False allegations of sexual abuse

I have acted for both the Crown and the defence as an expert witness or medical advisor in cases involving allegations of sexual assault. I have always acknowledged that sexual assault occurs and have never condoned it. I have no desire for guilty people to escape punishment. However the basic premise under which I have always operated is that both true and false allegations occur. I believe in the overriding tenet of innocent until proven guilty and that people are entitled to a fair trial.

I am on the side of Increase Mather, President of Harvard College, 1692, in ‘A Case of Conscience’ who said

It were better that a hundred witches go free than one innocent person be condemned

rather than the court psychologist in 1989 who proclaimed

I would rather see ten fathers wrongly accused than one child sent back into what could be an abusive situation

In the late 1980s and early 1990s “believe the child” and “women and children never lie about abuse” were widespread amongst sexual abuse agencies and literature, both in NZ and overseas It was claimed that false allegations of sexual abuse rarely if ever happened. While I accepted very few of the cases the barristers asked me to assist with, given the belief that all allegations must be true, I was viewed as a ‘hired gun’ by organisations such as Doctors for sexual abuse Care (DSAC). I was called an ‘apologist for paedophils’ and said to be supporting rapists to go free.

In 1994 I published a book about the rising number of false allegations of sexual assault and the various types of arena in which these could occur.

First Do No Harm: the sexual abuse industry

Goodyear-Smith FA Auckland, Benton-Guy Publishers, 167 pp, 1993

My work in this area spans two decades. Some examples are:

Misconceptions about childhood sexual abuse and child witnesses: Implications for psychological experts in the courtroom

Zajac, R, Garry M, London K, Goodyear-Smith F, Hayne H. Memory, 2013. doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2013.778287

Re: The evidence base in child abuse rapid response

Goodyear-Smith F British Medical Journal 33: 160-161 1 Aug 2006

Sexual abuse counselling: what is the rationale?

Laidlaw TM, Goodyear-Smith FA, Gorman D Nuance, 2: 64-86, 2001

Role of the general practitioner in the assessment and validation of child abuse and neglect

Goodyear-Smith FA, Laidlaw TM Journal of Child Centred Practice, 7 (1), 25-39, 2000

The price of safety at all costs

Goodyear-Smith FA & Laidlaw TM Nuance, 1, 14-21, 1999.

Fathers – Myths and realities about child maltreatment

Goodyear-Smith FA in Perspectives on Fathering, edited by S Birks & P Callister, Centre For Public Policy Evaluation Issues Paper Series No.4, Chapter 9, 93-109. 1999 link here

Abuse assertion refuted in personality disorder

Laidlaw T; Goodyear-Smith FA New Zealand Family Physician, 25 (2), 7, 1998

Reply to: Feminism and the sexual abuse debate: a troubled response to Camille Guy, by Annabel Cooper

Goodyear-Smith FA. Women’s Studies Journal, 13 (2), 167-172, 1997.

Victim-orientated law reforms: advantages and pitfalls

Goodyear-Smith FA Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 8 (2): 87-93, 1996

Distinguishing Between True and False Allegations of Sexual Abuse Part II: Allegations Involving Children

Goodyear-Smith FA Patient Management, 25 (3/4): 61-64, 1996

Distinguishing Between True and False Allegations of Sexual Abuse Part I: Adults Alleging Abuse as Children

Goodyear-Smith FA Patient Management, 25 (2): 47-50, 1996

Civic Crèche case, Christchurch

Goodyear-Smith FA Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 5 (4): 235-40. 1993

Reply to: DSAC urges caution with Dr Goodyear-Smith’s comments on rape and sexual abuse

Goodyear-Smith F New Zealand Law Journal, 317, Oct 1995

Response to: A Markham’s Re: Review [1995]

Goodyear-Smith F NZLJ 230, New Zealand Law Journal, 266-267, Aug 1995

Re: Child sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome

Goodyear-Smith F New Zealand Law Journal, 158, May 1998

Re: Battered Woman’s Syndrome [1997]

Goodyear-Smith F 436-438, New Zealand Law Journal, 39, Feb 1998

Commentary on First Do No Harm: the sexual abuse industry

Goodyear-Smith F New Zealand Family Physician, 22 (4): 149-150, 1995

Political correction or primum non nocere?

Goodyear-Smith F New Zealand Medical Journal, 106, 416, 22 Sep 1993