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How credible is a polygraph?

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How credible is a polygraph?

Postby 2confused » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:09 am

Trying to keep it short. Does anyone know how creditable a polygraph test is? My daughter age 5 has given some very detailed and graphic descriptions of a sex act with her father. She has been threw 2 child abuse evaluations and has been seeing a play therapist for the last few months. The child abuse evaluation team and her therapist concluded that she has been sexually abused by her father. There has been numerous other sexual issues while at his house in the past the most resent involved the little boy that lives with her father acting out sexually towards her which is what prompted the evaluations in the first place. She is very consistent in what she is saying, she is exibiting all the signs expected of child who has been sexually abused, and again her description is very graphic for a 5 year old... its been really awful. She's been having so much trouble and I have no clue what to do for her, but at least I finally had it solidified in my mind that I knew what I was battling and was trying to do what I could. Here's the catch...
The police got involved and today I heard from the investigating detective that she had finally questioned him, he consented to a polygraph and passed.
I was completely blown away. I really believed that he would fail. Now I don't know what to make of the situation. The officer said that he was very cooperative and didn't seem guilty. Though in a bit of shock when I talked to her I believed that he must be innocent. Now I'm getting told not to put any weight into it.
After talking to my daughters therapist and others threw the day I do not know what I think. I had someone point out to me today that they lied and passed a polygraph test for an incident that I was personaly present for and witnessed myself. My daughters therapist says the results don't change her view and that there are "methods for passing polygraphs". Also I found out today that he has know for some time that there was an investigation and may have had time to prepare as well as access to mood stabilizing drugs. Can that effect results?
On the other hand his passing is significant to me and has definitely put me back into the not not sure what to think zone. I thought that I was finally threw that (I was in major shock and denial for a while)
I really would appreciate any replies. I have been grieving for my daughter the last few months... lost my job.... lost my mind. If he is innocent then I need to know where she got this from. If not him then it is a matter of who. I have absolutely no idea what to do, think, or say any more. Something is definitely wrong. I feel completely incompetent right now.
I don't know anything about polygraphs other than what you see on TV. I am in a hard place because I feel like if I base everything on his test that I could potentially be putting her in jeopardy and on the other hand I don't feel right about pressing the matter when I have reason to doubt his guilt. I am completely confused and could really use some opinions. Please let me know if you have any idea about this sort of thing.
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Postby SmallTalkRed » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:20 pm

Well I am sorry your daughter and you have been done just like I was!!!

When I was 15 I took a polygraph test about my step dad molesting/raping/abusing me: I PASSED

They gave him one the next week and that bastard PASSED.
AND THEY DROPPED THE CHARGES AND LET THAT Bastard Go!!! even though I had passed too.

I was a kid and did not know much but I said right there ok, I refuse to live there anymore, do what you will with me, but I am not going back. I went and lived in the Country Girls Group Home until I was 17.

You can take drugs like valium or such I have been told, that will help you pass.

But my stepdad was/is a complete sexual predator, sociapath, and often they believe they have done nothing wrong. so they pass anyway, dirt bags.

I am glad to here as her mother you care and are concerned.
As her mother, YOU can fight for your daughters safety, dont give up, she is only five and needs you to stand by her and protect her.

Please just be there for your daughter, My mom wasn't there for me, nor my dad. The world can be so dangerous and lonely when you are a small child.

I understand where you are coming from.
If you want I will tell you how prosocuting him for molesting my nephew went. (yes the same man, again) Only this time was a bit different. Just let me know.

I am sorry you have gotten stuck in the same sack of crap that I was.

Just keep her safe,
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Postby wastedyouth » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:41 pm

I am no expert in polygraph tests, but I've heard rumors that some seriously disordered people are quite capable of believing their own lies which makes it easy for them to pass a lie detector test. I imagine my ex would have been good at it because she was even quite capable of fooling herself, as strange as that seems.

That seems like a tough situation to be in.
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Postby 2confused » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:04 pm

I'm so sorry to here that he got away with it even though you both had contradictory results. I have considered this as well. There is some other history that the police officer seemed interested in. I am not sure what all she asked him but now that I have had some time to think about it I would guess she would have asked him about those prior smaller things too. I have been witness to those... sexual touches between he and his mother. He also admitted to me having sex with our daughter in the room after she came home acting it out on everything. I get the impression that the investigation will be closed now but I have to at least make an effort. I am very afraid that his passing score will lead to her eventually being put back in jeopardy. After passing a polygraph if he is guilty I would guess he would feel very free to continue abusing her. At age 5 and being sent back into the situation I am sure she will be instructed to keep quiet and after all the guilt she feels at creating family disruption I think she probably would now. I really don't feel like I am being there for her when I cant figure out what to do, I feel like its all up to me but I don't know what I should or even can do at this point. All It seems that I can do at this point is ask that his visitation be supervised but without a criminal conviction it seems to me that eventualy that saftey gaurd will be removed.
Then there is always the possibility that he is innocent. If the authorities do continue after him I will always have the doubt and it sure is a serious thing to accuse someone of if they are innocent.
I think that it is unlikely they will prosecute at this point though. It's like the old saying darned if I do darned if I don't.
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Postby SmallTalkRed » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:09 pm

if at all possible, please do not put the child in a situation where she is around him at all. Talk to her therapist, if he insists on visiting make it be supervised.

I wish I knew what to tell you to do so I could help more.

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Postby drifting » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:18 pm

2confused wrote:Does anyone know how creditable a polygraph test is?


Apparently not very reliable, Wiki says:
Wikipedia wrote:...In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a report entitled “The Polygraph and Lie Detection”. The NAS found that the majority of polygraph research was of low quality. It is interesting to note that, so far, no scientific study has been published that offers convincing evidence of the validity of the polygraph test.....


... In United States v. Scheffer (1998) [10], the US Supreme Court left it up to individual jurisdictions whether polygraph results could be admitted as evidence in court cases ...

... In most European jurisdictions, polygraphs are not considered reliable evidence...

... in the 1987 decision of R. v. Béland, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the use of polygraph results as evidence in court ...
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Postby jasmin » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:01 pm

Confused, you have to fight with everything you have, untill you feel like you can't fight anymore, then continue fighting.
Do not let this man be alone with your daughter! Do not let him near your daughter at least untill she gets a bit older and you may have a chance to find out if he did abuse her or not.
I am telling you- do whatever it takes. Always be there if he visits, talk to her therapist all the time... I know there's a chance he might be inocent but she comes first! You have to keep this in mind at all times and never give up.
There is always a way.
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Postby 2confused » Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:52 pm

I think I am having a nervous brakedown. I dont think I can keep up anymore. I do believe her I am afraid that I will be forced to give him accses and if the criminal charges are dropeed simply because of the test I am so scared that he feel even more invincable in hurting her. I am trying everthing that I know how to do but I dont even know how to fight anymore. I am loosing my mind and I cant keep doing this alone anymore. I dont even feel like I can face her without braking down. How much stress and confusion can one person take and still be composed and competent when taking care of child they love so much when youfeel like you are about to be forsed to feed your kid to loins. I am failing misarably at being her protector and I dont even know what I am fighting.
Please someone tell me what to do.
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Postby jasmin » Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:31 pm

I don't know what to tell you about how you could protect her, 2confused.
I will, however, tell you this. I was abused by a parent in the way that you think your husband has abused your daughter. My other parent closed their eyes at this, and so did the rest of my family, even though they are normal and they seem like decent people.
You have aknoledged what your daughter has been through and you know that it is wrong and you will let her know that she is not alone or ignored. Many children who are sexually abused do not have this.You are a good parent and a good, brave human being.
Not having their painfull experiences ignored or triviallised is very important to survivors of this abuse.
Honestlly, I am very happy and comforted in knowing that parents like you exist.
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Don't back down!!!!

Postby catseyes » Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:14 am

Confused, I know from first hand experience how hard this can be. Not the same exact situation, but my daughters molester is in prison. The detective had her daddy secretly wired and instructed on what to say to the molester. The detective was down the street listening to the entire conversation. After he got everything he could out of him, as far as the actual sexual abuse, the detective went and asked him questions. They were on a roll in asking him questions and he was cooperating, but then his brother pulled up.

Anyhow, it then took them 3 to 4 months to actually have him indicted by the grand jury and locked away. He hasn't been able to make his bail yet and has now been in there for 8 months. The trial is hopefully going to be sometime in the fall.

In saying all of this, I just wanted you to realize that this kind of stuff takes a lot of time and patience. As far as not letting her see him, you do need to get the visitations supervised. Possibly check into getting a protection order filed against him to keep him away from you and your daughter. I believe you would need to do this at your local police department.

Also, you are not a bad parent and you are trying to protect her as much as you know how to, you are just confused about the law and how things work. Who's not?? I know I am!!!!

I hope this helped!!!
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