Coventry Polygraph Examiner advises on Historical Child Sex Abuse

It’s always heartbreaking to hear from victims struggling to come to terms with historical child sexual abuse. Our Coventry polygraph examiner dealt with this one.

Q: Can a lie detector test prove to my mother that my father abused me and my siblings?

I hardly know where to start with this message.  My family is in turmoil because I told my mother that my now deceased father sexually abused all of us when we were children. I have two brothers and a sister.  Our abuse started, from memory, when we respectively reached the age of 6 and stopped when we were around 12.  Being the eldest I was the first to suffer and I feel ashamed that I knew that it was happening to my younger siblings and did nothing.

Recently my father died and the eulogy my mother had approved sickened me.  It was full of the usual platitudes. I know it’s not the ‘done’ thing to speak ill of the dead but frankly I would have danced on his grave if it hadn’t been a virtual funeral.

My mother had a go at me for disconnecting half way through the eulogy and I couldn’t contain my rage any longer.  I told her that he wasn’t the wonderful husband and father she thought he was and gave her chapter and verse of what he had done.

One of my brothers denied that he’d been sexually abused although I know for certain he was. My other two siblings backed me up but my mother is in denial.

Lurking in the back of our minds is the awful thought that my mother might have actually known about it.

What we would like to do is each take a lie detector test to prove what we are saying is true. I’d like to put my mother through one but I doubt she would agree.  Is this something that you can do given that the abuse happened so many years ago?

P. L., Coventry

Response from Coventry Polygraph Examiner

What an awful situation you are in. Having been through so much and now not to be believed by your mother must be soul destroying.

Firstly, you shouldn’t feel ashamed or guilty about your siblings. As a child you were powerless to prevent it.  You haven’t said that you were threatened if you told anyone but these things tend to follow a pattern so I’ll presume you were.

Lie detector tests will go some way to convince your mother that the abuse took place.  But will that nagging doubt remain in your mind that she knew what was happening?  If so, it might be better to persuade her to take a test.  We can give you some advice as to how she might be persuaded. If she knew and did nothing about it she is as guilty as your father was. To that end I would like you to call our Free Helpline on 07572 748364.

Rest assured your call will be confidential and treated with sensitivity.  Please mention that the Coventry Polygraph Examiner has asked you to call.