For this reason, the interview with a possibly sexually abused child constitutes an invaluable expert input, which must be carried out by trained personnel and according to the conditions allowed by their age21,22.
– Reiteration of the interrogation. One of the most common causes of this is the poor practice of interrogating girls and boys in the health system. It is usually seen before a suspicion – founded or not – that the child is questioned and, in the face of her refusal, the questioning is repeated multiple times, until at one point the version changes.
– Bad interrogation technique. The anamnesis of the child should try to preserve the spontaneity of the story, due to its clinical, expert and probative value. When the interrogator induces the answers through the question she asks or non-verbal language (either through gestures or the expression of her emotions), the story becomes contaminated with words and adult ideations and loses value of all its expert diagnostic value.
– Induced stories. The child’s allegation may have been induced by adults and aimed at obtaining a secondary benefit for them. False reports are much rarer and may be due to the interest of a secondary benefit of the child or to a psychiatric pathology.
Most of the false allegations originate from adults. Among the causes of false allegations, the following have been highlighted22:
– Under the influence of an adult figure with authority. The most frequent case is that of one of the parents who “indoctrinates” the girl or boy when, from the false allegation, they can obtain a secondary benefit (eg: custody trial, revenge), which has been called parental alienation syndrome23 . At other times it is delusional pathologies or factitious disorders (Munchausen syndrome by proxy).
– Due to iatrogenesis, when the interviewer, from her place of authority (judicial, police or health), is not neutral and influences the child in the sense of the false allegation. The child seeks to please authority; Especially when the same questions are repeated, you can change the answer to satisfy the interviewer.
The possibility of interviewing very young children is complex. In this regard, most experts advise against interviewing children under three years of age9. This does not prevent some guidelines from admitting the possibility of assessing very young girls and boys -even infants- when highly specialized techniques are used and these are applied by competent technicians21,24.
Some protocols recommend that only the child and the examiner be present at the interview, as a way of achieving a report that is less influenced by the adult in charge9,21.