Child Sexual Abuse And Accommodation Syndrome

Child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome (CSAAS) is a nondiagnostic syndrome developed by Roland C. Summit in 1983 to describe how he believed sexually abused children responded to ongoing abuse.

Roland Summit developed the theory in 1983 to describe how children resolve the experience of their abuse with the effects of the disclosure in real life.

Roland Summit posited five stages

Stage 1) Secrecy


Stage 2) Helplessness


Stage 3) Entrapment and accommodation

Entrapment and accommodation

Stage 4) Delayed disclosure

Delayed disclosure

Stage 5) Retraction


CSAAS is impressionistic, rather than demonstrated by empirical research. CSAAS  purports to explain both delayed disclosures and withdrawals of false allegation of child sexual abuse. CSAAS is used to justify any statement made by a child as an indication that sexual abuse had occurred—immediate disclosure was an indication of abuse, as are delayed disclosure, withdrawal and sustained denial.

Source 1 – Child abuse and Accommodation Syndrome

Source 2 – Wikipedia

gojam note: I’m posting this for discussion. I can see some problems with this theory if disclosure, delayed disclosure, withdrawal and sustained denial, are all taken as signs of child abuse


Filed under Abuse, News

14 responses to “Child Sexual Abuse And Accommodation Syndrome

  1. This is really good information. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Illana

      I went through this as a child – not by my father, but from a “trusted” adult. The stages the article mentions are spot-on. It is hard to come to terms with this unless one has positive relationships over the years, and has some positive counseling. It is all about setting boundaries – and re-learning what the boundaries are and that you now have control of them. Long term (years) of abuse is much harder to overcome – but it can be done. One has to have a support system of trusted friends and other relationships which are not sexual from which to recieve support. It is best if you have a support group of other people who have been through the same situations, and they are the only ones who can really understand. That is the best therapy.

  2. john carey

    How many of the abused become abusers?
    Where is the help for people who have been abused?
    Any form of counselling, which will be long term, who picks up the bill?
    Easier to let them rot in prison – drink/drug themselves to death.
    If you have been abused – how can you `turn your life` around without help?

    • andy

      with great difficulty and your right good support is the key
      thing is being abused as a child destroys the most important thing that is needed for good healthy relations and that is the ability to trust and has a devastating affect on all facets of adult life because without trust no firm foundations can be made leaving even simple interactions a very scary prospect indeed

      • john carey

        Agree totally. The first thing they ask an offender when he arrives at prison have you been in care? – costs more to keep a young offender in prison then send some kid to Eton – no counselling in prison – release date comes – £71 and homeless.
        To get `help` should not be a fight

  3. Callie

    ” I can see some problems with this theory if disclosure, delayed disclosure, withdrawal and sustained denial, are all taken as signs of child abuse”. Quite – it’s a catch-all situation. And I note from the Wikipedia link that it was particularly associated with cases such as the McMartin PreSchool Trial. It’s reading about those cases which makes me ask so many questions now Gojam – it’s what makes me tend towards not running with the pack on reports of ‘ritual’ abuse, for instance.

  4. Principle3900

    The Rights of Victims Must come before Child Abusers who Deserve
    Capital Punishment for Physical Sexual Abuse

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  7. alan

    if you need help in anything related to affects of the above ,try reading dianetics ,it will help you go through therapy and clear the pain of what has occured and you will be able to think posotively again at the world ,,thank you for reading ,xxxxxxxx

  8. Sonya Kilgallon

    I too, was sexually abused as a child by my stepfather, it started i think from a baby and continued till a was about 13 yrs old as i cannot remember fully when it began, so i assume it must have been very early on in my life, everything in the article i can identify with. Personally i have been to hell and back, not knowing boundaries and the severe brainwashing that occured during abuse, it has been a very long battle of depression and feelings of not being worthy. But i am a surviver and its taken a very long time to realise that i am a wonderful kind loving person, all the things my abuser wasnt and im proud of myself for that, my life is going in the right direction now because of my determined spirit and my love towards my own children….I am now FREE :-) x

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