeman’s questions. At this point the mother’s description of Eva’s story is interpreted by the interrogator. He has learned that he shouldn’t question since then the trust could be broken, a fact he has told the author per telephone on November 23, 1993. F has been a member of the municipal consultatory group since its inception in 1983. This group is a co-operative effort between the police, treatment facilities, social services and the district attorney that deals with cases of suspected abuse of children.
The interrogator does not question whether the mother could have provided a slanted and even wrong picture – he even places quotation marks around what the mother says the children said. This leaves the impression of being factual, when in fact viewed objectively this is a young and alone mother of three who has just given birth, describing what she feels is the background for filing a complaint against the father of her children for sexual abuse of the daughters. It is necessary to take into consideration that she has a vested interest in presenting the matter so that her complaint seems justified.
The policeman ignores the fact that the mother has interpreted Eva. His report is yet another interpretation. This interpretation of an interpretation is the picture the policeman uses as point of departure for his continued work. A whole month passes before he interviews the children. Eva’s statements in police interrogation
Eva and her little sister Lena were interviewed by the same policeman who had interviewed the mother, that is X-city’s incest expert. The interview was scheduled a month after the complaint on May 22 and 25, 1992, in the girl’s room in the newly built villa. At that time Eva was nearly four years old (turned four on July 5, 1992) and Lena about 2 1/2 (turned three on October 26, 1992). Their little brother Kalle was only three months old.
On both occasions the girls’ seemed to experience the situation as a play situation. They did not seem tense or afraid, nor were they prepared to answer any questions. They laughed, sang, jumped and ran around in the videotapes that document the interviews. They wanted the visiting man to read with them, to paint and write letters, all the while alternating activities rapidly as young children are wont to do. The girls were constantly interrupting each other and doing different things at the same time, leading to the conclusion that from an interview point of view the situation must be described as chaotic.
We shall deal with both interviews in more detail in the sections where their father is mentioned or where what father has done or Eva has done with ‘daddy’s willie’ is discussed. In the preliminary investigation these interviews are mostly reported via summaries, not in dialogue format as I have transcribed them.
From the first interview with the girls (start 10.16)
While they are looking in the Malin and Totte book [Swedish children’s book], the interviewer asks if they know anyone who has a ‘willie’. Eva answers matter-of-factly:
Eva: Boys have willies. Daddy has a willie. My daddy … (10.20).
The girls look at books and talk about it, they run around. Eva leans against the policeman’s knee and has her hands near his genitals. She seems completely secure and relaxed. The area does not seem to be sensitive for her. The policeman asks which people live there and Eva doesn’t really respond, saying instead:
Eva: ”Daddy lives far away.”
After the interviewer F has repeated his question and received an answer, he asks:
F: What’s daddy done that means that he can’t live here? (10.30)
Eva : Because he’s done many things to mommy.
F : Well, yes, what kind of things? (Eva runs away) You’ll have to come and tell me more about that.
Eva (sings): Where are my felt-tips?
She talks about other things. F encourages her to come to him and talk, even asking Lena. Eva returns to the screen and says (10.34):
Eva : Daddy moved away from mommy because daddy was nasty to mommy.
F: Oh, what did he do?
Eva : …my mommy.
F: Has he been nasty in some other way?
Eva: No. (She begins to talk with Lena about make-up.)
F: Do you think he’s been nasty some other way?
Eva: Now you take yours like this (to Lena ).
F (pushing): Eva!
Eva (turns towards F): What?
F: Has he been nasty in some other way?
Eva: I’m not telling any more ‘cause I’m tired.
F: Well, that’s something.
Eva: If I could find it, I’d show you the make-up.
F: But I’d like to know, I’d really like to know what it is you don’t want to tell.
You can hear on the interrogator’s voice that he thinks Eva is hiding something. Eva answers ”I’m not saying” when F asks at the beginning what his name is, something that suggests that in both situations she either is not able to answer or does not want to.
Then Eva talks about some boys on X-hill and that they had chives, while she is busy with the make-up. F tries to interrupt with questions about father. Both girls seem unconcerned. What Eva has told is that she knows daddy did things to mommy that mommy did not like. Eva calls these things nasty.
F: For that matter, have you visited you daddy at his job?
Evan answers no and says that the next time they are going to take the train to grandmother’s. According to Per, Eva and Lena have been at his new job once with their mother at a time when he wasn’t there. Can this be what Eva is referring to? Is that why she answers no again when F asks if they have visited daddy and why she repeats that they are going to ride the train to grandmother?
”You said that daddy had done something to mommy. Has he done anything to you?” asks F, turning towards Lena. She giggles and answers that daddy ”has sat on Eva.” Eva laughs and confirms that ”he has sat on me.”
If it were a question of abuse the girls would not look so happy and unconcerned, nor would they relate with a giggle. They have probably played something. Three times F encourages Eva to tell, but Eva does not care until he says that he will not help her open the make-up box if she does not tell him at the same time (bribe):
F: What did he do when he sat on you?
Eva : He jumped. (Eva shuffles forwards a bit where she sits on the floor next to F and jumps up and down a little while she moves her arms forwards and upwards – downwards. She looks happy and it happens quickly.)
F: He jumped, eh? What was he wearing then? (video time 10.40)
Eva: Sweater … pants. Open already!
F: Were you wearing any clothes then?
F: Elephant, eh.
Eva: And PJ-pants.
F: Tell me more about when daddy sat on you.
On the tape you can see that Eva is mostly interested in playing with her make-up and answers a bit impatiently to all expectant – and leading – questions. She pushes F to open the make-up box like he had promised if she told more.
At 10.45 F asks if they played lions and tigers at their father’s job. The mother had said so in her complaint. Eva answers yes, but she says ”don’t know” when he asks how and what happened then. Eva talks about the make-up and Lena says she wants to paint the policeman. For six minutes, he continues to ask what happened when they played lions and tigers without getting an answer. Once Eva responded that they played it because ”we wanted to”, but ”don’t know” to the follow-up question of what happened then. Neither she nor Lena mentioned any time that their father had been there.
By again taking out the Totte and Malin book, F can lead the conversation back to the father’s penis.
F: Have you ever touched your daddy’s willie? Eh? Have you touched it? (looks at Eva ). Lena? (turns to Lena ).
Eva (who is putting on Indian paint): I’ve touched his willie.
F: You’ve touched his willie? Can you tell me what you did then?
Eva: Touched (or tickled – it’s difficult to hear ) ‘im.
F: You touched him, eh?
Eva: I tickled him.
F: You touched him.
Eva: No! tickled.
F: Du tickled. OK. What did you do then? Show me with your fingers.
Eva takes the middle fingers of her right hand and touches her leg lightly; it happens quickly and then she says she’s going to be an Indian.
F: What happened then. What did daddy do?
Eva: I don’t …
F: What’s that?
Eva : … know.
F: What did daddy do?
Eva : He moved.
F: OK, he moved. How?
Eva (Moves a little where she is sitting painting herself.)
F: Where were you then, Eva?
Eva: At daddy’s job. /Where she earlier said that she’s never been with her daddy./
F: OK, at daddy’s job.
Lena : I want to be and Indian too.
F: He moved. Where were you?
Eva: At daddy’s that job.
F: At daddy’s that job. Mm, OK. Why did it happen, what was it that made you, you touch his willie?
Eva: Don’t know.
F: What’s that?
Eva: I don’t know.
F: So, did you decide to do it yourself or did daddy say you should do it?
Eva: He said like this that I should touch his willie.
Eva is sitting with her back to F, writing on her hand. She uses information she has received in the previous question and responds to the expectations F has expressed, instead of saying ‘I don’t know’ a third time.
F: Ok, yes. How did his willie look then. Eva, how did his; Eva, how did daddy’s willie look when you touched it?
Eva : (hard to hear)
F: Did it hang down or was it in some other way?
F : Did it hang like this (points his right index finger downwards)? Show me with your finger how daddy’s willie looked then.
Because she has the felt-tip she has been using to paint herself with in her right hand, Eva points downwards with her left index finger just like F’s finger.
F: OK, yes. What did daddy do then. Did he do something to you when you touched his willie?
F: If he did something to you. Tell more about when you touched daddy’s willie.
Eva: I have to pick up now.
F pushes Eva: Tell more! (10.56).
Eva: I really have to pick up.
F: Was Lena there when you touched daddy’s willie?
Eva : Yes, but…
There is nothing to suggest that either Eva or Lena is relating an abuse situation. Eva answers matter-of-factly that daddy has a ‘willie’ and that she has touched it. Both Per and Ann have related that both girls – according to Per mostly Lena – have examined his penis. Lena has crept up into the policeman’s lap. Eva has left the room. F then turns to Lena where she is sitting on his lap.
F: Were you there when Eva touched daddy’s willie? What did she do?
Lena: Don’t know.
F: Where were you?
Lena: Don’t know.
Then she says something about the playing.
F: How, how, what did you do when Eva touched daddy’s willie? … What did you do then?
In spite of the fact that F repeats his question three time and encourages her to answer by humming, Lena gives no answer. F’s questions are too abstract and complicated for a child who’s just learned to talk. Eva returns and asks about the flower on her dress that F says is backwards. She tries to turn the dress and is encouraged by F to go to her mother for help.
F: Was Eva dressed when she touched daddy’s willie?
F: What did you say?
F: Maybe, OK. How was it now with daddy? Hmm.
Lena: Fold out like this (she’s been talking about the things she’s been playing with the whole time.)
F: Tell me more. Hmm. Can you do that?
Lena is just over two years old, does not understand and does not know that many words. She doesn’t answer. Eva returns and is met by a challenge to show something that she apparently has not understood.
As we have seen above, each question where the interrogator repeats that Eva ‘has touched daddy’s willie’ is a form of training. This type of repetition and clearly demonstrated expectation comprises not only training, but also influence. This strong influence continues:
F: Tell me more about what happened when you touched daddy’s willie. Hmm. Can you show me, Lena or Eva? I’m holding it (he picks up a thick, black pen), OK, let’s pretend that this is daddy’s willie. Can you show what you did?
Eva took the pen, spread her legs a bit and placed the pen between them. Then she jumped up and down very rapidly and said happily: ”Daddy sat like that and then I jumped. (11.00)
F: Aha, his willie. One more time. I didn’t see, Eva. Can you stand up and show it again? Hmm? You can’t, eh? (To Lena, who is still sitting in his lap.) Can you stand up a bit, I saw … we lost something.
After a while F goes to the camera. Eva stays seated, drawing. F sits down on the floor again, about where the beds meet. And then he first says that Eva has shown how her father’s penis had been, followed by saying that she has shown where her father’s penis had been. What he had asked her was something else again, namely to show what she did when she touched her father’s penis.
F: Eva, you showed how daddy’s willie was, eh? Yes, look, you have pens there (to Lena). You have pens up there. Yes, that’s right.
Eva: Those are really my pens.
F: They are your pens.
Eva: They are mine and Lena’s.
F: But you showed me where daddy’s willie had been. Eva! Show me again! There, OK. (11.03)
Eva took the black pen between her legs and said matter-of-factly (author’s italics):
Eva: And daddy had balls.
Eva: And daddy had balls too.
F: He had balls as well?
Eva: Do you have balls too?
F: Yes, I have balls too.
Eva: You willie too?
F: Yes, I have a willie. I’m a boy.
Eva: Boy dolls. (sounds like)
F: What can you do more with the willie?
Eva: I don’t know.
F: I thought you could do something else. You showed that he touched or that you touched it. And then it was where you showed before in your front bottom. Hmmm. (Eva has continued to play with the make-up and has got some on her, as well as a spot on her dress.) Then you’ll have to take a bath, I think. Ask mommy to help you wash yourself.
There seems to have been either a misunderstanding above or a misrepresentation. F says that Eva has shown that her father’s penis has been in her ‘front bottom’, but what Eva has done is taken a pen between her legs and then happily commented that her father ‘had balls too’ and asked if F also has balls and a ‘willie’. It would seem from the context and her statements that Eva has shown that her father’s penis sat between his legs and informed the policeman that her father has balls. Immediately afterwards she has asked the policeman about these things.
Eva calls out to her mother that she has spilled on her dress and gets the answer that they will wash it off later. F and Eva continue to talk past each other.
F: Eva , what you showed me, has it happened once or several times?
F: Many times?
Eva: Not a lot.
F: How many times then? Can you show with your fingers?
Eva does not respond, drawing instead on her fingers and talking about that. She seems happy and in no way occupied in telling about something unpleasant that’s happened to her. It’s probably unclear to Eva what the grown-up man means with ’what you showed me’ since she’s shown him several different things. But she has never shown that her daddy has had his penis in her ’front bottom’. That is F’s interpretation (misinterpretation).
F continues to interrupt the play with his questions, all of which express a very strong expectation. In addition, it’s probably unclear to Eva what F means with ’there’.
F: I’m really curious about how it was when your daddy had his willie there. Was he standing or sitting? Or what was he doing?
F: He was sitting?
F: On what?
Eva: I don’t know.
F: Was he sitting on a chair?
Eva: He sat on a chair.
F: Where were you?
Eva: At home.
F: What room were you in, Eva?
Eva: I don’t know.
F: Which room was it?
Eva: It was in daddy’s room. I sat in daddy’s room at home.
F: You sat in daddy’s room. OK and then?
Eva sings that she’s finished (with the painting and make-up).
F: Eva, show me how you sat.
Eva leans standing up against the bed behind her.
F: You sat like that and daddy sat in a chair?
Eva (sighs): I didn’t sit at daddy’s place. I sat at home.
F: But I thought that was when he had his willie in your ’front bottom’ like you showed me.
Eva: I don’t know about that.
Eva sighs and makes it clear that she was not sitting at her daddy’s. She goes out to her mother. F repeats many times that daddy has had his penis on Eva (see the question to Lena below) or in Eva’s ’wee-wee’ (as in many questions to Eva). Neither of the girls seems to understand what the grown-up man is sure has happened.
F to Lena: Can you sit here now that Eva has gone out to mommy.
F: Did you see when Eva …
Lena: I’m painting your forehead.
F: … when Eva, when daddy had his willie on Eva? Did you see it? (11.07)
F: Right. What happened then?
Lena: Don’t know.
F: What did daddy do? How was he?
Lena: I’m going to paint you.
Eva returns (11.08): Can you look at something?
F: Yes. Just stand there a moment, Eva so I can ask you? You told me that you had touched your daddy’s willie. Now I want to know if he has touched your ’front bottom’?
Eva (expectantly, perhaps because F has said he’ll come along and look at what she want to show ) answers happily:
Eva: Yes and I touched his willie.
F: Show me how he touched your ’front bottom’. What did he do then?
Eva, who has repeated that she has touched her daddy’s ’willie’ is now encouraged to show how he touched her ’front bottom’. She places her right hand outside her yellow dress about where his ’willie’ and her ’front bottom’ are, that is between the legs and performs what I would call a tickling motion. She spreads her fingers apart in the way you do when you are tickling someone.
Eva: He tickled.
F: Right, yes.
Eva: Do you know what I did on daddy?
Eva: Tickled him too.
F asks where it happened. Eva says: ”Come!” She’s nagged a long time about showing something. F then turns to Lena and asks: ”Have you ever touched your daddy’s willie?” With her pacifier in her mouth, Lena’s answer is unintelligible, but then says: ”I’m going to point your arm.” F says to Eva that Lena must be allowed to finish painting before he can come and look, but then he says that he has to leave and they’ll have to look the next time.
From the second interview (start 10.08)
The mother is in the room when the video camera starts. She picks up their small brother who’s just woken up. Lena fetches a lot of books. They think they are going to read books. F asks ’knowledge’ questions as they look through a book, such as: ”What’s that? What happens to the egg? What do you call the chick’s daddy? The mother is called hen.” Eva answers that he’s called Nils. ”Can it also be called a rooster,” asks F. After Eva has said that the chick is angry and sad, the interviewer asks:
F: Have you ever been angry and sad?
Lena [sic] says (10.19) that she’s going to read the ’Totte’ book and F says:
F: Didn’t you tell me the last time we met, Eva, that you had your daddy’s willie somewhere?
Lena comes in and says something about a gingerbread house. F goes and checks the camera.
F: Tell me …
Eva: I think it’s a bother.
F: You think it’s a bother? I thought you could show, take some dolls and show how it happened (sounds disappointed). Hmmm. I don’t really understand how it went. Can you take your dolls and show how it went?
Eva sings ”Here’s my teddy bear” and jumps up in the bed behind F.
F: Eva, I don’t understand. You said that you jumped.
Eva sings: I jumped.
F encourages Eva to show using the teddy bear and the doll.
F: Eva, can’t you show what happened when you sat on your daddy or he sat on you?
One after the other, Eva places the teddy bear and the doll on her head and makes them jump a little up and down while she says:
Eva: Daddy, I sat like this on the head and then daddy jumped on my head.
Once again F asks where her daddy’s ’willie’ was. Eva makes a movement that can’t be seen on the tape since she is hidden behind the interviewer on the bed. The interview protocol reports (pg. 9):
”On being asked where her daddy’s penis was, she pointed downward towards her genitals. Eva made no more precise demonstration.”
With a built-in presupposition, F asks.
F: And your daddy’s willie, where was it on you?
Eva doesn’t answer.
Both girls are ’reading’. F tries several times to ask about their daddy’s ’willie’, but gets no further than ”Eva, I thought …” before being interrupted. He does succeed in formulating the whole question once (and then it’s very leading):
F: I’ve thought about it, your daddy’s willie – was it on your ’front bottom’?
Eva is leafing through a book and talking out loud about what she sees in the book. F tries several times with: ”Eva, I’ve thought about it, your daddy’s willie was on your ’front bottom…”
No answer. From having asked where her daddy’s ’willie’ was on Eva and changing to asking if it was on her ’front bottom’, he has now moved on to saying that it was there, (just as he did towards the end of the last interview)(see above).
F: Lena, you know we talked the last time … (he picks up the dolls and asks at 10.28)… how it was when your daddy jumps on Eva.
For 2 1/2 year old Lena it can be difficult to understand which situation or possible event the man is talking about. It can also be confusing that he asks [his question] as if her daddy is about to jump on Eva. Indeed, throughout both interviews it is difficult to tell if the interviewer and the girls are talking about the same thing.
Lena takes a doll and holds it against her head and jumps up and down on the small children’s chair. Then she throws the dolls after she’s done the same thing with the other doll after F has told her which of the dolls is Eva and which is her daddy.
After this the discussion is about bookmarks or scraps. F asks if they have any. The fact that Eva answers yes to the repeated question if they’ve done something to get bookmarks from their daddy can have many explanations. It does not necessarily mean that their daddy has abused his daughters sexually, paying them off with bookmarks. However, that’s how both the police and their mother interpret the whole thing.
Trying to get the girls to talk about the sexual abuse he believes they have been exposed to, F asks Eva (10.40):
F: Eva, last time you showed where your daddy’s willie was – has it been on the back too?
It is probable that the last time Eva showed where her daddy’s willie was – on her daddy – between the legs. Now, when Eva is asked this question, she thinks that F is asking odd questions. After all he’s a boy himself with a willie between his legs – he’s confirmed that to Eva. He should know that it isn’t on the back too. So she answer emphatically ”No!”
Then F asks a question which also can be hard for Eva to understand:
F: Has your [maternal] grandfather’s willie been there too?
Eva who is sitting in the policeman’s lap, says matter of factly.
Eva: My grandfather too has a willie.
F then asks the girls if they’ve seen their grandfather’s willie. Both answer no. Then F leans over towards Eva’s head so his cheek touches her hair and says softly
F: You’ll have to tell more. Last time you pointed out where your daddy’s willie had been – are there any more places, Lena — or Eva? Has it been somewhere else? Eh?
F: You only have to point. Like that. Has it been somewhere else?
Eva: I don’t know where it is (with a surly voice).
Eva hops off the policeman’s lap and climbs up on her bed. This reaction added to her answer reinforces further the interpretation that she has told and shown where boys have their willie. She seems tired of all questions about if the willie has been somewhere else than between the legs where it belongs.
F: Eva, have you…
Eva: I’m tired.
F: Yes, you’re tired. But I only thought you should point and show once.
Eva tries to take the book Lena is holding. Lena runs around, fetches paper and felt-tips and climbs up in the policeman’s lap. (10.44)
F: Look here, Eva, has your daddy’s willie been anywhere else than where you showed on your front bottom? Eh?
Eva doesn’t answer. She fetches paper after having said she is going to write her mommy. After an incident where Eva bumped her head on the desk, gone out and been comforted by her mother, the girls are happy and singing again. They seem completely uninterested in F’s questions. But he doesn’t give up. At 10.49 he asks again about when they played lions and tigers and elephant, something their mother had told him when he interviewed her.
F: Who was the elephant? Daddy. And then you said (When? It is not on the tape.) that the elephant had a trunk, you said; what was it that was the trunk? Lena or Eva. What was it that was the trunk?
Eva is sitting at the desk writing. Lena is on the floor below, playing.
F: Can you tell me? I don’t know. Tell me..
Eva writes and Lena sings.
F: Eva, Eva, I’m curious over something… I’m wondering over something.
Eva writes, Lena sings and hums, neither seeming to hear F.
F: Listen Eva, I’m curious over something. Where you dressed when you played lions and tigers?
Eva answers yes, she had a jacket on.
F covers his face and looks at the clock (10.53). He changes the camera setting so the beds appear on the tape and encourages Eva to come. She asks for help with writing letters to her mother. F says that first Eva should come to him and look in the book – then he’ll help her. She doesn’t come. F changes the camera position again so that Eva is in the picture at the desk. He asks what she wants help with and says in a soft voice (10.57, author’s italics).
F: Tell me now at the same time what … if, if your daddy’s willie has been somewhere else than on your ’front bottom’? Has it? Eh?
Eva is silent.
F: Has your daddy’s willie been somewhere else than on your ’front bottom’?
Eva: Yes (looking at F).
F: Where was that?
Eva: Don’t know.
F: Point. Where was that, Eva ? Hmm.
F: Where was that, Eva? Can you point? (Expectation in his voice.)
Eva : –
F: Now you point out first if it has been somewhere else. Then you can write the next letter.
Eva: It was at daddy’s work.
F: What happened then when you were at your daddy’s work?
Eve doesn’t answer. It becomes obvious from the above that F is ’bribing’ Eva again. The first time was in the first interview when he said he’d help her open the make-up box if she told him more. How he says that she can’t write the next letter until she has shown where her daddy’s penis ”has been somewhere else”. Eva doesn’t answer.
We can see that F is pressing Eva. During the entire sequence, he shows very clearly what he expects and that he really only is interested in having her say something about her daddy’s willie or to describe something nasty her daddy has done. But Eva can’t understand what it is he thinks has happened. The answer that Eva finally gives to the policeman’s repeated question about where else her daddy’s penis has been is that it has been at ”daddy’s work” – a complete non sequitur. While Eva has not understood what F is asking, she knows that he has said he thinks they’ve been at her daddy’s work and that something happened there.
A bit later F asks:
F: When you got bookmarks from your daddy, what had happened then? Had something happened? Tell me. Hmmm…
F repeats this question to Eva and then to Lena since Eva has run out to show her mother what she’s written. Lena, who is just two years old, answers: ”I don’t know”. (Author’s italics below):
F: Have you seen where your daddy’s willie has been? If it’s been on Eva?
F doesn’t seem to accept Lena’s no as a no, asking instead:
F: Can you show where daddy’s willie has been on Lena, no I mean on Eva?
Lena: I’m only going to … She plays with the dolls in the dollhouse and says: ”You can play with them too.”
F: Can’t you show where daddy’s willie was on Lena, Eva?
Lena: Wait a bit.
F asks Lena to fetch Eva, which she does.
F: I have two follow-up questions. Where has your daddy’s willie been? You showed me on your ’front bottom’. Has it been somewhere else?
F: When your daddy had his willie on you in your ’front bottom’, did you have pants on then? Or had you no pants on?
Eva: I was naked. He was too naked. And Lena too (somewhat triumphant).
F asks what happened. Eva wants to build (11.10). There is no answer to the question and the interview ends at this point.
It is often rather difficult to hear what the girls are saying. After listening to the video-tape several times and analysing what is said, as well as what happens in the communication between the policeman and primarily Eva, it is evident that the presentation in the preliminary investigation does not quote certain replies correctly and the comments are coloured by the picture that the investigating policeman has about what has occurred, such as:
”Eva (Took the pen herself and moved it towards her vagina) … and daddy had balls too.
F: What did you say?
Eva: … daddy had a stick.” (p. 8 in the protocol.k.fup;)
As Eva never used the word stick, this is a misinterpretation. What the policeman interprets as Eva herself taking the pen ( = stick = her daddy’s penis in the policeman’s picture) and ”moved it in towards her vagina” seems to me to be Eva using the pen to show where her daddy’s penis is, namely between his legs. It is reasonable to make this interpretation in the light of the fact that Eva does not seem to be talking about an event at all, does not seem afraid nor seems to remember something. She is occupied with boys having ’willies’ and balls, something she also asks the policeman if he has. When he asks her with great expectation if anything ”else” happened, Eve responds happily that she is finished and is going to pick up.
Here is yet another quote from the policeman’s presentation of his interviews, (p. 8 of the protocol):
”F: OK, show how he touched your ’front bottom’ then. What did he do then?
Eva (demonstrates by rubbing her hand on her genitals).
Eva: He tickled and do you know what I did to daddy?
Eva: … tickled him too. Now we’re going to look at the thing.”
What the policeman describes as Eva ”rubbing her hand on her genitals” looks to me like Eva taking her right index finger outside her yellow dress and making a ’tickling’ motion in the same way people usually tickle small children. She confirms this with her own words that that is what she has done – tickled daddy and daddy tickled her.
Eva’s earlier word kela (with a hard k) seems to mean both hug and tickle, or Eva is using F’s word from earlier, namely killa or tickle.
In other words, it seems that F has either misunderstood or misinterpreted Eva on these two central points:
- F thinks that Eva has shown that her daddy has had his penis in or on her genitals, when she was showing him where her daddy’s penis is.
- F thinks that Eva has shown him that her daddy has rubbed her genitals, when she was showing him that her daddy tickled her.
The first authentic, documented statements from Eva are those in the two videotaped interviews. Consequently these are the most crucial statements in the whole material for the analysis of whether the suspicions that Per Andersson has abused his daughter are factually based.
Neither Eva nor Lena distance themselves in any way from the interviewer, in spite of the fact that he neither really plays nor really listens. Rather he shows clearly that the only thing is really interested in is something nasty that he thinks their daddy has done to them. The girls get up on his lap and do not seem to see the genital area as a loaded one. Eva shows a curiosity quite suitable for her age regarding whether F has a willie and balls just like her daddy.
The interviewer’s questions asking why the girls got bookmarks from their daddy (”Have you been nice in some way? Or have you done something? Eva, when you got bookmarks from your daddy?”) show that the interviewer has a preconception that the girls have performed some sort of service for their daddy and been given the bookmarks in thanks.
Can this preconception on the part of the interviewer, one that can be seen in many of his questions in that they express a strong expectation both in choice of words and in intonation, also have led to his interpreting the answers he has received in a chosen direction, as well as misunderstanding or misinterpreting certain answers? Has Eva ever told the police or shown that her daddy has exposed her to any form of sexual abuse?
Eva never relates or shows anything spontaneously about her daddy. Rather she says that her daddy has done something towards her mommy. On Lena’s initiative we find a laughing Eva confirming that ”daddy has sat on me.” She doesn’t describe one or several distinguishable events and never about anything her daddy has done that scared her.
Consequence and consistency say as little as confidence and certainty as to whether a statement can be trusted. The so-called reality criteria have been developed after analysis of a large body of empirical material dealing with sexual offences against children. When Udo Undeutsch and Arne Trankell worked out the criteria for the so-called statement analysis method, their basic observation was that statement about something actually experienced, something self-experienced differ from other statements.
The first of these so-called reality criteria, internal consistency, is not satisfied. The statements made by Eva do not confirm each other when it comes to time, place or actors. For example, she first says that she has not been to her daddy’s job and later she affirms that she has played lions and tigers at her daddy’s ”that job”. She never mentions any abuse.
Nor are the criteria relating to capability and originality (in single, unique instances) satisfied. Eva is old enough and sufficiently secure in the situation to tell if something really had happened to her. She doesn’t. Nor does she say or show anything that is so unusual that it could be interpreted as if she had been exposed to abuse.
Other observations that provide support for conclusions as to whether statements can be seen being based on something the speaker has herself experienced or not include the following.
Reporting subjective experiences. The feelings that Eva expresses are inadequate as support for an assumption that it is something improper or frightening she is talking about. She laughs and plays when she talks about her daddy’s ’willie’ and the fact that she has kelat or tickled it.
Wealth of detailed description (not through questions or influence). There simply are no spontaneous or changeable details in what is revealed in the two interviews, in any case none that can be tied to some self-experienced abuse situation. One example is that Eva says ’elephant’ at one time, but it is in response to a question on how she was dressed. Details revealed through leading or suggestive questions can be interview products that cannot be assigned any value.
Complications, quotes from conversations and sudden memories. People talk about events that they have participated in special ways. Perhaps some complication occurred to disturb the situation, perhaps you suddenly remember something someone said, or you remember what you’ve felt or thought or heard. Since she has never talked about a sequence of events, she can’t describe how that sequence was disturbed or that she heard her daddy say something or that she suddenly remembers something from an event.
It has been claimed that Eva has told and in police interviews shown that her daddy has had his penis against her genitalia, that she has played with his penis and that she has indicated the sauna at home and her daddy’s job as the places (Undated answer to the father’s attorney by the psychologist at the Psychiatric Clinic for Children and Youth – BUP). Those videotapes I have seen contains none of these facts, with the undramatic exception that she has tickled her daddy’s penis.
Summary. There is nothing in what Eva or Lena say or express in some other way in the police interviews that suggest that she or they describe some self-experienced sexual abuse by their daddy.
Is there evidence that Eva has said or shown something in some other context or has someone else close to her made observations that in spite of this fact can be interpreted to suggest that she has been sexually abused by her daddy? To ascertain that, additional information must be collected and analysed.
Statements by the girls during interviews with the investigating BUP psychologist.
At the close of the summer some four months after the previous videotaping session with the girls and six months since their daddy had moved out, new videotaped sessions were scheduled with the girls. The reason was interviews by the BUP psychologist. This time the girls were interviewed separately, first Eva.
Eva and the interviewer are sitting on the floor where the beds meet, but Eva moves around a lot. She jumps up and down on her small child-size chair, seemingly falling off. She seems happy, though not very interested in answering any questions. Below I quote the statement sequences that deal with her daddy and report on the rest of the interview.
The tape starts out with questions from the psychologist about how old Eva is and about her day-care centre. Eva answers that her favourite game is a rhyming game where you jump on your butt. She says she doesn’t like ”Baa, baa!” because there is a younger brother in the song. Then she sits on the floor and draws. She is asked by the psychologist to draw the family and she includes a drawing of her father.
P: Do you think about your daddy sometimes?
P: What do you think about then?
Eva: That I want to kiss him.
P: Do you think anything else about your daddy than that you want to kiss him?
Eva: That I want to kiss him on the lips.
In other words, in response to the open questions where there is no expected answer, Eva answers spontaneously that she wants to kiss her daddy.
The psychologist continues to ask about beds and bedtime routines. Eva says she doesn’t like to sleep in pyjamas, but that she puts them and her dressing gown when she gets out of bed. To the question of who lives in the house, Eva lists everybody. The psychologist then asks if her father also has lived there. Eva nods, saying:
Eva: Daddy used to live at X-hill, but then we fought so much that daddy had to leave mommy.
P: Did your daddy bawl you out too?
Eva: Are we through?
Eva seems to identify with her mother, since she says ”we fought so much”. A bit later the psychologist asks if her father sometimes helped Eva go to bed and Eva answers that she wants to blow [bubbles]. The psychologist says she had meant to ask Eva some more questions, but lets her blow soap bubbles a while. Eva wants more time. She agrees to stop after a promise that she can blow more later after they’ve talked a bit (bribe). Eva creeps halfway under her bed.
Further on in the conversation the psychologist asks Eva where her knees and her bottom are and what she calls what girls have in the front. ”Front bottom,” is Eva’s answer.
P: Has anyone ever done anything with your ’front bottom’?
P: No-one has ever done anything with your front bottom?
Eva runs around and says she wants to blow some more after she’s answered yes to the question on whether she used to play doctor and has shown the doctor’s bag. The psychologist says that maybe they’ll talk some more some other time.
In this interview, exactly as in the ones with the incest expert from the police, Eva responds with clear negatives to questions suggesting that her father (or anyone) has harmed her in any way.
Lena was more talkative than Eva. She had her large dummy in her mouth and sat quietly on the floor. She didn’t jump around like Eva had.
P: Where does daddy live?
Lena: He lives in his house.
P: Do you visit him there sometimes, you and Eva?
P: What do you usually do then?
Lena: He usually hits us. And then he hits up here on the head so you have to go to the doctor.
Lena is barely three years old at this point. As above where she talks about that her father hits [people] on the head so that you have to go to the doctor, she continues to talk disconnectedly about how he grab you on your thighs so you die and that if you are thrown down on the street you hurt yourself. The whole sequence leaves the impression of being things she’s heard one or more adults talk about that she’s then reconstrued in her own way. Neither of the girls have ever visited their father since he moved out of the family’s newly built house on March 5, 1992. The exception was a visit to their [paternal] grandmother towards the end of March 1992 where their father also was.
It is noteworthy that the psychologist asks about how things went when the girls visited their father as if she didn’t know that the girls aren’t allowed to see their father and hence cannot have visited him at the new address.
P: What does your daddy do with you then?
Lena: Then we hop up on my daddy Per and ride on him and then we go like this and climb up on the bed.
P: OK, and where is your daddy then?
Lena: Then is in the disgusting toilet up there. There is a bed there.
Also this sequence leaves the impression that Lena has overheard conversations about what her father has done or what the grownups around her think has happened, things she doesn’t really understand.
A bit later the psychologist asks:
P: But when you were in the disgusting toilet, what did you play then?
Lena: Same as before.
P: What happened then?
Lena: A ghost came at night and threw us. My daddy was a tiger. He dressed up like a ghost.
Lena says he had a lamp on his forehead and that he threw them to the lions. ’Tiger cage’ is something her mother had said the Eva is said to have talked about and which was at their father’s new job.
Lena: He rattled for us and then we went up to fix dinner. We lay in our beds.
This was in the small house, according to Lena and then comments that one of the felt-tips is lilac.
P: You’re a clever girl, you really know your colours. How was it when you were in the sauna with your daddy?
Lena: Did you know that a lion came in there?
Lena talks some more about ghosts, a long stairway, no door and no air, it was hot and there were gates everywhere. She say something about her father creeping over something and that her mother was there in the sauna. ”Which mother? Was it mommy Anne?” asks the psychologist and gets an affirmative response. Then Lena fold up the drawing she’s done of the family and says, ”I want to go out now.”
In her answers to the investigating child psychologist, Eva expressed the desire to kiss her father, that she thinks about him, and misses him. There is no indication from her, either verbally or in some other way, that she has some difficult experience relating to her father on her mind. On the other hand, she does seem to share responsibility for the present situation. She shows that she identifies with her mother when she says that ’we fought so much that daddy had to leave mommy’.
To two typical yes-no questions, Eva answers no both times. The psychologist repeats the question if someone has done something with her ’front bottom’ immediately after Eva has said no, enabling Eva to respond to the expectation inherent in the repetition that there is some other answer. Eva does not change her answer, saying no the second time too. What seems to be the most obvious interpretation is that Eva answers no because no one has done anything with her ’front bottom’.
Neither of the girls seem upset or afraid. Of the two, Lena is most willing to answer questions. What she does say indicates that she has heard what others have said about her father, since among the things she suggests is that ’daddy hits them when they visit him at his house’ – this though they have never visited him where he lives. The confusion in what Lena says also suggests that she is trying to relate what she has heard. Nor is it likely that she would remember anything from the sauna on X-hill or from a visit to a toilet at her father’s job, events that happened when she was only two years old.
In response to two questions about if she had been in the sauna with her father, her first answer was something about a brush and the second time she said that a lion came.
Statements by the girls on their mother’s tape
The statement by the investigating BUP psychologist includes reference to four tapes recorded by the mother:
- One recorded June 22-28, 1992.
- One recorded when the girls were going to bed on September 11, 1992, the same day as the psychologist had videotaped Eva and Lena. According to the mother Eva became restless. (This tape was not turned in until March 30, 1993, when the psychologist turned over her recordings.)
- and 4 Two tapes recorded later.
In a short interview with the mother at the same time as she turned over the two tapes, she said (according to the interviewer) that on several occasions the girls ”had made spontaneous statements about their father and what he had done to them”.
However, in referring to these tapes, the interviewer repeatedly says:
”Ann asks”, ”To a question from Ann”, ”After a question”, ”Ann repeats the question” and ”asks Ann”.
This does not suggest that the girls had made any spontaneous statements, but the reverse.
The interviewer has reported on the contents of three of the tapes (1, 3 and 4 above) though without quoting any statement sequences (that is both question and answer). I have done so as seen in the extract below. The italics are mine.
Ann: OK … Now, you’ve told mommy about many times. (Chit-chat and a rebuke to Lena.) Are you going to tell now what daddy has done (silent)?
Eva: No. (some whining)
Ann: Yes [you are]. You said he had done something nasty. What was it you said he’d done that was so nasty?
Eva: I don’t know (sobbing).
Ann: Daddies aren’t allowed to do nasty things to their children.
Eva: I don’t know.
Ann: Don’t you know what he’s done?
Ann: Is it something fun or something bad or …? Mmmm, give mommy a hug. Are you that unhappy?
Ann: Eva, come here! Come, little one! What did you just say to mommy? I didn’t really hear.
Eva: That, that daddy … in daddy’s flat where I’ve been.
Ann: OK. And what hap…? Where did you say that flat was?
Ann: What has happened there then?
Eva: Well, it was there he touched me on [my] willie like so … so…he .. touched me here…so (sigh) there wasn’t anyone there, they, they were at home, they weren’t working.
Ann: In other words you were with daddy by yourselves?
Ann: Well. What did you say he did?
Eva: I don’t know anything else.
Ann: You don’t know anything else? Do you know where you were when he did that?
Ann: Did he touch you with his willie? Where did he touch you with his willie then?
Ann: What’s it called? What’s that called?
Eva: Front bottom (weakly)
Ann: Front bottom. How did it feel, then?
Eva: You can call it ass (happily).
Ann: Who says that?
Eva has never been in her father’s flat, as she says above. In this short extract we can see that the mother encourages Eva to tell (and does so throughout).
The mother corrects Eva when Eva says that her daddy has touched her on [her] willie, changing it to with [his] willie. The mother knows how it should be. But Eva doesn’t and she has a hard time learning it, something that shows up several times in the tapes recorded by the mother. One example is when Eva repeats several times that she has a willie and that daddy has touched her willie (see below). Eva tells happily that the ’front bottom’ can be called ’ass’. Thought the grown-ups have interpreted her so, there is nothing to suggest that Eva wants to talk about something nasty her daddy is supposed to have done in her ’front bottom’.
It was attorney who represented the mother in the custody case and was representative for the injured parties (Eva and Lena) in the criminal case who suggested to Ann that she should record her daughters. He reported in a telephone conversation with the author on December 8, 1993, that after Ann had reported to him what the girls said about their father, he had said it would be good to have documentation of this and that Ann should let the tape recorder run.
However, the tapes the mother recorded with her daughters do not show that the girls make any spontaneous statements like the mother reported to the attorney, the police, the investigating BUP psychologist, her own BUP physician and to me.
When Eva says that she is sad because she wants to hug her daddy – something that doesn’t tally with the suggestion that he should have exposed her to some sort of sexual abuse and that this had made her afraid of him – Ann responds by promising Eva that she will do that another day, again holding out a prospect she does not fulfil.
Ann motivates her refusal to let the girls have contact with their father (in the presence of a witness), his mother or his sister by saying that the girls are afraid of Per, that they do not want to see him and that they become upset (November 25, 1993). This is contradicted by what she herself has recorded on the tapes she turned over to the police. On two of the tapes Ann tells the girls that they can’t see their father because his flat isn’t fully painted yet and he hasn’t fetched any furniture for it.
Ann: Do you want to be with daddy?
Lena: Yes, the whole night.
Asked if she wants to live with her daddy, Eva says no. The girls’ voices sound happy. Ann says that perhaps they will be allowed to sleep over at their daddy’s place. Does she mean that they will be allowed to live there or sleep over at their father’s house? Or is she just saying it to get the answers she is expecting? The reason for my question-marks is Ann’s consistent actions to prevent the girls from seeing Per. Lena say she wants to sleep over there and Eva says she thinks that her mother should also meet Per. The girls ask about their daddy’s job and Ann says it takes a long time to paint.
Ann repeats her questions many times, showing what she expects and pleads for the ’right’ answers. One time Eva even asks her mother if she should ”say it?” (tape 4). With happy voices the girls respond as encouraged that their father has touched their ’front bottoms’. And in spite of their mother’s follow-up questions and attempts to force some response with concrete content, she doesn’t succeed.
In her report, the investigating BUP psychologist concludes that:
”The mother’s reactions during the taped conversations leave an impression of being calm and neutral.”
However, the mother’s manipulative questions about the children´s father, her pleading and nagging do not leave an impression of calmness and neutrality. The investigating BUP psychologist drew the following conclusion in a supplementary statement on October 31, 1993 (p. 8):
”Following a thorough analysis of the audio and video tapes and of the protocols and notes related to them, taken together with [my] own interviews, my investigation has not turned up any evidence to suggest that the mother has submitted the children to systematic pressure or unconscious suggestion in order to get them to describe abuse they haven’t been subjected to. For this reason there is no support for Hypothesis #1.”
The transcription of the complete statement sequences in the tapes the mother has recorded with her daughters shows clearly that she has influenced them through her expectations, as well as by her informative and repetitive allegations and questions about what their father has done.
However, it is primarily through her consistent behaviour in not letting the girls meet their father, his mother or his sister that the mother has influenced and continues to influence her children. Children learn from what the adults do, much more than from what they say.
The mother’s notes about her daughters’ statements
The girls’ mother has also given the police notes about what she claims the girls have said spontaneously. The following note is from the day of the first police interview with Eva and Lena, that is on May 22, 1992 (transcript):
”They’re looking at bookmarks. Look mother, here is a cat. It’s like the one I got from daddy when I was nice to him. ’When were you nice to him?’ I asked. When I and Lena had played tiger lion and Elephant (zebra) with daddy. We touched his willie and daddy held his balls. He said we were nice to him then and we got the bookmarks. I got a kitten. Lena a puppy and daddy a lion zebra.”
The interview with the girls transpired on the same morning these notes were written down. What is likely is that the mother had talked to the police after his interview with the girls and he had reported his interpretation, namely that the girls had been given the bookmarks because they had been ’nice’ to their father. The mother thinks so too, as shown by the notes.
The last notation has just as little relation to any sexual abuse as any of the other:
”We were staying over at grandmother and grandfather. Eva wakes up and I get into bed with her and cuddle a while. She said ’I had a dream, mommy.’ I asked her ’What did you dream, precious?’
– About Lena, Eva , daddy and a nasty old man* is her answer.”
A four-year old with Eva’s excellent verbal abilities do not normally talk of themselves in the third person in the way Ann has quoted her here. It ought to have been natural for Eva to say ’me’ in the sentence above. The only note from the girls’ mother that has any connection to the accusation is the one from May 12, 1992, though it is very vague. According to what she has reported, Ann wrote the following at the time:
”Lena says that daddy doesn’t have anywhere to live. I answer that he’ll soon have his own flat and that they can meet once he’s moved in. Eva says that I (mommy) can come along and sleep there when it gets dark and that I can go home with them when it gets light. I don’t want to be there by myself. I’d feel sorry for you. And daddy just pokes my eyes and opens them like this (she shows). And then he hits me in the head – it hurts (says Eva) and sits on me – and he touches me too. – Here! And then she touches her self between her legs and tickles her genitals. She looks at me and says: then daddy touches my ear and my stomach.”
It is possible that, as she has done before, Eva is expressing her sense of responsibility for her mother by saying it would be hard on the mother if she [Eva] is at her father’s. She knows that her mother doesn’t want her to stay at her father’s. Why then does her mother say that she can? And the list of what Ann says that Eva is supposed to have said leaves a confused impression and cannot be seen as proof of anything.
It is important to remember that all of these notes about so-called spontaneous statements have been written after Ann had filed her complaint against Per and around the same time as the police interviews with the girls.
If it had indeed been as Ann has claimed in conversations with the investigating BUP psychologist and this author that Eva has told a lot about what her father has done, including where, when and how, why hasn’t Ann written these statements down? It ought have been much more vital than what she has written down and turned over since those notes do not contain anything about what their father is alleged to have done, nor where, when or how.
Interview with Eva
I came to lovely X-löv one snowy November day in 1993. It was the first time Eva and Lena had seen snow since the winters in their lives had so far been snow-less. After we had talked, their mother and I, we took a walk to the day-care centre to fetch the girls and Kalle. Because Lena was already outside playing when we came, Lena and I had time to build a snow lantern while Ann went after Eva and Kalle. Eva had made a fine Advent candleholder from a piece of firewood and I was entrusted with carrying it home while Eva pulled her brother on a sled.
Once we were back at their house, Eva and I went right to her room and closed the door. There was a large pile of stuffed animals on the bed. After having shown me the Pippi wig, the ’Little Man’ and ’Mr. Nilsson’, Eva dove into the pile and brought out two animals to show me. One was a dog with the embroidered message ”To Lena from Daddy” and the other a penguin labelled ”To Eva from Daddy”. After telling me about some rabbits she had had, she told me that the dog’s name was Loffe and that the penguin she’d gotten from her daddy was called Ping. Following my statement that I thought she could sing and my question as to what she liked, Eva sang the entire, long text to the Swedish children’s song ”Åsa, Gåsa, Klinga” in a high, clear voice, after which we sang ”Ekorrn satt i granen” together.
I asked ”if you were going to kela with Ping, what would you do?” Eva then hugged the penguin from her father and in response to yet another question about what she does when she kelar, she hugged Ping again.
It is entirely foreign to Eva that kela should have a sexual connotation.
Eva then took out a board, on which she put together letters for names and asked if I could read. I read IENÄ and then in a column Mommy, Eva, Kalle and Lasse. ”Lasse is one who throws us into the air,” said Eva. Then she explained that the first IENÄ was supposed to be Lena, but there weren’t enough letters.
– Why wasn’t daddy on the list?
Eva: He’s stupid (using another, seemingly angry intonation). I don’t want him on that board. And then you can’t really write any more and daddy is a long name and it doesn’t work so good for it’s even longer.
– I see. You don’t have room.
– What do you remember about your daddy?
– When did you see your daddy? Was it a long time ago?
Eva: No…can you open?
– Do you remember what he looks like?
Eva: No, I don’t even remember him, I haven’t met him for a long time and I don’t want to (using an angry, somewhat childish intonation).
– Don’t you miss him?
Eva: No, he’s nasty (still with an angry intonation).
– You say nasty all the time. When did you begin to think he was nasty?
(Rustling with Eva’s experiment – melted snow in a bag. No answer.)
– Was it a long time ago?
Eva: Yes. …Now I’m going to …
– You’ll have to be careful now for melted snow is really water and can suddenly pour out?
Eva : Yes.
– Your daddy is nasty. Is your mommy nice or is she nasty too?
Eva: She’s nice. She’s the one who’s called Ann.
– Is your mommy always nice?
(No answer to the question.)
Eva: I’m going to play with this drop now. (Eva has several drops from the melted snow on a white paper which later draw on with a blue pen, pretending it’s a creek.)
– Is she always nice?
Eva: Yes, sometimes she yells.
– Don’t you think all daddies and mommies do that now and then?
After talking about everything under the sun, I ask Eva if she wants to meet her daddy and see what he looks like. She doesn’t answer. I suggest that he might look like Ping, the penguin Eva got from her father, but Eva says she thinks he looks more like Loffe, the dog doll Lena got from her father.
– Did you used to play with your daddy?
Eva: I don’t know (while she’s busy drawing on the paper where drops have run out).
Eva remembers that she’s forgotten something at the day-care centre, I think it is a princess she was supposed to give to Lena. We talk about it awhile and then:
– Say Eva, how do you think it’s going to be here later, will it be that you and your mommy and Kalle and Lena live here alone the whole time?
Eva: That’s how it will be. And Lasse will never come back and we’re not to say, not to say to Kalle that Lasse isn’t coming back, for then he says: Daddy. Then he gets upset.
– Who gets upset?
– If you say what?
Eva: That Lasse isn’t coming back.
– Is Lasse something like your mommy’s friend?
– Do you like Lasse too?
– Is Lasse like a pretend daddy?
Eva: Mm. He’s a real daddy, not a pretend. A real.
– What do you mean a real daddy?
– But what, what is a real daddy?
Eva takes out something and I ask if it’s from Lasse. Eva says they bought it.
– Do you remember there was a man here?
In spite of several questions, Eva says that she doesn’t remember anything from the investigator’s visit. I ask if he asked about her ’front bottom’.
– Has someone done something to your ’front bottom’?
Eva: Mm, daddy (while drawing).
– Who’s said that?
Eva: Lena has said it, mommy and Kalle. Here he is (referring to a pirate flag in the painting book where she is filling in colours).
– A pirate flag, yes.
Eva: There he is. Do you know what I’m going to paint?
– Eva, don’t you think your daddy has missed you?
Eva: Yes, he wants to have us – but I don’t want to.
– What do you mean, have you?
Eva: He wants to have us at his place!
– He didn’t say that, but he did say that he’d really like to see you and Lena.
Eva: But he is nasty (with the angry, childish intonation). I don’t want to go to him.
– When did you begin thinking that he was nasty?
Eva: Don’t know.
– Was it a long time ago?
– Was it when you had moved to this house?
Eva: Mm, and then mommy and daddy argued and daddy squeezed mommy in the car door. They argued and we woke up when they were fighting. And I, I did so to mommy and daddy (Eva holds out her arms to show how she had gone between them) so they wouldn’t argue and fight any more. But daddy only went out with mommy and squeezed her in the car door – I thought daddy was nasty, [but] I couldn’t do anything about it, ’cause I was too small then. I couldn’t even push him. ’Cause I was too small.
– Has mommy told you that he did that?
Eva: Mm. Only that he’d pushed her an’ squeezed her in the car door.
– Has she told you about other nasty things daddy’s done?
Eva: Yes. When is it done?
– We can stop now if you want to.
Eva asks if I’m going to drive home. I tell her I’m going to take the train and then Eva relates a lot of details about how fun it was on the train when they’d taken it say hello to Lasse, that they’d slept, eaten, washed themselves and gone to the bathroom.
– Are you afraid of something, Eva?
Eva: Mm, but I don’t want to talk any more.
– I just wanted to ask you if you’re afraid of someone?
– Are afraid of the brownie?
– Are afraid of monsters?
Eva: No. For murderers. They can fight. They can throw us into the wall.
– Do you think daddy should be allowed to see you and Lena if he misses you?
Eva: No (in a low voice). Even though he wants to (the angry voice) and says that we miss him. But then we don’t want to ’cause we know we don’t miss him when he says it. ’Cause mammy has told us that he says (somewhat sad).
– That he says what?
Eva: That he says…
– That he misses you?
Eva: Mm. Mommy has said that if not …if he misses us, even though we don’t want to. He, he … I, we don’t want him to miss us. We don’t miss him and he still says that we miss him, but we don’t. He’s nasty … has said it to everyone.
– Has your mommy said that daddy has said that he misses, that you miss him?
Eva: No, mommy has said that daddy misses us, even though we don’t want to (angrily).
– What don’t you want to?
Eva We don’t want to do, we don’t want to do anything with daddy. And you, if comes here, then I’ll push him down from the stairs when he opens the door. Then I’ll stand behind the door and then when he, when I feel that he opens, then I’ll run out and push him away. And to mommy and to Kalle and to Lena I’ll say that they should hide. Then I’ll tell them to come out after I’ve pushed daddy out and he’s standing there ’cause he thinks we’re bears and (inaudible about pushing) and then all that’s needed is to lock the door. We’ve seen one? Outside.
Judging by what Eva relates, she thought she should have defended her mother earlier when her father – according to what Eva has understood her mother to have said – has squeezed her mother in the car door, but then Eva was too small. Now the large Eva is going to defend her mother, as well as her siblings against a ’nasty daddy’. It seems that Eva identifies with her mother and takes a learned or acquired distance from her father. That it is learned is clear since it is stereotypic and refers to what ’mommy said’.
It is through her statements, such as that it is Lena, Kalle and her mother who have said that her father has done something nasty to her ’front bottom’, that it becomes clear that she herself has not been part of something like that. Eva seems to have taken on a large sense of responsibility, also obvious in her worries over the fact that Kalle will be sorry when Lasse also has disappeared as ’daddy’. It is possible that what the mother and maternal grandfather mention as self-destructiveness is derived from the fact that Eva can’t manage the responsibility she has laid on herself.
– Do you miss your grandmother?
Eva: Mm. She’s called grandma G and one is grandma S. She also dumb ’cause she believes in daddy (the angry voice).
– Is it … who’s said that?
Eva: Mommy (softly).
– Is there anyone else who’s dumb?
– Is T dumb too? (T is their father’s sister)
Eva: No, yes.
– Why is she dumb?
Eva: ’Cause she (hard to hear)
– So everyone who believes in daddy is dumb?
Eva: Mm. Lots of people believe in daddy, almost the whole country (angry, childish voice).
– Oh, and who’s said that?
Eva: Daddy’s been around the whole country and said we miss him even though we don’t. And then everyone in the city believe him and they’re dumb (angry, childish voice). But not our friends, of course. But daddy knows, he knows the way here. He came once when we were going to drive to day-care. And mommy had to get out, daddy drove away and then we and daddy followed.
– Where did you drive then?
Eva: To day-care.
Eva: Daddy drove home ’cause he was afraid of us. Didn’t like us
– What? Who didn’t he like?
– But he likes you a lot.
Eva: No, not now.
– Yes. I met your daddy today and misses you a lot. I saw him this morning and he’s very sad that he’s not allowed to see you.
Eva: I don’t care a hoot (angry voice) ’cause I don’t like him (sad voice).
Soon after that we finished our talk, but before I turned off the tape recorder, we sang a Swedish nursery rhyme together.
Through her spontaneous statement that daddy doesn’t like us and her reflections about whether he dislikes them now, Eva has shown that she does like him even though she expresses the opposite. But then she has to do that since she identifies with her mother. Eva’s internal conflict can be expected to be large if what she has shown and continues to show is true – she misses her father at the same time as she lives with her mother, identifies with her and is completely dependent on her, while her mother has rejected her father so clearly.
Interview with Lena
A short time after when Lena and I sat in her room (where both girls sleep), Lena wanted to sing the same nursery song Eva and I recorded. She’d heard it from the kitchen where she, Kalle and their mother sat eating when Eva and I came out from Eva’s room. In spite of the fact that my charge did not include her, I’ve included Lena’s statements below. The reason is that what she says illustrates the strong influence which it seems clear that both girls have been exposed to during the entire time their father has been absent.
– Lena , you’re 4 years old now. When you were 2 your daddy lived in this house. Do you remember your daddy?
Lena: He’s nasty now.
– Is he nasty now? Why is he nasty?
Lena: He’s moved.
– Is that why he’s nasty?
Lena: He’s touched our ’front bottoms’.
– Who’s said that?
Lena: Daddy’s done it.
– Who’s said he’s done it?
Lena: Grandma S believes in daddy, but we don’t. Grandma S believes, thinks daddy is nice, but he’s not nice, he’s nasty.
– Who’s said he’s nasty?
Lena: He’s really, truly nasty.
– Why is he that?
Lena: ’Cause he is. No one has said it and I have aces of spades (?)
– When did you think he was nasty? Do you remember something nasty he’s done?
– What nasty thing’s he done then?
Lena: I can’t talk about it (childish voice).
– Has he played rough with you?
Lena: No. He’s been nasty to me.
– What’s he done when he’s nasty?
Lena: I don’t know.
– Do you remember something?
Lena: Nope (happily).
– Do you remember anything good he’s done?
– Do you remember anything you’ve done with your daddy?
– Have you played with him?
Lena: Nope….The job. I’ve been at daddy’s job.
– How was it there then?
Lena: On the toilet (Lena almost screams out this with great emphasis).
– And peed?
– What did you do then?
– Have you played on the toilet? Should you do that?
Lena: Mm. Daddy Per thought so. And do you know what I was then?
Lena: I was the tiger and Eva was a lion and daddy he was really a zebra (happily).
– On the toilet?
– I think that was really odd.
Lena: ’Cause I didn’t really want to be on the toilet.
– No. I talked to your daddy Per this morning and he doesn’t remember that he played tiger or lion with you. He said he played ’the bear is sleeping’.
Lena: No he didn’t. He’s lying.
– He’s lying?
Lena: He’s always lying. He doesn’t say … he says that he hasn’t touched our ’front bottoms’, but he has. He’s lying. I don’t lie.
– Do you remember that he’s touched your bottom?
Lena: Front bottom.
– In the front bottom.
Lena: Yes, I remember that.
– You seem to be rather happy, so maybe it tickled just a little bit too. Did it?
Lena: Yes, but just a little.
– Did it tickle?
Lena: A little.
– When did he do this?
Lena: It was in the evening (using the same loud-voiced intonation as for ’the toilet’ above).
– In the evening when you’d gone to bed?
– What was it then?
Lena: In the evening when we were up was going to bed.
– And you were supposed to be going to bed?
Lena: And we didn’t either, but daddy, he had really hit a painting so it broke, our daddy. Then he got (hard to hear. Sounds like grip with his teeth or hands?)
– He got a grip with his teeth?
Lena When he broke a picture at grandma S’s.
– Did he break it because he got angry or why did he do it?
Lena: ’Cause he did.
We can see how Lena repeats things she’s learned. Without motivation she states from the beginning that he is nasty and that he has touched their ’front bottoms’, their genitals, in other words. She was only two when she last saw her father. At that time she was too small to be able relate anything she herself can remember having experienced with her father. Still she repeats that her father had touched their genitals, that he is nasty and that he lies, plus the claim that he played lions and tigers with them. The history about the painting is something Eva once said to the investigating BUP psychologist and which also seems to lack a basis in reality. Whatever the truth of the matter is, it has nothing to do with anything their father might have done to one of the girls.
The statements in the case make it probable that both Lena and Eva has repeatedly heard their mother, as well as her mother and stepfather, say that their father is nasty and why. The girls have also learned to divide the world in nasty and nice. Like Eva, Lena expresses spontaneously that she misses her father, though she shadows it with the learned statement that he is nasty. Neither of the girls express any fear of their father. I asked Lena:
– Don’t you think it would be fun to see him?
Lena: No, he’s nasty now… I’ll never see him again.
– Why not?
Lena: He’s nasty. I want to see him. I want to have a such nicer daddy who has the same hair and same clothes.
– Like daddy Per?
Lena: Yes. And just as n?.
– But what if he’s nice?
Lena: Do you believe daddy?
– I don’t know what you mean with believe.
Lena: Do you believe my daddy?
– In what way?
Lena: Do you believe my daddy?
– That he’s nice?
– I think he’s like most people – nasty sometimes and nice other times.
Lena: He’s nasty.
– Is your daddy always nasty?
– Who’s said that?
– Why do you say it?
Lena: ’Cause I do.
– Why do you say it?
Lena: ’Cause I do.
– And you will never see him again?
We talk a bit more about how sad it is for her daddy, since he can’t see them even though he misses them and about the fact that Lena can’t remember how her daddy looks and that she doesn’t have a picture of him.
To my question if her maternal grandmother is nice, Lena says that she is.
– Does she say your daddy is nasty?
– Does she say he is nice?
Lena: Nope, she says he’s nasty.
– Who else says your daddy is nasty?
Lena: The others think daddy is nasty too (almost screams).
– Which others?
Lena: My pals.
– Your pals at day-care?
Lena: Yes and the others who live next door.
– Is it true that everyone who lives here thinks he’s nasty?
– Does I (step-grandfather) that your daddy is nasty too?
– Is there anybody who thinks your daddy is nice?
Lena: Actually grandma S does (paternal grandmother)..
– Do you think grandma S is nice?
After this Lena answers affirmatively that grandmother S is nasty because she thinks that daddy Per is nice. She also says that her mother and (maternal ) grandmother have said repeatedly that their daddy is not allowed to see them because he has touched their genitals.
Unfortunately the tape ends suddenly just as Lena is explaining that her daddy moved because ”we thought he was nasty”.
It becomes obvious that Eva and Lena have been taught that their daddy is nasty and why. They have no experiences of their own of when he was or is nasty that they can relate. They have also learned, perhaps Lena even more than Eva, which other persons are nasty – namely anyone who believes their daddy.
Have either Eva or Lena said or expressed in any other context anything that can be interpreted as their having been sexually abused by their father?
The police inquiry began by interviewing the girl’s mother Ann on the same day she lodged her complaint against Per, that is on April 24, 1992. Using Ann’s statement as base, Eva and Lena were interviewed together, but not until a month later. As we have seen, that even though an analysis of the interviews show that the girls say nothing to support Ann’s information about incestuous abuse, they have been interpreted as saying the opposite.
The police did not investigate Ann’s information about the girls’ illnesses and symptoms, her negative statements about Per or that the girls were supposedly afraid of their father.
After having interviewed Ann on April 24, 1992, the policeman used Ann’s information that the girls were speechless, as if paralysed when they had been alone with their father. I quote from the protocol of the preliminary investigation:
”Ann remembers different situations when Per has been alone with the girls. When Ann came in to the girls in their room they had been lying completely still and stared speechlessly at the ceiling. This was after they had been alone with their father. When Ann came in it seemed as if the girls paralysis had been broken.”
This is a suggestive description. The policeman describes Eva as ”paralysed” on another occasion as well. This was when Ann’s stepfather tells about the time when Per had asked him to come over and baby-sit for Lena so that he could drive to his job and fetch his contact lenses he’d left there.
”As the stepfather had perceived it, Lena was lying in her room as if paralysed, staring at the ceiling. The stepfather thought Per’s clothing was odd (bathrobe) since he was going to fetch his contact lenses. When the stepfather came in to Lena she was very scared. She said there were ghosts and that nasty men were going to take her away.”
It was first after a suggestion from the father’s attorney that the child-minder was interviewed. She had had daily contact with the children during the time for the alleged abuse.
Interview with the child-minder
I met with Eva’s and Lena’s child-minder in her home. XX had been a child-minder for 25 years. Eva and Lena Andersson had first come to her on January 28, 1991, and stopped coming on May 31, 1992. Lena was in diapers when she came, but XX couldn’t remember if Eva had them. She couldn’t remember that either of the girls’ bottoms had ever been swollen or red. The only thing she remembered was that Lena had bled from her anus several times when she had been constipated. She talked with Ann about it and Ann had said it had happened earlier and she would give Lena something to relieve Lena.
The child-minder said she found out about the allegations against Per when she told her that she had kicked Per out and lodged a complaint against him for incest. Ann asked her to make sure Per didn’t see the children, but the child-minder didn’t think she could do that since there were no papers preventing it.
– I do not understand anything. When you haven’t seen or heard anything earlier, I thought: She’s making it up.
The child-minder said that Ann talked to her a number of times and that Ann even talked to her neighbours about her incest suspicions and about how the children were scared of Per. The child-minder repeated that she found it hard to believe.
When I ask her what she thinks can be the basis for Ann’s accusation, she relates that Ann and Per bought the house on X-hill from her daughter and that Ann had then contacted an attorney to get damages for something she thought was wrong in the cellar. She didn’t get it and the child-minder thinks it possible that this can also be an attempt to get money. Indeed, she has heard Ann talking about how she can get 100 000 kronor per child in damages. This was when the girls’ cousin who also was at XX’s day-care centre had a sibling nine months ago. They were at the house of the cousin’s parents (Ann’s brother) and at that time Ann had talked about how difficult it was that the whole thing took such time and she hoped that the trial would be schedules soon and that the police had told her that the damages could run as high as 100 000 kronor per child.
XX said the girls were cuddly and liked to get up on one’s lap. They were like all other kids. They never said or did anything that suggested that they had been part of something odd or that they were afraid of anyone.
According to the attendance list both girls were at the centre until they left at the end of May in order to begin at kindergarten after the holidays. It was possible that she could have missed noting one or two days when the girls were at home. According to the child-minder, the girls showed no fear nor said anything that suggested that they were afraid of their father or that he should come there. Quite the reverse – they were very happy when he came and said hello in May after Ann had lodged her complaint. Once when he left, Lena was so unhappy XX had to console her.
Investigation by the Social Services
The social investigation according to §50 of the Swedish Social Services Act was completed on December 22, 1993. The law reads as follows:
”The Social Services Committee shall initiate an investigation without delay into what has come to the committee’s knowledge either through report or in some other fashion and which can require that the committee take measures.”
The approved procedures for the municipality in question state that after a report has been received the social committee ought to initiate an investigation. In this case the investigation seems to have been initiated on June 9, 1992, or about one and a half months after the complaint to the police.
It also states in the procedures that ”the investigation by the social committee ought not take longer than three months”. This investigation took one and a half years.
As we have seen, the police accepted Ann’s picture of the children’s situation as being correct. The same is true of the social investigation. The social welfare officer allow Ann to define the problem and to control the events:
”The investigator asks Ann how she would feel about having BUP observe Per and the girls together. Ann answers that Eva is afraid to meet Per. Eva is afraid at the very thought of having to meet him. Eva still has fits and thinks it difficult to have to talk about her daddy. In addition Ann thinks that Per would playact during an observation session at BUP to make sure that all his characteristics would not become visible”. (§50 investigation report p. 7)
This means an acceptance of manipulation by one of the parents, the mother. The social welfare officer made no attempt to find out if Eva was afraid to meet Per, nor did they ask Per what he thought was best.
According to the investigation, Ann does not report anything concrete that would suggest that the girls have been sexually abused, but she does paint a picture that suggests they have talked a lot about abuses by their father and stresses how difficult it has been for her. For example this quote from p. 6:
”Ann has thought it extremely hard that she was not allowed to support the children’s statements about their father during the police investigation. Ann has had a conversation herself with the chief medical officer at BUP. There she has received support for the difficult feelings that have developed for her when she wasn’t allowed to support the children in what they had said about their father.”
The recordings of conversations with her daughters made by the mother and turned in to the police show that during the investigation it was she who repeatedly tried to get them to say something bad about their father. She also supported them very strongly when she had managed to get them to describe something bad their father had done.
In the investigation report it states that the initial contacts were made at the end of April and the beginning of May 1992, but the first entry into the journal of the social services department is dated June 9, 1992. It says (author’s italics)
”Interview with Ann Andersson. Eva has told Ann that their father plays with his balls and that after that Eva and Lena touched his penis and that after that he urinated on Eva’s stomach. When Eva tells this, which she started to tell after the event on the changing table, she sometimes becomes hysterical, but has then continued to play as usual and does not want to talk about it.”
This quote contains a contiguous abuse sequence, which the mother or the social welfare officer or both together must have constructed since the alleged event has never been described in this way by either the mother or Eva when it should have been fresh. The fact that Ann, according to the quote, has reported a contiguous abuse statement as if it were Eva’s can have had great import for the development of the case, since it would have made Ann’s accusation of incest credible to those around her, primarily to the social services investigators and the consultatory group.
The entries by the social welfare officer are consistently based on the picture that the mother, Ann, paints. On the whole the text in the 17 pages of journal entries are quoted almost word for word in the report finished December 22, 1993. There are some deviations, however, such as those below:
|”We ask if he used to leave home after a fight. Per answered that this has happened once and that he went to a cousin in Lund.”||”He also reported that he has left the house and sometimes stayed away overnight.”|
|”The investigator asks Per if he uses alcohol together with pills. Per has answered the physician that he has taken a pill at some time, but no more.”||”Per told the physician that he’s taken a drink with pills at some point. He didn’t get an ’odd’ feeling from this.”|
The deviations between the journal and the report follow a pattern in that they are all to Per’s disadvantage in the report. Since the whole documentation (both the journal and the report) are based on an acceptance of Ann’s picture of the family relationships, a highly negative picture with many exaggerated and/or false statements about Per, the deviations serve to reinforce the already massively negative picture of Per.
According to the social service investigators, Per said that he always felt like an outsider in the parenthood situation. According to the journal entries Per has said it ’was wrong from the start’ since Ann became pregnant before they knew each other. He has also said that he feels like an outsider in his own home because of Ann’s ties to her mother (see quote from the journal below):
”Because of this he felt that he didn’t have a home of his own, but felt that he lived with his mother-in-law, plus Ann and the children.”
An entry in the journal kept by the social services department states that the daycare centre staff say that:
”Ann probably talks too much with the children on a level they are not ready for.”
And that (after a girl had been murdered):
”Mommy told that a boy tried to hug the girl, but that the girl didn’t want to hug. Then he killed her.”
In spite of this, the social welfare officers draw the unambiguous conclusion in their report to the mother’s favour:
”Ann has had an ability to see the needs of the children based on their age and their capacity.”
The journal entries make it clear that they have not investigated this in any other way than that they have heard Ann say that this is so. In other words, they reinforce Ann and Ann’s picture of reality, while failing to take into consideration information that speak against it. At the same time as they have disregarded what the daycare centre personnel have said that Ann probably speaks with her children on a level they are not ready for, they have also ignored what Per has said about Ann’s hot temper, her dependence on her mother and that Ann has hit the children several times and then regretted it afterwards.
As has been pointed out earlier, all entries are written based on Ann’s picture of Per as being seriously psychologically ill and a perpetrator of incest. The position becomes even more tangible in several parts of the journal, such as when the social welfare officers take the to them natural position that Per and his daughters must not meet. Here is an extract from October 19, 1992:
”The district attorney thinks that there is no great risk that a crime should occur under current conditions. (For us, this means that Per either agrees not to see the girls or we will have to take them into compulsory care according to LVU.k.LVU;.)”
If the district attorney has determined that it is unlikely that a crime will occur, it seems illogical and unmotivated for the social welfare officers to prevent the girls’ father from seeing his daughters, going so far as to suggest compulsory care.
There is only one interview reported in the journals with someone who knows anything about how the mother and the father have functioned with their children at the time of the alleged abuse. This is the child-minder. The entry reads:
”The children seemed to be feeling fine and the child-minder couldn’t see any change in how they felt. The relationship to both parents is good and normal. However, it was almost always Ann who picked up and left the girls at the centre.
After the divorce Per visited several times at the centre when the children were there. The children were very happy then and ran into his arms.”
The same text occurs in the main body of the report, but in the conclusions the social welfare workers have turned it against Per in a way that seems completely unjustified:
”After the divorce Per visited the child-minder several times when the children were there. Before the divorce he had seldom picked up or left the children.”
Per’s only possibility for seeing the children after the separation was by visiting them at the child-minder. He could neither pick them up nor leave them there since he didn’t live with them and Ann didn’t allow him to meet them. He came over to the centre on his lunch break. Before the divorce he had worked outside the home, but not Ann, which is probably why it was natural for her to drop them off and pick them up at the child-minder.
Sometimes Ann’s consistent manipulations are more apparent. One example is her information to the social welfare officers on a home visit March 23, 1993. Ann is quoted as having said the following at that time, probably in an attempt at getting the indictment to cover Lena as well (author’s italics):
”Lena has told Ann that her daddy said it’s dangerous to poo-poo, that ’a ghost comes when you poo-poo’. Lena has also said to Ann that if her daddy were to meet Eva now, he would be bad to her.
Ann has not succeeded in getting these statements on tape.
Ann took the girls to a check-up on order from the district attorney. The physician said to her that the girls had broken blood vessels on their labia suggesting physical violence. Ann remembers that when she and the children lived at X-hill together with Per, he said once ’I’m not a good father. It’s not good for you to have me here’. Ann thinks now that maybe he was trying to tell her what he had done to the girls. Ann repeats the statement that when Per is in one of his manic periods, he is capable of anything. Nothing is impossible for him. Regarding Per’s illness, Ann says that Per’s mother had called her several times while she was still living with him and stated that Per had to get medical help.”
The social welfare officers repeat this information uncritically and in spite of the fact that they are clearly absurd. In this way they reinforce the mothers unreal pictures and actions to the detriment of the children. Examples of such absurdities include:
ß There cannot exist any remnants of physical violence that the father is alleged to have inflicted on the children one year earlier when he last saw his children (March 1992). If there should be any traces of physical violence on the children in 1993, that violence must have been perpetrated by someone in their vicinity at the time, i.e. the mother, her parents or someone else.
ß Lena was two years old when she last saw her father. More than a year later her mother claims that Lena repeats what her father is supposed to have said – from a time when Lena was so small she could neither talk nor remember.
The investigation by the Psychiatric Clinic for Children and Youth (BUP)
Ann’s information at the initial visit to BUP on April 15, 1992, did not give the chief physician reason to order a physical examination of the children nor to ask for a psychological investigation of the children’s relationship to their parents nor to call the father – or the mother – to investigative interviews.
The procedures worked out for X-city state that:
”Children who are suspected of having been subjected to sexual abuse should always be examined by a physician.”
In this case the girls were not examined until seven months after the mother’s complaint.
It took almost as long for the BUP psychologist to interview the girls to gain support for a statement to the social services department in spite of the fact that the approved procedures state that it is important that the social welfare committee refer the case to BUP early on. In this case it would take six months for that referral to be written. Then the social welfare officers wrote:
”We need to know what the relationships to the parents are and how the children feel mentally.”
The BUP answer dated December 11, 1992, comprised one and one half pages. The relationships to the children had not been investigated. Much of the text covered how mother Ann had diagnosed Eva’s and Lena’s mental condition:
”The mother reports in a telephone conversation on July 31, 1992, that it is mainly Eva who displays psychological symptoms, including emotional outbursts and a self-destructivity that sometimes expresses itself in that she bites herself. The mother has seen such symptoms again even later during the autumn 1992. The mother reports that Lena exhibits signs of instability, but her aggressiveness goes out over others. /…/
(According to the entries, it was the counsellor at BUP who received the mothers call. The counsellor is also a permanent member of the consultatory group.)
The following was said about the father:
”Since there is a ban on the right of access from the family rights group we have had no contact with the biological father.”
Those at the social services department who are supposed to help families (family rights group) cannot issue a ban on the right of access. There was no ban from the social welfare committee, although the office of the district attorney had issued an injunction against visiting, in force from July 13 to October 13, 1992. Up until July 13 and after October 13 it would have been possible for the BUP personnel to have contact with the father and to meet him together with the children.
Serious incest literature recommends against taking an immediate position in the case, to take good time for a thorough investigation, including meeting all family members involved individually. See for example Jean Goodwin (p. 25) who reported that she had worked with more than 300 incest victims and their families before publishing her book Sexual Abuse. Incest Victims and Their Families.
The expert investigation by the BUP psychologist
The BUP psychologist was appointed by the District Court on August 18, 1992. This was one week after a so-called team-conference about the Andersson children had been held at her place of work (August 11, 1992, according to the journal entry). The chief physician has not considered it necessary to answer my questions about when and how this psychologist had been employed at BUP and if she participated in the team conference.
It was the psychologist’s colleague on the consultatory group who suggested her as investigator. He is the district attorney on the case. The diary from the District Court states that:
”The DA YY reports that NN has special experience with evaluating the credibility and reliability of children. She has worked earlier at the psychiatric clinic for children and youth in X-city and has been a consultant for the social welfare department. She has had no previous contact with the persons in the case before us.”
Is it true that the BUP psychologist had had no previous contact with the persons in the case or had been told Ann’s story? The statements of the BUP psychologist on the matter are somewhat contradictory:
/…/”Since these children were totally unknown to me and the case had not been presented without name in the consultatory group of X-city in my presence, I felt that I could accept the appointment.” /…/ (quote from a submission to the District Court, July 6, 1993)
The double negative makes the content hard to interpret. On April 19, 1993, the psychologist had said to the father’s attorney:
”If I have accepted an appointment as an expert to the court concerning persons who also were current in the consultatory group, it is in a case where I haven’t participated in the group’s discussions as in the current case.”
Was the Andersson case presented anonymously in the psychologist’s presence as she wrote in July 1993, or had she not participated as she said in April 1993? Is it possible to maintain the anonymity of a family for whom several of the members of the consultatory group had been actively involved in various ways?
The investigating BUP psychologist reported on July 6, 1993:
”To the best of my knowledge the children were not patients at the BUP clinic in X-city during the period for my investigation, that is August 18, 1992, to November 1, 1992, nor had the family come to the attention of the social welfare department. The mother lodged the complaint with the police herself. It wasn’t until later, possibly during the autumn 1992 or during 1993 that their names were on a waiting list for a psychologist and that it has been mentioned that the mother is in touch with the chief physician.”
Didn’t the psychologist know that her boss and colleague in the consultatory group had met with Ann on April 15, 1992, had advised her to go to the Family Rights Group, to file a police complaint against the father, and had initiated a support contact on August 25, 1992? Didn’t the investigating BUP psychologist know that planning for the Andersson girls was done at the team-conference on August 25, 1992? Or that the team had discussed comprehensive psychological contacts for the girls on October 6 (ref. journal)? The BUP psychologist ensured the District Court in a submission dated July 6, 1993, that she had not participated in any discussions regarding the Andersson children, either at BUP or in the consultatory group. Didn’t she know that the social welfare officers had specifically asked for contact with just her in their referral to BUP on October 15, 1992? I quote:
”We would be grateful if NN (the name of the BUP psychologist) would contact one of us as soon as possible.
According to the project leader at the social welfare department the consultatory group meets the first Monday of each month to discuss suspicions about sexual abuse. Ann lodged her complaint on a Friday (April 24, 1992). The first Monday in May was May 4. According to the social welfare investigation, Ann called the family rights group on May 5 and told about her visit to BUP and about her suspicions. The project leader was then informed and the case was given to another colleague in the consultatory group. In other words, the Andersson family had certainly ”come to the attention of the social welfare department”.
When the consultatory group met in June 1992, six of the fourteen members of the group were involved in the Andersson case and by August of the same year, an additional two had been involved. At the meeting in January 1993, nine of the fourteen members were involved. It is probable that they discussed the case among themselves, both earlier and later.
The BUP psychologist’s expert report (turned in November 1, 1992) it is obvious that, along with the BUP chief physician, the police and the social welfare officers, she treats mother Ann’s information as facts, letting them inform her interpretations. Since she has been criticised, she sticks to her conclusions and insists that the mother has not influenced Eva:
”In my evaluation I have looked at many different factors which by themselves are not sufficient, but which taken together suggest that Eva’s statement derives from self-experienced events. I have not found anything contradictory in her statement, nor anything which suggests that Eva has been exposed to systematic influence to tell about abuse.”
(From the report of the investigating BUP psychologist to the District Court, October 31, 1993)
As we have seen, Eva hasn’t described any abuse, in spite of the efforts of the policeman and the mother to get her to do so. On the other hand, the mother has talked about abuse that she says Eva has described for her. Nor does the report that concluded the psychologist’s expert statement describe concretely what the content of ”Eva’s statement” or ”Eva’s information” should be. In spite of the fact the Eva herself has never provided any information about abuse, the BUP psychologist concluded that:
”Eva Andersson’s information is reliable and is based on self-experienced events.”
What do the BUP journals say?
Is there anything supporting the contention that Eva had talked about abuse in BUP’s journal pages regarding Eva and Lena I finally was allowed to read. Only a few of the entries are notes following direct contact with he girls. Other entries deal with what the mother has said during telephone conversations or during visits to the chief physician regarding what the girls are supposed to have said, how the mother says they have reacted and what the mother says they have done.
All this journal material is dated after Ann and Per separated. I quote from the journal entries on April 15, 1992, Ann’s first visit to the chief physician:
”She (the mother) is encouraged to seek sole custody. In addition she should seek a first contact with the family rights group to describe her fears. It is important that the mother not leave the children with the biological father without the presence of another adult when he’s not in one of his mano-depressive periods. Since he is psychotic, my position is that he should not care for the children at all.
The mother is given information as to how investigations are conducted within the social welfare department, the police and district attorney’s offices, as well as at BUP, but the most important point for the moment is that the children be protected from the biological father.
The mother blames herself for not having thought about these things earlier or that she hasn’t noticed anything. Once she saw Lena touch her fathers penis and he got an erection, but she thought this was an isolate occurrence.”
From the entries after this first visit, this ”emergency appointment for advice”, it is obvious that the chief physician has wholly accepted the mothers information as objective facts. It also seems that she has influenced Ann to see that Ann ought to have seen something earlier. During this visit the journal informs us that Ann says it is on her demand that she and Per have been separated for six weeks. Ann provides an extremely negative picture of Per, including the false allegation that he has a mano-depressive personality with autumn-winter-spring illness periods and that he has been unfaithful with different partners on repeated occasions.
Even though the chief physician had no idea if anything of what Ann described was in accord with historic reality, she still determined that Per ought not take care of the children and that the children should be protected from their biological father. Under recommended measures it says:
”First get in touch with the family rights group to set up [her] own custody of all three children.”
The next entry into the journal for Eva and Lena dates from July 31, 1992, when their mother talked to the counsellor by phone and described:
”strong guilt feelings over not having understood and so been able to intervene in the abuse of the girls”
and about how
”the girls now after the fact have clearly described their father’s abuse and showed on their little brother how their father had masturbated while he was touching Eva’s genitals.” /../ Under recommended measures it says: Journal to Tuesday’s team meeting for continued planning”.
When it comes to Eva there is an entry that she visited a psychologist on November 11, 18 and 25, 1992, and on November 3 and 24, 1993. The first three visits were set up after a referral from the family rights group and consequently were investigatory visits. They were complete within 14 days.
The last two were also investigatory, this time on the request from the mother’s attorney and Eva’s legal representative for ”a current evaluation of the girl” (quote from the journal, September 22, 1993). The reason was a possible civil case for damages in December 1993.
There are notes from three of the five psychologist visits at BUP. One entry deals with how the mother controls things and worries:
”Mother more anxious than the girls during the appointment here, both before and after. Before about if they will be able to leave her and afterwards about what they have said and not said to me. Told me that no one at the kindergarten sees any problems with the girls, but the especially Eva is self-destructive at home.”
From the two evaluation appointments asked for by the attorney a year later, the psychologist concludes that:
”I don’t see any of the anxiety, instability and self-destructiveness the mother has observed, primarily at home”.
Lena had three investigation visits as well, on the same days as Eva in November 1992. In addition and on her mother’s request, she had two appointments just under a year later, since according to her mother she had talked about how
”her biological father had pushed his index finger into her anus and that it hurt.” /…/ and ”Lena has now begun to show symptoms of not defecating and becoming constipated, necessitating [various laxatives and medication]. She sleeps poorly and talks a lot about ’biological father, ghosts, her bum and daddy’s job’”
(Journal entry by the chief physician, March 30, 1993).
According to the child-minder Lena has been constipated before without any connection to her father having had his finger in her anus.
The mother’s information to me that Eva and Lena have had appointments at BUP on several occasions when they’ve not felt well are only partially correct – for Lena. Judging by all the information, Ann has worked to get the indictment against Per to include Lena as well. On March 30, 1993, the chief physician wrote:
”It is now clear that there will be an indictment against the biological father for abuse of the oldest daughter Eva, but not regarding Lena since insufficient evidence has been developed during the investigation.”
In conclusion it can be said that:
The girls have had five appointments with a psychologist spread over one year that at BUP designed to provide documentation for a statement to the social welfare department and in support of a possible suit for damages, as well as because the mother said that Lena didn’t feel well. The journal entries from these visits do not support the mother’s report that the girls have had problems and have received treatment for them. Nor are there any observations that support her allegations against Per.
After receiving permission from Ann, I have read journals from the Child Health Care Centre, the Paediatric Reception, the Child and Youth Clinic at the Central Hospital in X-city and in part from BUP. The question is whether there is anything in the journal entries to support the report that Eva (or Lena) has been sexually abused by their father.
According to police notes, Ann told F during their first interview:
”… also that the girls were red in the genital area, Eva mostly and even swollen. Ann took Eva to the Child Health Care Centre where she was given ointment for the redness.”
<R4>Journals from the Child Health Care Centre
There are no entries in the Child Health Care Centre journal for Eva stating that she has been either red or swollen in the genital area.
There is only one entry in her whole life about her anal area, but then without mentioning any swelling. This dates from August 15, 1988, when Eva was 1 1/2 months old and states that ”bottom improved”. During 1990 it says that several mollusculum sores had been removed. According to nurse B in a telephone conversation with the author on January 5, 1994, it was she who removed the mollusculum sores from Eva. She describes these as a type of wart virus that is common among children at daycare centres. These ’warts’ itch, rupture and spread to various places on the body and to other persons. They can even attack the outer labia. The mollusculum sores can also be infected, in which case they self-rupture.
The journals contain notes about Eva such as ”good”, ”brave”, ”awake”, ”philosophical” and ”Excellent. Everything OK.”
There are two entries about the fact that Eva doesn’t feel well, one from November 1992 and the other from August 1993, both at times when Eva had long since lost contact with her father Per:
- November 5, 1992: Many infections during the autumn. Feels better now, but has lost weight and displays worry and fear. Cries and hides after her brother’s vaccination. Dr. A informed.
- August 10, 1993: Mother says that Eva complains about evening headaches – difficulties watching TV – appointment with a counsellor specialising in nervous conditions. No sick feelings or vomiting – mother does not suspect migraine. Symptoms have worsened the last month. New appt. Aug. 18.
In Lena’s Child Health Care Centre journals is an entry from January 31, 1992, when she was three weeks old saying ”improved bottom” and ”some anal eczema”. The only entry about ointment in relation to her genital area is from February 28, 1992, and says ”Labial skin fully healed, but has begun to drip again. To urinary culture.” Lena has probably been infected by Eva’s mollusculum problem and one has appeared on the labia. Sores were removed from Lena as well during 1991 and early 1992.
One entry from May 4, 1990, mentions that there is much allergy in the family and says that ”Lena has asthmatic bronchitis”. There are more entries about fever and bronchial problems.
Conclusion: the mother’s information to the police stating that she had taken the girls, and then mostly Eva, to the Child Health Care Centre for redness in the genital area and received ointment for it, is contradicted by the information in the centre journals.
Journals from the Paediatric Reception
The journal pages from the Paediatric Reception state that the girls, and then mainly Lena, have had a troublesome cough and that both have had difficult colds. Eva’s journal has entries from four visits, all dealing with difficult colds.
At a visit on January 13, 1992, there are entries stating that Lena has difficulties urinating and describing three impetiginous changes on the outer labia (one ”with a central crack” and ”redness in the vaginal mucosa, oedematous”). These genital area problems that Lena had can be related to the mollusculum sores mentioned above, the wart virus that can spread to the labial skin. Lena’s and Eva’s aunt T (father’s sister) related in a police interview what according to the police Ann had told T when she was on a visit after the family had moved to X-löv. This must have been sometime between mid-December 1991 and March 5, 1992, exactly during the period when there are journal entries detailing Lena’s genital area problems.
”At that point Ann related that Lena had pimples in her bottom. Ann fussed so much with these that Lena almost refused to go to the bathroom. The fussing was done on the bathroom floor. T doesn’t know if Ann washed or applied ointment. T was outside in the large room and the door to the bathroom stood open.”
The pimples ought to be those mollusculum sores that the journals state that both girls were bothered by, but which have nothing to do with their father.
Journal from the Child and Youth Clinic at the Central Hospital
Eva’s journal at the Child and Youth Clinic at the Central Hospital contains no entries about genital area problems, except that when she was new-born she had some sort of fungal eczema.
During the period covered by the indictment there are no entries about Eva.
You can read that mother Ann sought help for things she observed and worried about, such as an arm that was pinched during birth. Had she been worried about swellings in Eva’s genital area she would also have sought help with that.
The journal entries for Lena deal mostly with bronchial problems, but once Per had been indicted it is obvious that Ann has sought help with various problems with Lena that Ann alleges has connection with the father’s sexual abuse. She is convinced the abuse allegations involved Lena as well. However, several entries in the journal state that Lena had no problems when she came to the hospital.
The mother’s statements to the investigating BUP psychologist
Below is a very brief summary of the talks the investigating BUP psychologist had with the mother starting September 11, 1992. Ann suggests to the BUP psychologist that Eva is alleged to have talked on several occasions about ”where it hurts on her”. What it is that hurts is never explained by Ann. Ann says that Lena ”might have talked about wanting to visit daddy” and then ”Eva might have said”. It’s very up in the air and imprecise, just as Ann’s other statements about what the girls are supposed to have said. If Eva really was afraid of her father and had told this to her mother, the mother should be able to be more definite.
It is interesting to note that Ann describes several situations where Eva (according to Ann) defends Per, but when it comes to describing what actually happened, there are no facts. One example of such a statement from Ann is:
”I don’t think dumb, it’s like she understands more than what you think. Sometimes she almost defends Per against me and says daddy is nice too. And he roughhouses with me and such. And then she can tell something or if Lena has told it, Eva can deny it saying no, that’s not how it was. But then in another connection she’ll say it was.”
Ann’s statement suggests that she talks a lot about father Per with her daughter Eva.
To the investigating BUP psychologist Ann says that Eva has described much more than Lena, but she doesn’t say what. In spite of this the psychologist accepts Ann’s statement as fact: Eva has described a lot. Which she hasn’t.
Interview with the mother
Well arrived in a snow bedecked X-löv on November 25, 1993, I step into the newly built and handsome house and meet Ann and her mother in the kitchen. They are preparing lunch, a meal they often eat together when Ann’s mother finishes early at her adult education school. We talk about the weather and child minding. Then the girl’s grandmother takes her lunch with her to her house, three doors away.
In my interview with Ann she tells me that Kalle’s penis looks rather special. He has no foreskin around his glans. According to Ann he has something that looks like a fold of skin on the front and under it is a notch without a hole for urination. That sits on the backside and a bit of the urethra is missing. When he was a baby it wasn’t so obvious, according to Ann, but it became more and more apparent that he had problems peeing. Now she reports that she empties her son’s bladder with a catheter at three-hour intervals. She says they will operate on him when he turns three. Kalle’s special construction as described by his mother would make it possible for Eva to have lifted the flap.
The decisive event
While talking to me Ann tells about the situation she says aroused her suspicions. She says that Eva ”first talked” while she was bathing her small brother Kalle. Ann says that Eva lifted the flap on Kalle’s penis and then began to touch it. She continues:
Ann Then I said laughing, ’cause it looked really dumb, I said what are you doing? Daddy does that on me, she said and looked up at me. Then he does this, ’n she pulled her pants down and touched herself between her legs like and then she looked at me and said: you’re not angry at me, mommy, ’cause it didn’t hurt, even if it hurt a little bit and then she ran away and cried. I didn’t react very much then like, but I did react even if it wasn’t that I thought I’d turn him in for incest like, but I can’t say I was shocked like.
When I say that what she now told me didn’t agree with what she had said according to the extracts from the police interview (nor on the tape that the investigating BUP psychologist had recorded), namely that Eva is supposed to have said: ’Daddy does this.’, Ann responds:
Ann Yes, daddy does this or daddy does this to me.
There doesn’t seem to be important to Ann, but the difference is rather large if Eva has said and shown something she has seen daddy do on himself or if she has shown something her daddy has done to her.
I ask if Ann has noticed if Per pulls back the foreskin when he washes himself and if Eva could have seen that. Ann answers that she hasn’t looked very closely. Later in her interview with me, Ann says:
Ann: I don’t have any doubts myself that what they relate shouldn’t be true like. I can’t understand that a daddy would do that to his children.
– Isn’t it possible that you have misunderstood the whole thing? I ask later on.
She answers no and says that for about a year now Eva has been self-destructive and uncommunicative.
There is no support for Eva’s self-destructiveness in any journals nor any observations of it from anyone other than Ann’s stepfather.
In the report from the social welfare officers written from Ann’s point of view of the relationship, the following is found in reference to discussions with the kindergarten personnel:
”Neither of the girls exhibit self-destructive behaviour.” It is further noted:
”The personnel say it’s hard to notice anything on the girls, unless one knows the background.”
”The personnel say that Ann has a great need to talk. Already during the intake procedure in early August 1992 she informed the staff that Per was suspected of incest.”
In her regular talks with the BUP chief physician, weekly according to Ann, she has mentioned that Eva didn’t feel well and then Eva has been helped at BUP. This happened at various times and Ann doesn’t remember exactly, she says.
A check in the BUP journals reveals what already has been mentioned that Eva has never been treated at BUP. She has gone through two different evaluation sessions comprising five meetings in all. In other words, Ann’s information to me was incorrect.
According to Ann, Eva didn’t want to go back to the child-minder after her daddy had been there and Ann thought this was very difficult. She reports to me that Eva was afraid that her daddy would come back and this was the reason the girls stopped going to the child-minder. I ask her about the lack of agreement between what she is saying about the girls’ fear and that the child-minder told the police the children threw themselves at Per when he came, coupled with the fact that Ann had just said that they probably were happy when Per came. Ann says she can’t answer.
Ann: If they had wanted to see him, I wouldn’t have stopped it. I wouldn’t have. But Eva and Lena were very scared.
Ann has done everything in her power to prevent the girls seeing Per. Her repeated statements that the girls are afraid of Per do not become truer just because she repeats them so often.
Ann says the girls have felt poorly in periods and that Eva has felt better intermittently.
Ann: They were doing very well until grandma came [Per’s mother]. They’re not afraid of their grandma and I wish I can explain that to her some day. At the same time it feels as if maybe I should call and ask her to come over, but at the same time I feel it’s so difficult to cope with the fits Lena and Eva throw since I can’t take much more myself soon.
Ann’s statement that the children didn’t feel good since they had met their grandmother is not supported in the interview extract with the contact woman who was there during her visit. It says: ”The children seemed happy to see their grandmother.” Ann’s statements generally neither agrees with information from others nor even with her own.
Ann says that the only thing that can help the kids is for Per to confess.
When I ask if Eva’s alleged despair appears in some special situation, Ann answers that Eva sometimes says that ’Daddy is nasty’ and on two or three occasions at the kindergarten she’s become inconsolable.
The two persons from the girl’s kindergarten who were interviewed by the police have not related anything like that. Nor have any of the four kindergarten staff who talked with the social welfare officers at six different times from September 1992 through September 1993 said that Eva had been inconsolable. She is described as cuddly, sweet and easy to reach (p. 16 of the §50 investigation).
– Your worry stems from your concern that something has happened to the girls, eh?
– How do you react to the fact that the indictment only covers Eva?
Ann: Yes, it’s simply awful. I’ve cried over that many times. ’Cause I think that Lena was maybe 2 1/2 , what’s demanded, what does society demand? Or maybe I’m saying it wrong, but you then, what do you ask of her? They said she didn’t say anything, what should she say? I can’t say to her that she should say this and this and that, that what you say to mommy you have to say. I can’t.
– There’s no difference for you?
Ann: No. There’s no difference. And I think if Per is convicted, and now it’s an if, it will all be because of Eva like, and how will Lena react when she grows up: why didn’t you do anything for me mommy? Maybe like. It’s not only that, for it’s, it’s just as terrible if it’s Lena or Eva.
– If he’s convicted you say. [But] what if he doesn’t, if it all peters out and the whole things is closed or he’s freed?
Ann: That’s terrible!
– How do you rea … what do you think then?
Ann: Oh yes, I’ve thought a lot and it’s hard to say what I think, for I don’t have the strength to think it through. I don’t. It’s awful if he should have the children alone and abuse them, that’s the only thing that’s important. Then what kind of punishment or if he doesn’t get a punishment, that’s not important.
– But if the authorities decide that it isn’t possible for anything to have happened – you won’t accept that?
Ann: No, I believe in what Eva and Lena have told. I live with them like and see how they react. I don’t think they would have reacted that way over Per or that any child would have reacted that way. I have nothing to compare with like, but that’s how it is, so, why should they suddenly be so scared of him like?
Again and again Ann takes up the fact that the girls have told and that she must believe them, plus that the girls have become afraid of Per. Still neither she nor anyone else can get either Eva or Lena to tell anything and nothing beyond the mother’s information suggests that either of the girls is scared of their father. That their mother has succeeded in making them afraid of their daddy who they haven’t seen for a long time cannot be assumed as evidence that their father has hurt or scared them.
None of the experts Ann had contact with saw that she was in need of qualified help in order to get rid of her fixed ideas and to find herself. Though the girls probably have been harmed by the fact that their mother has used them against their father has also passed the experts by. They have considered and accepted Ann as the nurturing mother who protects her children from an incestuous father. In this way she has managed to keep the girls away from their father for a long time and has managed to convince the experts that this is because the girls are afraid of the absent father.
The father’s information
The only record that exists of the police interrogations with Per Andersson are extracts. The police have written a short, two-page summary from the first, two hour and ten minutes long interrogation held as late as June 4, 1992. During this interrogation the officer pressed Per hard to get him to confess, in part by referring to the fact that Eva had told a lot of details from his job where he was alleged to have abused her. According to Per this information came from the investigating BUP psychologist. The police do not write anything about this, only summarising that Per Andersson ”denies sexual abuse with a minor”.
The extract informs us that Per had told how Eva and Lena had taken hold of his penis at least ten times when they were bathing, that Ann was also there and that he had gotten some type of erection.
The second interrogation on November 25, 1992, was only one hour long, but is reported in a four-page extract written by the interrogating officer. The protocol states that it was primarily Lena who had ’played’ with Per’s penis on several occasions without his experiencing any pleasurable sensation.
”At that time she had taken hold of his penis, shook it and said ’willie, willie’. Per thinks that Eva had done the same thing when she was younger. It is on such occasions that he had gotten some type of erection. Per wanted to add that even Ann had seen this.”
Per’s interview with the investigating BUP psychologist
The dominant impression one gets from the long interview Per Andersson had with the investigating BUP psychologist (attached as an appendix to my report) is that he had decided to tell her everything to help her get at the truth.
Per expresses despair and irritation over the fact that time runs away without his being allowed to see his children and without any result in the investigation. He answers openly and tells many details that can be used against him. Examples include the fact that he sleeps naked and that he has gone up to the children at night when they have woken and needed consolation. He also says that on a few occasions he’s been alone with them in the sauna and it’s possible that they could have touched him then. He says that Eva sat on him in the bathtub and that both she and Lena have touched his penis then. He relates that he experiences a greater need for sex in the autumn since the shortage of melatonin has given him mental difficulties. Per says that his and Ann’s sex life worked well when they were attending family therapy in 1990, but after that it deteriorated and the sexual desire disappeared because of all the fighting. On the whole, Per shows a very great faith in the BUP psychologist.
A systematic and scientific analysis of Per’s statement to the psychologist would have shown that they satisfy many reality criteria. Included are statements that are very special for him and which he would have had difficulty formulating if he had abused his children, such as:
– I’m only suspected, but I feel guilty. After all I haven’t been allowed to see my children for six months.
He doesn’t try to hide anything, explain away things, get away from the main questions or present himself in a specially advantageous light. The wealth of detailed description, thoughts, sudden memories and the emotional expressions all join to leave the impression that his statements tell of something he himself has experienced and that what he describes is authentic.
One question that he repeats again and again is: ”How could Ann’s mother encourage them to build their house so close to her and her new husband if, as she now alleges, she suspected that Per had sexually abused Eva when the girl was very small, long before the divorce.”
Interview with Per Andersson
We met on November 25, 1993, in the residence Per has shared for a year with his current partner. They met in the autumn 1992.
Per started out by telling me about yesterday’s court proceedings in the civil case, his difficulties with being able to see his son Kalle and the fact that it had been a long time since he saw the girls. The last time he saw Eva was in May 1992 – Lena he saw on the 13th or the 14th of October 1992 when he visited the daycare centre after his ban ended. Eva was home sick. Nor has he spoken with the girls on the phone. Per said it would have been logical for Lena to have been angry at him for not coming earlier, but she was happy to see him, jumped up in his lap, gave him drawings and wanted to play. He thinks that had Lena reacted differently it would probably have been interpreted to mean that she was afraid of him:
Per: All unusual things in relation to the children have been viewed in one way only. For all intents and purposes I have been guilty since the complaint was lodged on April 24, in practice I have been.
Per described that he, during a visit with Ann and the children at the home of Ann’s mother and stepfather on April 10, 1992, had been asked questions about if he had hurt the children. Then he was told that he would get a piece of paper. From Per’s point of view, more and more odd comments came up in telephone conversations with Ann and finally he asked if she accused him of incest.
Per tells about the discussions he and Ann had about building a house in X-löv, something they decided together, but which was very much influenced by the encouragement from Ann’s mother and stepfather. Per mentions again that his mother-in-law shouldn’t have encouraged this construction project if, as she has said in police interviews, she had made observation about Eva’s genital area in the beginning of 1990 raising suspicions of sexual abuse on his part.
Per: I thought I’d gotten contact with Eva again during the summer 1991. And when we separated, I thought I had a solid relationship with Eva.
By then the parents-in-law had move out of Per’s and Ann’s home.
Per described a time when Ann had been out playing Ping-Pong and he let Eva lie in her room with the door open. She had difficulties falling asleep, called several times for him to come and was awake when Ann came home at nine in the evening. He thinks that this is the occasion that Ann has described Eva as being ’paralysed’, which is what he thinks it says in the protocol.
We talk about the time Per took the girls to his job when Ann was at the maternity hospital in February 1992. That was the first time they were there and they had dinner together with the personnel working at the time. Another time rather soon thereafter they were there again, this time because he was supposed to participate in a conference. His sister T was to come and fetch them. Eva and Lena were asleep when they came to the job and a person named NN helped him carry them in asleep. Then a girl named XX sat with them until T came almost at once, as Per describes it.
Per drove to his new job to fetch his contact lens case just after Ann had given birth to Kalle. He didn’t take Lena with him since he thought it was too late (7:30 p.m.). Per called his father-in-law on the phone and asked him to come over awhile‚ he thinks it was no more than a half-hour. Eva slept at the parents-in-law on her own request. It was on this occasion that the step-grandfather says that Lena was all excited, but according to Per she was asleep when he came back.
I ask if it’s true as the interrogation record states that the girls have touched his penis around ten times in connections with bathing. Yes, he answers, but it was mainly Lena who was interested. She had shaken it and said ”willie, willie”.
We talk about his mental problems. He says it was worse when he and Ann had problems. It was also hard when Ann was sick a lot and he was forced to stay home, a problem since it was teamwork and no substitute was brought in when Per was out. Earlier he would sometimes take medicine during the periods when he was depressed , specifically [an anti-depressant] called Fevarin which helped raise his spirits. But he feels it’s gotten since he met a doctor who explained that he had a melantonin deficiency.
Referring to ’infidelity’ Per says that this was in the beginning of his and Ann’s relationship that he spent time with his former girlfriend. But he hadn’t told Ann about it until just before their wedding, which he wanted to postpone because they had been having problems. However, Ann had decided that she wanted them to get married. It was either that or separation, a decision she had reached after having visited with her father. According to Per, Ann had brought up separation on about ten occasions. After the wedding they went to family counselling five or six times during the spring 1990.
– What would you really like?
Per: Yes, I’d like to see the children as soon as possible.
The background of the suspicions
As we have seen, Per refers repeatedly to earlier suspicions voiced by his former mother-in-law. The preliminary investigation record contains an alleged observation of Eva’s genital area dated to the beginning of 1990. This observation is supposedly made by Ann’s mother and her current husband. The alleged abuse event reported by them is not part of the indictment, but does form the background for the current suspicions. Below this observation is reported in the chronological order in which appears in the preliminary investigation report.
Extract from interview with Ann on April 24, 1992
”When Eva was 1 1/2, Ann was in the hospital for a period. Her mother and stepfather took care of the girls now and then. One day they had taken care of the girls and left them with Per for the evening. The following morning they called Per and the children, but no one answered. Then they drove to their house and rang the doorbell. After a long time Per opened. He seemed sick and said he’d been lying down. Ann’s mother went in to take care of the children. When she changed diapers on Eva she saw that the girls was very swollen and very red in the genital area. This was concentrated around the vagina. According to what Ann’s mother now has told Ann, there was also a suggestion of a bruise around Eva’s vaginal opening. Ann’s mother thought what she saw was so unusual that she called in her husband. They began to think about abuse. They said nothing to Ann before Ann had told them what Eva had said about the tiger cage. Only then did Ann’s mother say that she and her husband had suspected abuse of Eva since she was 1 1/2 years old.”
Extract from interview with Ann’s mother on June 4, 1992
”As part of the ongoing investigation Ann’s mother was asked when she first suspected or had knowledge of any abuse of the girls. She said that it was in January or February 1990. Ann was in the hospital because of bleeding in the lower abdomen. Per had taken time from his job to take care of the girls. At one point Ann’s mother went over to Per and the girls where they lived on X-hill. She arrived in the afternoon. He talked about having stomach-ache and that he didn’t feel so good. He seemed confused and ’ran around’ in the house. Ann’s mother offered to take care of the girls since he didn’t feel well, and to have the girls stay over with their grandmother. Per thought this was a good idea, after which the grandmother called her husband to ask him to come and fetch them in his car.
Ann’s mother went with her husband and the children to their house on X-meadow. After some supper and play, the grandmother undressed Eva in order to put her to bed. She then saw that Eva had very red and swollen labia. She even saw dark, blue-grey spots on Eva’s swollen labia. Ann’s mother thought these looked like ’pressure marks’. First she asked herself if the marks, redness and swelling could be the result of some abuse from Per’s side. She then asked her husband if he ’thought the same’, which he confirmed. The talked about what they saw. They didn’t know what to do. Naturally they took care of the children first and put them to bed. They then discussed their observations. They agreed that they would try to keep an eye on the children to see if any other signs cropped up. They even agreed not to mention their suspicions to Ann.
On two or three occasions after this event Ann’s mother has seen that Eva was swollen and red in her genital area. On each occasion the redness and swelling was on and in between the labia. The grandmother has had small children herself and has taken care of many children. She has seen diaper rash and similar things several times. What she saw on Eva didn’t look like anything she had seen earlier. It hasn’t looked like diaper rash or poor diaper hygiene. Ann’s mother says that you don’t get sores between the labia from diaper rash or poor diaper hygiene.”
We can note that Ann’s hearsay version differs both in time and symptom from her informant’s, that is her mother’s version. Can the alleged observations by Ann’s mother in fact be post event constructions originated in connection with the accusation in question?
Extract from an interview with Ann’s stepfather on May 14, 1993
Now we shall see how Ann’s stepfather tells the story to the investigator more than three years after the alleged event. Below is an extract from an interview with Ann’s stepfather on May 14, 1993:
”The event happened in the afternoon or towards the evening. At the time in question the stepfather saw marks and swelling on Eva’s labia. There were dark spots surrounding them. These were both on the labia and around them. There were marks that were darker than the surrounding skin colour. These spots were rather round and similar in size and shape. The skin change was not uniform over the whole labia. The marks were the size of a fingertip. There were app. 10 marks around and on Eva’s labia. The marks weren’t red or swollen like after a common diaper rash. Ann’s stepfather had never seen anything like it. He had a daughter himself whose growth he had witnessed and he had changed many diapers. In addition he had two sons who he also had cared for when they were small. He had also helped to change diapers now and then on Eva and Lena. He had seen diaper rashes earlier, but what he saw on Eva was something wholly different.
After the fact, the stepfather is sorry he and his wife didn’t arrange a medical examination for Eva. He thought at the time that sexual abuse didn’t exist against children who were as young as Eva, only that when it happened it was directed against older children.”
As we can see, the description by Ann’s stepfather regarding the time when he alleges to have made his observation agrees with that of Ann’s mother – it was in the afternoon or evening. However, his description differs by being much more detailed and in that the details do not occur in the earlier versions, as well as in seeming more improbable. Most space is given to a description of app. ten fingertip-sized, round, similar and dark spots. Ann’s version talks about a suggestion of a bruise around the vagina, while her mother’s version mention blue-grey pressure marks.
If it is supposed to be a grown man’s fingertips, there is hardly space for ten such on and around the labia of a 19-month-old female baby. It is completely improbable that an alleged abuse event or that a grown man’s penis contact would result in ten bruises of similar size and similar colour. Marks that were so remarkable as those the police say Ann’s stepfather described as ten fingertip-sized bruises ought to have been visible for several days. It would have been natural for everyone who helped take care of Eva would have been concerned, questioning themselves and each other as to what had happened.
That the three version of the same event do not agree on time and symptom, as well as the fact that the last version reported by the stepfather is the most detailed, suggests that these are constructions.
Can it be that Ann’s mother has influenced Ann through her story of her suspicions against Per and caused her to look for signs or confirmation that the suspicions were true? The analysis of the documentation suggests that this is the original source of the entire matter.
From the moment that their father moved in early March 1992, Eva and Lena have only met adults who thought that their father had done something nasty and unacceptable to them. The only exception was the child-minder, but they only met her up to and including May 1992.
Eva and Lena meet their grandmother and her husband every day, both of whom are convinced that their father has committed incest. According to what the children’s grandmother told me in an interview on November 25, 1993, she feels that Per is egoistic, irresponsible, a poor child rearer, someone the children are afraid of and a person who has committed incest. She thinks the children should never again have to meet their father.
It would seem that Ann has only met professionals who have believed that her’s and Per’s daughters have been sexually abused by Per and who have sought to help her and the children get away from Per. No one seems to have talked with Ann about her own problems from earlier or about her difficult social and emotional situation as a just divorced mother with three children, one just born, living in a new, highly mortgaged house. Much suffering could have been avoided and resources saved if Ann had instead met professionals who hadn’t reacted reflexively to the stated incest accusation, but had investigated if it could have some other cause than actual incestuous actions.
The BUP chief physician demonstrates in her journal entry from Ann’s first visit on April 15, 1992, that she not only accepted Ann’s vaguely stated incest suspicion. She in turn must have influenced Ann by clearly considering that Per was dangerous to the children and was a person who had abused them sexually. For example, one entry reads:
”The mother blames herself for not having thought about this before and that she hadn’t noticed anything.”
The fact that both the police and the investigating BUP psychologist have misunderstood or misinterpreted what the girls said can be traced to the fact that they have been influenced by Ann’s picture. The alternative is that there is some other reason they have a picture of Per as incestuous, a reason that is unknown to the author.
The interviewer writes as follows:
”After a short period, about at pos. 62 on the tape, there is a seemingly spontaneous statement:
Eva: Mommy, my daddy he peed in my, my, my, my front bottom and then in my bellybutton., and then he took out his willie, out of … on me … into my front bottom.
Ann: Did he, when was that?
Eva: In the sauna.”
The BUP psychologist who submitted the first expert statement, has the same words in her report.
On listening through the tape you can hear the Eva does not say it in this way and that the statement is not spontaneous. At the start you can hear Ann encouraging Eva to ”sit down” and ”come now”, suggesting rather a situation that the mother has arranged. Below is an extract that I have put together after listening through the same tape several times:
One of the girls says ´taddy´, or ´daddy´, it may be Eva. Ann asks: hmmm, what did you say, what did you say? ´-I want…says one of the girls. Ann pours something, ”so ”, whispering.
Eva: Well…(as if getting set).
Ann: Thank you.
Eva: Mommy (happily).
Eva: My daddy… (as if getting set again)
Eva: He peed in my, in my, in my, in my, my front bottom and then in my, and then in my bellybutton … and then he took … wil, his willie out of the tummy, on (difficult to hear since Kalle is whining), in my head.
Ann: He did that?
Eva: Mm. (sounds pleased)
Ann: When was that then? (Kalle whines)
Eva: In the sauna.
Ann: In the sauna?
Ann: Oh, which sauna?
Eva: In the X-hill sauna.
Eva: in the cellar.
Ann: Oh? Did you shower?
Ann: Who else was there? Was there anyone else?
Eva: No. T.
Ann: Oh? (Lena is heard)
Ann: Who was there then? Were you there like? Who else was there then?
Eva: Lena was there.
Ann: Were you bathing in the sauna? (Kalle whines)
Eva’s statement that her daddy had peed in her ’front bottom’ and in the navel, as well as taking his penis out of the stomach and on the head is confused. It does not match the extract that the police and the BUP psychologist have taken out of context – and quoted completely wrong.
Eva hangs up, repeating ”my” five times and towards the end says that daddy took the penis in the head. Before this it sounds as if she’s getting set, that is it could be that she has repeated what she is going to record many times and that she presents a ’lesson’ here which gets a bit confused because she hasn’t understood the contents. This can be the reason she gets hung up, repeats herself and seems to get set several times. Eva does not say that her daddy put his penis in her ’front bottom’. She also says that T was there, at the same time as she answers negatively. In a telephone conversation with the author in November 1993, T, Per’s sister, says that she has never taken a sauna with the children on X-hill.
Yet another example of misunderstanding or misinterpretation appears in the police report of a statement on another tape, written in Appendix to primary investigation protocol dated October 22, 1992. This is what the interviewer has written:
”One of the girls says that daddy is ’nasty’. One of the girls, possibly Eva, says ’daddy was aw’fly nasty when he touched me with his willie’. Then Ann asks: ´Did he touch you with his willie?´ The daughter answers: ´He touched me in my front bottom with his willie.´”
If you listen carefully you can hear that this is misquote. Instead Eva comes out with the rather remarkable statement:
”For daddy has been so aw’fly nasty when he touched me in the willie”.
This misstatement is corrected by mother Ann (see above) by asking: ”Did he touch you in the willie?” And then Eva answers in the way it should be, according to her mother: ”He touched me in my front bottom. With his willie.”
The girls seem to repeat stereotypically what they have heard many times. Eva cannot give it any content nor convey any emotions or remembrance. Nor can she provide anything that can be interpreted as her having been exposed to anything improper by her daddy.
Support for Ann’s picture
Measures such as injunction against visiting and failure to appoint a contact person must have created and/or reinforced the perception Ann’s mind, as well as having told her immediate surroundings and not least the children, that Per had done illicit things to the girls.
Through their actions the professional on the case have demonstrated that they have accepted Ann’s description as being the true one. The evidence suggests that the various persons responsible have influenced each other and in that way reinforced and added to the picture.
In other words, Ann has not been alone in constructing the accusation against Per.
The information about Per as a sexual criminal is repeated, sometimes as below by a professional who has accepted the mother’s description as gospel without having checked them out. On April 26, 1993, the mother’s attorney in the custody case and Eva’s legal representative wrote as follows:
”Even if the preliminary investigation has not led to a criminal indictment in the case of Lena, it is possible that she too has been abused. However, it is also true that a relationship between Per Andersson and Lena is not suitable in light of the fact that Lena can have been present when Eva was abused. Today Lena does not feel at all well, mentally. She is afraid of Per Andersson, has problems with bed-wetting and does not dare to go to the toilet. As early as tomorrow, Ann Andersson is going to visit the psychologist at the Psychiatric Clinic for Children and Youth to discuss Lena’s problems.” /../
The picture created is something of a Catch 22
- Before the case has even been tried, the mother’s attorney argues that Lena should not be allowed to meet her father because she may have been present when the father abused Eva.
- The social welfare committee wrote:
”Keeping in mind that Lens could have been present on the occasion when Eva was abused, the social welfare committee is not ready to arrange a contact person for visits with Lena.”
- Since the social welfare committee feels itself unable to appoint a contact person, the district court does not approve the father’s request:
”In relation to visitation with Lena, the fact that the social welfare committee does not feel it can appoint a contact person reason enough not to approve Per Andersson’s motion for visitation with Lena.”
The mother’s picture cannot be confirmed
After a thorough analysis it becomes obvious that Ann has submitted exaggerated, conflicting and false information. This has influenced the picture of what has happened and therefore the actions of various persons.
- For example, this is true for the story of what Eva is supposed to have said and demonstrated the first time she ”told”. Ann has submitted three different versions. In the last related to me she has reported that Eva said that her father had done this to me and then pulled down her own pants and touched herself in her ’front bottom’. After a check of the date, it is not true as Ann has said that this event, for which we have no proof, is the origin of her suspicions.
- Ann has reported to the police and others that Eva and Lena have made spontaneous statements (Eva ”lots of times”) about the nasty things their father has done, stating where and when and how. On a careful examination and analysis of four of the tapes the mother has recorded, as well as of other statements it becomes apparent that there isn’t one single spontaneous statement from either of the girls about anything nasty their father has done to them. Ann’s report that Eva has provided details about such items as place and time isn’t true either.
- The differences are very large between what mother Ann’s says about Eva being afraid of her father and observations made by others. According to the child-minder who had taken care of Eva daily during the entire period of alleged abuse says that Eva has never shown any fear of her father, not even during visits at the centre after Ann’s complaint. Quite the reverse – the child-minder reports that the girls were happy to see their father and threw themselves at him.
- The differences are also large between Ann’s statements about Eva’s fear of her father and Eva’s own statements about her father. When I met Eva she did not give the impression that there was any fear. Rather she missed her father. She said the same thing in her interview with the investigating BUP psychologist. It is even possible to see how Eva misses her father in her talks with her mother, such as when she says that she is sorry because she wants to hug her daddy.
- Ann did not tell the truth when she told me and the BUP psychologist that she kept the girls away from the child-minder during May because Eva was afraid her father would come there again.
- Ann also said to me that she felt ”forced” to tell the child-minder, suggesting that she had unfortunately found it necessary to tell about her complaint against Per. According to the child-minder, Ann talked almost every day after lodging the complaint to both the child-minder and her neighbour about her incest suspicions against Per.
- Ann reported to both the BUP psychologist and to me that Eva had told such odd stories about her father and this was the reason she called BUP for advice on the normality. According to the BUP journal for Eva, Ann called April 13, 1992, and had her first interview with the chief physician on the 15th. At that time she described Per as mentally ill (”mano-depressive illness with illness periods during autumn-winter-spring”), as well as reporting that Per’s repeated unfaithfulness with different persons was also cause for ”the request for separation by the mother”. In other words, she didn’t ask for advice, but presented negative and inaccurate information about Per. According to a statement from Per’s physician Per had stomach problems with manic symptoms when he was 18 years old and after that lowered moods with depressive symptoms when he was 24. After that there was no entry until March 1991 when ”he was diagnosed as having a depressive period and received anti-depressive medicine” which cleared up the problem within 12 days. The next contact with the doctor was in December 1991 when Per had felt down for a month and had talked about such things as his wife’s terrible temper and how the two fought. Ann’s clearly false picture of Per’s illness has been put in writing in the investigation report by the social welfare officers.
- Ann also reported to me that she didn’t know where to turn. According to her attorney, he had advised her to go to BUP and to the police’s incest expert when Ann had told him of his suspicions in a telephone conversation on April 16, 1992. But that was three days after she already called BUP and one day after she had been there and been supported by the chief physician. In other words, Ann knew where to turn.
- Ann has reported that the girls have had genital area problems and that she has taken them to such places as the Child Health Care Centre, where she received ointments, primarily for Eva. However, she has never been to the Child Health Care Centre with Eva regarding any such problems. Nor has she been anywhere else.
- The information that Ann gave to the BUP psychologist that Lena had a genital area infection in the autumn 1991 and had been treated at the Paediatric Centre isn’t true either.
- Ann has repeatedly talked about Eva’s self-destructiveness as a sign that her father had abused her. According to the journals, the BUP psychologist who examined the girls did not note any self-destructiveness in Eva after five separate interviews. The kindergarten personnel haven’t seen anything like it either, nor had the child-minder earlier.
Summary and conclusions
Ann Andersson has been at home with the children since the first daughter Eva was born in July 1988. At that time she and Per Andersson barely knew each other. Eva was conceived shortly after they met. At that time Per worked in another community and moved in with Ann just before Eva was born. Ann had been on the sick list since 1985, after an injury she says she got in connection with a spinal test.
Ann and Per got married in December 1989 after Lena’s birth. After that they attended family therapy to get help with their difficulties. On March 5, 1992, Per moved out after a year of discord and fighting, just when the family had moved into a newly built house in X-löv mortgaged for just over one million kronor. At that point their son Kalle had just been born (February 12, 1992).
Since April 1992 Ann has acted as if she were convinced that Per has committed incestuous sexual abuse against both his daughters.
Her mother was the first one she discussed these incest suspicions with. However, it wasn’t Ann who expressed the suspicions, but her mother. According to Ann’s mother this happened as early as in March 1992, exactly when Per had moved.
The BUP journal entry dated July 31, which happens to be the first since April 15, contains information about the ”diaper change event”, indicating that Ann has borrowed material from the leading questions the police asked the girls towards the end of May 1992, specifically regarding whether the girls had been given bookmarks by their father because they had been ”nice” in some way. This entry also suggests that both Eva and Lena had shown on their little brother how their father had ”masturbated while he was touching Eva’s front bottom”.
”Pat. Now displays strong guilt feelings over not having understood and thus stepped in regarding the abuse of the girls, says that afterwards the girls have told right out about their father’s abuse and showed on their small brother how their father had masturbated while touching Eva’s genitals. Have also told that you get bookmarks after having been ’nice’ to their father in the disgusting toilet at his job.”
Of course a doctor has to support a patient he or she is treating. However, when there is a suspected crime involved, the professions must be very careful not to mix up the treatment function with the investigative function that must try to find out what actually has happened.
The support Ann was given for her suspicions that a crime had occurred, when first the BUP chief physician and then the attorney accepted Ann’s vague suspicions as serious are an important part of the origin of the accusation against Per for incest. If Ann had not received this immediate support, she could not have proceeded and subsequently also get the support from the police and the social welfare officers.
What Eva (and Lena) have said and demonstrated and which is documented does not, however, support mother Ann’s accusations against her former husband Per. Nor have any other person’s observations nor any journal entries or doctor certificates supported the report that Per should have sexually abused his daughters in any way. On the contrary, the child-minder’s observations, as well as journal entries about information the mother has submitted to police and other contradict the accusation.
The statement analysis shows that neither Eva nor Lena says or demonstrates anything that can be interpreted as being descriptions of any sexual relationships they have participated in.
In the police interviews and in the transcriptions of the mother’s tape recordings made by the police and the investigating BUP psychologist, Eva has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. What Eva has said is that she has touched her father’s penis, something both the father and the mother have said both Eva and Lena did when they were bathing.
After completion of the assignment to investigate the origin of the ”Eva Andersson’s report that Per Andersson has carried out sexual actions on her that have the nature of sexual relationship”, the conclusion is that there is no information about anything like that from Eva herself. What there are are misunderstandings and misinterpretations of what Eva has said and demonstrated, as well as information about actions suggesting sexual relationship reported by the mother Ann. She has persuaded her daughters to make certain statements on tape regarding their daddy, ”willie” and ”front bottom” that give a stereotypic and confused impression lacking concrete content.
There is no support in the material for the main hypothesis that the information about sexual relationship can be interpreted as having its origin in actual abuse that Eva has experienced and related.
Where then do the accusations come from? [It seems) that Ann, influenced by her mother’s stated suspicions regarding her former son-in-law, has developed the accusations against Per further and persuaded personnel at BUP, the police and the social welfare authority to accept and support her fabrication. They have also helped develop the concoction further, including by not examining her accusations critically.
From the material it is possible to see how Ann has consistently manipulated in order to support her fabricated image of Per as a committer of incest. It is possible to read in the BUP journals how Ann gives twisted information, stating such things as that Eva didn’t feel well because her [paternal] grandmother had visited or that she had had a real fit at the kindergarten and been ”inconsolable” because she had found out that her little brother had met Per, something the mother had obviously not told her daughters. On checking these reports it shows that, according to the contact person who was there at the time, Eva and Lena were very glad to meet their grandmother. And when interviewed by the police and by the social welfare officers, the kindergarten personnel have not reported any event similar to the one Ann reported to the BUP chief physician and which she had written in the journal (about Eva being inconsolable).
When it became clear that the indictment would not include Lena, Ann contacted BUP and reported that Lena had evacuation problems coupled to abuse from the father.
Ann’s fabricated accusation of incest against Per, a fabrication that is so effective that she seems to believe it herself, can derive from many, interlinked causes, including disappointment, hate, money worries, desire to be taken seriously and to be seen as the good, self-sacrificing mother just as she apparently was by BUP, the social welfare authority and the police.
If we study the possible economic incentives we’re not only talking about the possibility of getting large damage payments as the child-minder has reported Ann has said, but also about the daily situation. Since the social welfare authorities, together with BUP and the police, also believe that the children have been sexually abused by Per, Ann and the children have been able to continue to live in the new and expensive house.
The analysis shows that Ann has twisted reality. As has been pointed out, she has been skilful at getting others in her immediate surroundings to accept her picture and thus to create preconceptions. This in turn have controlled interpretations and actions on the part of various persons in authority, which in turn seems to have confirmed the mother’s picture of Per as a committer of incest.
In a supplementary statement, the BUP psychologist wrote:
”There is no information anywhere that suggests that the mother takes a negative position regarding the father in front of the children. Rather she talks about positive things.”
The way that the mother presses her children to say nasty things about their father on the audio tapes she herself records contradicts this conclusion. However, the most telling influence is not through what the adults say, but through what they do. Ann has consistently acted so that the children understand that she dislikes Per a lot, indeed she feels so strongly that she doesn’t think they should meet him, his mother or his sister, all of whom they have had close contact with. It is obvious that this is a very negative attitudinal influence by the mother, even if she may once have said that it may be that he ”is nice too”.
The question must be asked whether Ann through her actions hasn’t actually damaged her children through her efforts to have them appear sexually abused, through such actions as pressing them to repeat things she alleges their father has done, by taking them to various experts for evaluations and interviews and by teaching her children that the world is divided into dumb people, i.e. those who believe their daddy, and nice ones, i.e. those who ”know” that their daddy is lying.
Based on the fact that the analysis so clearly demonstrates that Ann exaggerates and/or twists the reality, she should be offered qualified, psycho-therapeutic help.
The guidelines for handling sexual abuse must be evaluated and at least include the possibility that an accusation is without basis in fact. The consultatory method can be useful when a co-ordinated effort is needed to protect children who truly have been beaten or sexually abused. However, suspicions and facts must be investigated without preconceptions, before taking any immediate or conclusive steps, such as separating children from their parents.
When an expert in a consultatory group takes a position there is a danger that this will influence the other experts. They may have known each other for a long time, such as in the X-city case. They perceive themselves as being part of a continuing education sequence where the experts should learn from each other whenever a child is thought to have been sexually abused.
It can all too easily be as in H.C. Andersen’s fairy tale about the emperor’s new clothes. The various experts study the case. The first has said that the emperor’s clothes are made of exquisite material/the first one says that the children should be kept away from their father. Those that follow agree that the cloth is exquisite/that the children should be kept from their father.
It was a child who revealed that the emperor was naked. If you listen to what Eva and Lena have said, their statement reveal that there has not existed and does not now exist any reason to prevent them from meeting their father.
Supplementary statement requested by the district attorney
The district attorney asked eight questions as a result of my expert statement. The district court decided on February 3, 1994, to request a supplementary statement by the author. Below are my answers to the questions from the district attorney, quoted in their entirety in italics.
1.Has Ann consciously submitted false statement that her children might have been sexually abused?
The expectations of those around her that Per had committed incest have continuously influenced Ann to submit such information as could support the picture of him having done that. The information often is neither probably or logical does not seem to worry Ann and this could suggest that she isn’t conscious of the fact that she is submitting false information. One example is her statement on March 23, 1993, a full year after the separation, that she had taken the girls for a physical examination on the request of the district attorney and that the doctor had ”said to her that the girls had broken blood vessels on their labia which could suggest external violence” and that Per ”during his manic period is capable of anything. Nothing is impossible for him.” (from the notes by the social welfare authority on March 23, 1993) In other words, according to Ann, Per is supposed to have sexually abused his girls so violently that this would be visible in the form of broken blood vessels on the labia when it gone a year since he had seen his daughters at all.
The possibility that Ann is mentally incompetent or ill has not been examined by the doctors or psychologists she been in contact with. That there is some such background to the fact that she unconsciously submits false information cannot be excluded.
However, most everything points to the fact that Ann consciously submits incorrect information about the fact that her children not only ”may have been sexually abused” as the district attorney question is phrased, but that according to Ann they actually have been. Below is an outline of Ann’s behaviour that supports this interpretation:
– That Ann has wrongly informed the BUP chief physician that Lena has been under care at the Paediatric Reception on several occasions during the autumn 1991 for genital area infections (journal April 15, 1992).
– That according to the extract from the interview on April 24, 1992, Ann has submitted completely different reasons for her suspicions to the police than what she had said nine days earlier to the BUP chief physician.
– That according to journal entry dated June 9, 1992, Ann has reported an abuse sequence to a social welfare officer that has no similarity to anything that Eva has reported according to what has been documented.
– That Ann recorded her four audio tapes with the girls and wrote down what she had reported that they had said at the time around the police interview with the girls and at the time around the time the BUP psychologist was finishing her report – not earlier and not later. In other words, Ann’s most aggressive activity coincides with the most intense investigation happenings. This suggests that she was trying to influence the investigators in order to affect an indictment.
– That during the whole period since she lodged the police complaint against Per has acted as if she were more interested in punishing Per and being in the right herself, than in doing what could be the best for the children. Examples include her consistent opposition to letting Per see his girls together with a contact person and her stopping a nascent relationship between the girls and their [paternal] grandmother and sister in the summer 1993.
– That Ann did not prepare her girls for a gynaecological examination until December 1992, a little more than nine months after Per had moved. Had she been convinced that the children had been sexually abused by their father, she should have demanded a physical examination at the time she lodged her complaint.
– That during the entire investigation Ann has submitted negative information about Per, as well as hints or direct stories about what she alleges that the girls have said, including information that the girls are afraid of their father. * No one has been found to support that claim. Rather has it been contradicted by such as the child-minder and later the kindergarten personnel when Per came and saw Lena in October 1992.
– That Ann has submitted incorrect information about the girls’ physical problems. Examples include her claim to me that she had taken Eva to the Child Health Care Centre on several occasions in order to get ointment for her genital problems. This was not confirmed by journal entries there – Eva hasn’t been there at any time for such problems. As has been stated above, Ann has also said to the social welfare workers that broken blood vessels had been found on the labia of the girls during medical examinations, something that is not supported by journal entries or court certificates.
– When it was clear to Ann that Lena would not be included in the indictment, acted and alleged that Lena felt very poorly, that according to Ann she had immense problems defecating and that she was afraid of her father. When Ann came to the hospital, there was nothing wrong with Lena according to the March and April 1993 journals at the Child Health Care Centre.
*That the girls say to Ann that they are afraid of their father can be their was of satisfying her since they have learned that this is what their mother wants them to say. If they say that their daddy is nasty, they get appreciation from their mother.
It isn’t surprising that Eva feels poorly. Ann herself has told how Eva has said that her daddy hasn’t done anything that it didn’t hurt. Ann has interpreted this to mean that Eva wanted to lighten the abuse Ann is convinced has happened. It is clear on several occasions that Eva misses her father and is at the same time loyal to her mother, who so clearly demonstrates that she doesn’t want Eva to meet her father, preferably never. How is a small child to handle this conflict? It has to be expressed in some way.
- Has Ann been influenced by the consultatory group? If so, how?
There are 14 persons in the consultatory group. Most of these have been directly involved in the Andersson case and have to varying degrees and in various ways influenced Ann. Influence is always a mutual process – it can be difficult to determine which is the chicken and which the egg. Below is a list of the member of the consultatory group and the ways they have had contact with the Andersson family:
Child Health Clinic XX Has treated all the Andersson children.
Did a physical examination of Eva and Lena, providing a court certificate.
Child Health Care Centre – BUP XX Investigating psychologist.
XX Counsellor who received Ann’s call on July 31, 1992, during which she told of the so-called diaper changing event.
XX Chief physician who first talked with Ann – see below.
Gynaecological Clinic XX The gynaecologist who participated in the examination of Lena, January 1993.
Police XX Interviewed the girls’ child-minder on the request of the father’s attorney.
XX Interviewer for all other interviews.
Social Welfare Service NN
XX Was first social welfare officer in the treatment unit and was informed on May 5, 1992, about Ann’s suspicion of sexual abuse and that it had been reported to the police. Also project leader.
XX First social welfare officer after XX who according to the social welfare authority’s journal had the first long talk with Ann on June 9, 1992.
District Attorney’s Office. XX Has indicted Per.
The first member of the consultatory group to influence Ann was the BUP chief physician who in her first contact with the newly divorced Ann accepted her description of reality as a true – which it wasn’t. She deprived two small girls of their father without any investigation. Ann was encouraged not to leave the children with their ”biological father”. This can in part have influenced Ann to interrogate and interpret Eva and Lena in accord with a similar preconception that Per was ”dangerous” and in part can the support from the chief physician have provided Ann with the courage needed to push forward with the incest accusations which at this point the journal entries (April 15, 1992) seem only to have been hints.
The regular, so-called support talks that Ann has had with the BUP chief physician since the end of August 1992 can have influenced Ann to submit such information as would agree with the preconceptions this physician clearly had demonstrated as early as during her first meeting with Ann in mid-April 1992. Among her journal entries for that date is the following:
”The mother blames herself for not having though about this possibility earlier or for not having seen anything. At one occasion she had seen Lena touch her father’s penis and when he got an erection, she thought it was an isolated case.”
The next member of the consultatory groups to influence Ann was the social welfare officer who interviewed Ann nine days after her first visit to BUP. At that point he seemed entirely convinced that Ann was an ”incest mother”, something that can seen in his protocol of the interview (see statement).
If it was Ann who influenced the consultatory group member or the other way around cannot be read from the protocol from June 9, 1992. It is there that an abuse sequence described by Ann is rendered. What Eva is supposed to have said can also have been interpreted by this social welfare officer since she heard it from Ann and it can be the officer who has construed what she heard as an abuse sequence. If that is so, this social welfare officer has had an extremely strong influence not only on Ann, but also on the entire sequence that follows.
This social secretary can also have influenced Ann though the fact that she and other persons in both the treatment groups and the family rights group have supported Ann in preventing the children from seeing Per. They even stood ready to make a take the children into compulsory care according to LVU once the ban on visiting issued by the district attorney expired.
- Has Ann been influenced to submit incorrect information by another person If so, whom?
Because her mother and her husband live across the street, three houses down in X-löv, both Ann and her children have almost daily contact with her mother. Ann is consequently constantly influenced by them to believe that Per has committed incest, something the police have reported they do not hesitate to say that he has. Even to me on November 25, 1993, both of them expressed
It is possible that with Ann’s vulnerable situation, left wit three small children of which one was just born and with a very heavy economic load to carry in a newly built, heavily mortgaged house, has let herself be so strongly affected by her mother’s expressed suspicion of Per that she really comes to believe that he has abused their daughters in spite of the fact that she has never made any observation of such behaviour herself.
For another answer tied to this question, see point 4B below.
- Ann’s suspicions seem to have appeared over the course of one month:
Ann says that the event with Kalle and Eva, variously called the diaper changing event and the changing table event, happened 8-10 days after the separation or on March 15-16. Ann doesn’t mention her sexual abuse suspicions to the BUP chief physician and her attorney until April 15-16.
- It cannot be excluded that the summary written in the journal on April 15 by the BUP chief physician is in fact a neutral description of such matters as the event above. It is consequently possible that the event had already happened.
- It is probably not possible to determine whether Ann or her mother first voiced their suspicions. Ann say she was first (Prelim. Invest. Report. p. 14 ) while the mother’s information (ibid. p. 28) are unclear. In her first conversation with her attorney on March 16, Ann doesn’t say anything about suspicions of abuse. A month later when she speaks to him again, she does.
The police interview with he children is held about a month later.
- Is it possible to induce the children to tell about abuse or to teach them to submit the information they do provide in the space the time available?
- Especially in the light of the assertion (report p. 64) that Ann doesn’t seem to feel any such influence?
- Below is everything the BUP chief physician has written down about ”sexual abuse” during Ann’s visit on April 15, 1992.:
”The oldest daughter Eva has always been very close to her mother and has mostly been cared for by her biological mother, while Lena has been close to both parents. During the most recent days the mother has begun to believe that the biological father has abused his daughters sexually. Lena has had a genital area infection and been treated at the Paediatric Reception on a number of occasion in the autumn 1991. Eva has now begun to say that she doesn’t want to live with her father.” /…/
Ann ascribes decisive meaning to the diaper-changing event herself, in interviews with the police, with the investigating BUP psychologist and with me. She has said that it was after what Eva then did and said that Ann began to suspect that Per had abused the girls sexually. If this alleged event had happened before the first BUP visit it is very remarkable that Ann should not have reported the event to the BUP chief physician, an event which she herself aroused her suspicions.
The event in question ought to be the so-called diaper changing event mentioned in the BUP journal on July 31, 1992, or long after the first visit on April 15! It is the counsellor who talked with Ann on the phone. She writes that Ann:
/…/ ”says that the girls after the fact talk out clearly about their father’s abuse and have shown on their little brother how he masturbated while he touched Eva’s genitals.”
If this event had happened between March 13-15, 1992, as Ann has said why didn’t she mention it on March 16 when she spoke to her attorney about sharing custody with Per. It doesn’t fit. Most of the evidence suggests that the event has never happened but if a construction after the fact. This is suggested in part by the stereotypical way that Ann repeats it, while she forgets certain central details (see report).
- Page 14 of the preliminary investigation report does not show that Ann had suspected Per prior to her mother’s doing so. Rather the reverse. It is a quote of what Ann relates from hearsay as having heard her mother tell of an event that is supposed to have happened in mid-February 1992 when she wasn’t home herself. Ann reports that she had been to X-city and that her mother had been home in their new house in order help hang curtains. Eva had started to howl in the house with her father, her grandmother and Eva. The police quote says:
”Eva calmed down later when her mother had come home. Later her mother told Ann that she had the feeling she had discovered Per in something unsuitable.”
Ann’s mother has described this event in a wholly different way according to the police interview protocol. She has said that Ann was at home and that Ann anticipated her mother when they heard the girls ”crying and howling”. Supposedly Ann tried to open the bathroom door where Per had taken the girls to wash them for the night:
”When she took hold of the door she discovered it was locked. After a while Per opened it and the girls ran out, greatly excited. The girl’s grandmother got the impression that Per sat on the floor. A moment later he came out and reproached Ann for ’getting involved’ when he was to take care of the children. After that he went out into the garage and stayed there a long while. He didn’t come in again until Ann’s mother and her husband had left.”
The possibility that abuse could have occurred is insinuated by the formulation that Ann’s mother only later ”had the feeling she had discovered Per in something unsuitable” and she ”got the impression that Per sat on the floor”.
After that come the very clear information from Ann’s mother stating that it was she who first expressed the incest suspicions regarding Per.
”In March this year after Per had moved out of the house, Ann’s mother talked to Ann the first time about what she had seen and suspected. At that moment the situation was such that Ann’s mother could no longer carry her suspicions herself, but felt it necessary to discuss her suspicions with Ann. Ann didn’t comment what she heard very much, rather being affected by what her mother related. However, Ann has returned to the matter later and they have talked a lot about their suspicions.”
This clearly established that it was Ann’s mother who first expressed the incest suspicions against Per and that she has talked with Ann about these suspicions often thereafter.
- Neither Eva nor Lena talk about any abuse. Nor do they provide any information that can be interpreted as their having been exposed to any abuse, be it in the police interviews, the tapes recorded by the mother, in the interviews with the two investigating BUP psychologists or in talks with me. (see report)
- The fact that Ann doesn’t believe that she has influenced her daughters because she doesn’t know that she has does not mean that she hasn’t influenced them. She, as do all parents and adults in a child’s world, are constantly influencing through their manner of acting and reacting, of showing feelings and expectations, of speaking, be it with words or with the body. In Ann’s case we know that she and her mother (and stepfather) have consistently influenced Eva and Lena into dividing the world into nasty people, i.e. those who believe in daddy, and nice ones, i.e. those who believe in their mother. (see report)
That young children are very impressionable and open to suggestion has been shown in repeated, complex experiments carried out by the American researcher Stephen Ceci, whose results were reported in connection with the much discussed TV documentary about the accusations of sexual abuse at the daycare centre Little Rascals in Edenton, North Carolina, as well as elsewhere.
- During the police interview Lena is encouraged to tell how it went when she touched her father’s penis. She is given the opportunity to demonstrate using a thick, black felt-tip (see report, p. 16). After Lena had placed the pen between her spread legs, she says ”daddy sat like this and then I jumped”. Lena ought to have had a large number of alternatives for how she could have used the pen. Why shouldn’t we believe her demonstration?
It’s Eva, not Lena, who is asked during the first police interview to tell what happened when she touched her daddy’s penis. By then the interviewer had repeated five times that Eva had touched her daddy’s penis. When he then takes a thick black pen and says ”let’s pretend that this is daddy’s willie” and asks her to show what she did, he probably expects that she would make some kind of motions with the pen. For the then four year old Eva having just happily told that she had touched her father’s penis it seems natural to put the pen/her daddy’s ’willie’ where it was on him when she touched it, that is between the legs. She says happily ”daddy sat like this and then I jumped”. This is followed by the matter-of-fact statement by Eva that ”and then daddy had balls” and proceeds to ask the policeman about his male attributes. In other words, Eva demonstrates by her undramatic, happy and curious way of talking and showing that she is not talking about some abuse event, but that her daddy has a ’willie’ and that it sat between the legs and in addition she knows there are balls as well. She also knows that other males probably also have ’willies’ and ’balls’.
The interviewer, with 10 years experience of incest cases, shows through his leading questions (that also serve as a form of training) that he is convinced that Eva has been sexually abused by her father. Perhaps this is so because he, just as other investigators and professional helpers have been hearing for 10 years now that incest and sexual abuse of children is more common than one believes. The interviewer believes that Eva demonstrates abuse, but there is nothing to suggest that her father has abused Eva. (see report)
- The interviewer asks Lena if her father’s penis has been somewhere else than on her ’front bottom’ and continues by encouraging her to point. Can this question be understood in any other way than that the answer should be a part of the body? In spite of this L answers that ”it was at daddy’s job”. How should this be interpreted? (reported in the report, pp 22-23)
For an adult with sexual experience it seems obvious that the expected answer is a part of the body, as the district attorney writes. But for four year old Eva (not Lena) the interviewers question about if her daddy’s ’willie’ has been somewhere else than on her ’front bottom’ seem incomprehensible, especially since Eva hasn’t shown that her daddy’s penis has been in her genital area. The interviewer nags Eva with ”where?” and wants her to point. Eva says ”I don’t know” and draws. Then the interviewer says with great expectation in his voice ”First point to where else it has been, then you can draw”.
As I have pointed out above and in my report, Eva’s answer ”it was at daddy’s job” shows that she hasn’t understood the question. In all likelihood she is trying to stop the nagging and to get help with drawing her letters, as well as to satisfy the interviewer’s strongly expressed expectations, by answering something from what she has heard the interviewer say earlier, namely that something had happened at her father’s job.
- On page 32 of the report you say ”Neither is it likely that as a two year old she can remember”. Please provide scientific proof for the statement.
Few persons have suggested in psychological literature that we begin to remember in the sense that we can describe details from settings where we have been in words before we are around three years old. And it is oral descriptions we are talking about here. This is in part tied to human cognitive development. Concepts and linguistic nomenclature has not yet developed in a two-year-old. However, a two-year-old will repeat, just as Lena does, what she has heard or hears from others. In the interview with the BUP psychologist (p. 30 f.) it is clear that Lena has heard other’s talk about a ”disgusting toilet” and a ”nice toilet”. When the psychologist asks what they did in the disgusting toilet, Lena answers that ”we played Emil and Ida on the nice toilet”.
Lena’s answers to the psychologist demonstrate throughout that she is not talking about what she remembers in relation to any specific settings or events. When Lena is asked questions about whether she has been in a sauna with her father and how that was, she talks about a brush and that a lion came.
Lena demonstrates very clearly that she is not talking about anything she remembers in her statement that her father hits them when they are visiting at his house. We know this because they have never been to his house.
- On page 49 of the report it states that it is incontrovertible that Eva says she has kelat with her father’s penis. The subsequent demonstration shows that kela means hug. Isn’t this an abuse situation?
Both Ann and Per have related without describing the events as abuse that Lena and Eva have touched Per’s penis when the whole family was bathing together. The family seems to have had an relaxed attitude towards nudity and, according to Per and Ann’s mother, it seems that Ann even wanted Eva to have knowledge about reproduction long before she was mature enough to understand the meaning and context. When Eva then hugs the doll she has gotten from her father when I ask her to kela with it and that she clearly states to the police that she has kelat with her father’s penis, it cannot be interpreted that she thereby describes an abuse event. What would be the abuse in that event? Nothing suggests that Eva has been forced to do something against her will or that she has felt violated. She tells straight and positively about the fact that she has kelat with her daddy’s ’willie’. In other words, Eva describes the same things as her parents when she says she has touched her daddy’s ’willie’, as opposed to some abuse situation (see the report for further information). She uses the word kela, perhaps because she remembers that she took a hold of it. The word itself has no sexual connotation for Eva, her mother or the child-minder, both of whom also use it.
Since the 1983 SIFO (Swedish Institute for Opinion Research) poll regarding sexual abuse requested by the Swedish ’Save the Children’ organisation, the definition of sexual abuse has been very broad.
After my investigation and the supplementary answers, the district attorney decided to dismiss the indictment. Per Andersson was acquitted. The judgement is dated March 11, 1994, and states:
”Conditions exist to hand down an acquittal.”
However, this has not meant that Per Andersson and his daughters can meet. The children’s mother have gotten support from the Social Welfare Authority and BUP in her efforts to deny the children’s father the opportunity to meet their father on the excuse that the girls are afraid of their father. It has not been possible to sort out why the staff has failed to allow him to have contact with his children, in spite of the formulation in the district attorney’s ban on visitation that the father should be able to see the girls in the presence of personnel from the social welfare service. According to a social welfare officer the reason lies in the approved procedures.
If none of the girls have been sexually abused by their father, who is it then who has ”anticipated/anticipates” and has ”exposed/exposes” the children to unacceptable influence such as the district court warned about in its decision regarding visitation and custody on December 21, 1993. I quote:
”In the situation in question, the district court does not feel it necessarily consistent with the children’s welfare to decide about a visitation the parents are unable to agree on and thus anticipate an evaluation of responsibility and a custody and visitation investigation which might subsequently be required. The interest in that the relationship between the children and their father be reconstituted as soon as possible will have to be seen as secondary to the consideration that the children not be exposed to inappropriate influence, direct or indirect, through a change in their situation.
As the analysis above has shown, it is Ann who has influenced her children and the question is if it shouldn’t be seen as inappropriate influence. To give small children a so black/white picture of the world around them as Eva and Lena have been given is not healthy for their continued development. The adults in their proximity, namely their mother and their grandparents, have taught them that all who believe in their father are nasty and all who believe in their mother are nice. With the support of and help from the experts who believe in her, their mother has acted to prevent the girls from meeting their father.
Psychiatric expertise has stated that the fear the girls hold of their father several years after the divorce is not related to the mother. At the request of the district court in 1995, a paediatric psychiatrist and chief physician evaluated the situation in connection with the custody and visitation hearing. His report dated January 13, 1995, states that following the separation, the girls have:
”have developed such a fear for their father that they signal discomfort and loathing both bodily and verbally whenever he is mentioned and they are experience an overwhelming panic in situations that can result in any kind of contact with him, such as being able to meet him.”
This chief physician describes in detail such a situation when he went with mother Ann to leave Kalle with his father for a visit and the girls became totally panic stricken:
”When the mother and I make it clear to the girls that they are to come along in the car when their mother is to turn over Kalle to their father for a coming visitation, rather than stay with their grandmother as usual, both Eva and Lena panic. Eva protests hysterically and Lena is deeply shocked. Their mother co-operates loyally and competently in trying to dedramatise the coming situation, but without effect.
When I help the mother to put the overall on Lena, something convinces both girls that this is really going to happen, Lena is so overwhelmed by panic that she fights wildly and looses all contact with her surroundings, just as Eva sits in her corner screaming monotonously also is out of contact. After ten minutes of such psycho-traumatisation, I discontinue the exercise in accord with those evaluation criteria which would have been in force had this concerned my presence as a paediatrician at a police pick-up for visitation. I then offer to stay with the girls while she takes the small boy to his father at the station. Speechless, shocked and tense the girls sit in separate corners of the sofa until their mother returns. Then they turn their backs to her and go off alone.”
When the chief physician wrote this, three years had passed since the girls had met their father. At that time they were just two and almost four years old and by now they were just five and almost seven. They had lived with their mother and their [maternal] grandparents who all clearly distanced themselves from the girls’ father. Even so, the chief physician whose words as the expert of the district court were extremely influential, stated that the girls’ extreme fear of their father, as well as their standing off from him, did not have its basis with the mother (see above and below):
”During my two visits in the mother’s home I felt that both Eva and Lena were generally mentally developed and healthy, but with a repudiation of their father and willingness to express loathing of his person. I did not experience that there was a gramophone-like or parroting behaviour in Eva’s way of expressing this. On the other hand, on the surface Lena seems not be as engaged in the matter and sometimes gives the impression of aping her big sister. There were absolutely no signs that the mother consciously directed the children’s behaviour and communication.”
In addition to the fact that the expert seems blinded by his one-sided position for the mother and his lack of knowledge of how influence works, he also ignores the acquittal judgement and says that there probably was sexual abuse after all:
”It is not sure whether sexual abuse has occurred or not and by it is impossible to arrive at any truth in this question. If the father is granted visitation rights, this ought to be joined with the required presence of some other person and limited to times when another person can be present in order to protect Eva and Lena against the possible risk of abuse. At the same time, this is a prerequisite for possible future attempts at providing the girls with a more positive attitude and internal picture of their father.”
The girls have not been allowed to meet their father for half their lives and will possibly be allowed to see him sometime in the future, if someone else is there since he might be dangerous. How they through this will be able to get a positive picture of their father is hard to understand.
Everything the expert has written has taken the mother’s side who, if the expert’s own descriptions are reliable, has caused the girl’s to be terrified of their own father. She hasn’t taught them to repeat anything dumb about their father, but by her way of tying the girls to her and through her consistent distancing from him and his whole family, she has created a total repudiation and fear of him. This is exactly what the American psychiatrist Richard Gardner has described and calls the parental alienation syndrome.
New accusations from Ann regarding the son after four years
In January 1996 when their son Kalle was almost four years old, Ann once more accused her former husband Per of sexual abuse, but this time of his son. However, Kalle was only a few days old when Ann and Per separated. After that he has only been able to see his son sporadically, with great effort and always with a contact person present. Per’s contact with his son had just begun to function when Ann’s accusation was made.
The relations with the son were interrupted for a few months, but have started up again. According to Per this was in much due to the fact that the contact person who has been present when Per has met Kalle, contradicted Ann’s accusation. Per has yet to be allowed to meet his daughters, in spite of a battle to do so that’s lasted for several years.
In the autumn 1996 or almost four years since Ann’s first unfounded accusations, Per’s attorney said that two persons from the social welfare service had understood what was written in my report. They accepted that Ann influences the children, prevents them from seeing their father and makes them afraid of him.
However, when the custody and visitation case was to be decided in the district court in X-stad in November 1996, the expert statement reported above was not admitted in evidence on the excuse that my expert assignment had been another than what was currently under consideration, that is it did not bear on the ”question of either parent’s suitability as guardian”.
This position seems hard to understand faced with the fact that the same parents have been investigated. Whether a case is a criminal one or a civil custodial battle doesn’t change the family history or the parent-child relationships that have been described, which is what ought to have formed an important basis for deciding what would be best for these children in the future.
 Following the criticism by attorney Per Haglund, the BUP psychologist explained that she had used the methods developed by Loftus and Trankell. The report by the BUP psychologist was translated to English by text analyst Max Scharnberg. Loftus then rejected the report in a negative statement. In a critical commentatary, Astrid Holgersson pointed out that the BUP psychologist had not used Trankell’s method in her investigation.
 Translator’s note: The Swedish words killa with a hard ‘k’ and kela with a ‘t’-sound as in ‘tion’ are hard to tell apart.
 LVU is an abbreviation of the law regarding special regulations for treatment of youth. According to this law children can be taken into compulsory custody against their own and their parents’ wishes, if ’because of abuse, improper exploitation, deficiency in care or some other condition in the home, there is an apparent risk to the health and development of the child.’
 Gardner: The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between False and Genuine Child Sex Abuse, 1987.