Opinion: What Harvey Weinstein's defense team doesn’t want you to know about sexual assault

Opinion: What Weinstein's defense team doesn’t want you to know about sexual assault and memory (via @latimesopinion)

24.1.2020

Opinion: What Weinstein's defense team doesn’t want you to know about sexual assault and memory (via latimesopinion)

The rape trial of Harvey Weinstein has reignited controversies over how survivors of sexual assault recall details of their attacks.

has reignited controversies that have long surrounded survivors of sexual assault. How reliable can a survivor story be if memories of the assault are riddled with gaps and contradictions? Why wait so long to disclose the attack? Those often take issue with the veracity of such accuser testimony. These are, at worst, liars seeking limelight or, at best, confused victims. They may have been assaulted but not by this guy. Advertisement It’s not as simple as that. This jump to the offensive, to blame the victim, overlooks two decades of progress made by trauma scientists to unravel the essence of how memory works and resolve this haziness paradox that has surrounded survivor testimony. Accounts of trauma often include gaps that can be explained by the way the brain consolidates memories. Consolidation is a biological process that stabilizes memories and allows them to mature. After a major trauma, this natural process of consolidating memories goes into overdrive and lends traumatic memories a power beyond regular memories from your day-to-day life: They intrude into a survivor’s life in the weeks, months and years that follow with an unforgettable vividness. This is what allows trauma survivors to confidently recall intricate details of a 10-year-old assault. My patient could recall the outfit she wore to work, the smell of jasmine in the air and the sound of her perpetrator’s laugh, all as though they happened yesterday. Advertisement The same may not hold true for memories more peripheral to the trauma. Did you work late that night? What was the exact time this happened? How did you get home? If such details were coded as regular memories then, just like any other 10-year-old memory, they will likely fade with time. It’s also common for trauma accounts to include contradictions, which can be explained by how trauma memories are categorized. Human memories are categorized as either explicit or implicit. Explicit memories consist of deliberately retrieved facts about yourself, such as your date of birth or the address of your childhood home — or whether you have ever been raped. In contrast, implicit memories are often activated by environmental cues allowing our brains to function on autopilot. It’s how you can cook a favorite dinner recipe while listening to an engrossing podcast. The sound of a sauce bubbling triggers earlier memories of your experience cooking this dish, which leads you to catch a sauce on the verge of overboiling without having to think about it. The brain can code trauma memories as implicit memories too. Rather than requiring deliberate retrieval, some trauma memories are triggered by cues. These cues are often sensory information that was experienced during the trauma. So, for my patient, a summer day when jasmine is in full bloom or a male voice like that of the supervisor might trigger new memories of the assault. But survivors rarely have control over environmental triggers they may encounter on any given day, week, month or year. This explains how a survivor can know she was assaulted but her account shifts over time. Trauma accounts often emerge in a halting, out-of-order fashion, which also explains why some survivors wait to speak up. In addition to fears over personal safety or retaliation, the survivor may not have full control over how or when memories of the trauma are revealed to her — and that’s important to recognize. It’s like she knows she went to see a movie, knows she saw the entire movie, knows it was a horror movie but can only recall the vivid movie trailer. She may eventually recall the entire movie but not necessarily on her timeline. Advertisement How a human brain processes a trauma is a highly personalized process that is impossible to predict. Some rape survivors might report the event immediately and be able to describe, in minute detail, what happened. For my patient and the hundreds of other rape survivors I have met over my career, accounts often emerge over time. How their stories emerge, what is vividly recalled, what is implicitly coded and what is forgotten is unique for each survivor. Many other factors influence how a brain processes a sexual assault. A preexisting mental health history, a prior trauma history, use of alcohol or illicit drugs, or physical injuries at the time of assault are among them. Regardless, these different pathways of memory recall explain why we should expect gaps in survivor testimony. The fact that trauma memories can be triggered by environmental cues explains why survivors’ testimony can sound inconsistent. It also explains why there is often a time gap between the day the assault happened and when the survivor first tells someone about it. When it comes to the testimony of rape survivors, gaps, contradictions and delays in reporting must never be automatically equated with willful attempts to deceive. Shaili Jain is a psychiatrist and post-traumatic stress disorder specialist at Stanford University and author of “The Unspeakable Mind: Stories of Trauma and Healing from the Frontlines of PTSD Science.” Read more: Los Angeles Times

opinion takes neralink from him. mmmm opinion He is the face of rape and sexual assault. He will never be anything else. He needs to go to prison and face the consequences for his crimes. MeToo

A #MeToo moment: Harvey Weinstein trial set to openHarvey Weinstein is in court as opening statements are set to start in the biggest trial of the MeToo era. The rape case is seen as a symbol of a global reckoning with sexual misconduct by powerful men. He’s produced some good movies. Seems like a cool guy Here’s a 🥂 to his prosecution and sentencing. May it be long and unpleasant.

Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Lean on Controversial Evidence as Trial OpensWhen Harvey Weinstein’s trial opens, prosecutors are expected to delve into past allegations of uncharged sexual misconduct, mirroring a strategy that led to a conviction in the retrial of Bill Cosby. Just lock him up. It's obvious he's a criminal. Or make him pay damages and then put him somewhere far far far away from humanity. Good let him and Cosby rot in jail together! Harvey's case is just an act of intimidation, show for all artist: they must respect American power. power of financial class. most wanted by all American sluts man. American justice😂

Harvey Weinstein secretly subjected women to tests to assess their vulnerability, prosecutor says'It will be clear throughout this trial that the defendant knew he was praying on naïve and inexperienced [women],' prosecutors said. I hope he fries! Or perhaps preying... smh HarveyWeinstein is a porn addicted shit-bag.

Harvey Weinstein trial: Prosecutor describes graphic allegations in opening statement'Finally, after all these years, these three women will have their voices heard,' prosecutor says in opening statement at Harvey Weinstein trial. Their voices have already BEEN heard, hence the criminal prosecution. Whether their claims can be proven 'beyond a reasonable doubt' remains to be seen. (This is NOT a defense of HW, but a defense of due process.) Justice for the girls! 🌹⚖🇺🇸 Justice shall be served.

Novelist Who Wrote About Predatory Men Stays on Harvey Weinstein JuryA novelist who has an upcoming book about predatory older men in New York will remain on the Harvey Weinstein jury, despite vociferous objections from the defense. Juror 11 showed up to opening st… Don't say 'female'! Say 'woman' or something instead.

How Harvey Weinstein became 'Hollywood's most prolific sexual predator'Harvey Weinstein appeared in court today as he faces up to life in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting three women



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