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#199116 - 01/11/08 10:08 PM Polygraph test on abuser
Aidanchase Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 83
Loc: Vancouver, BC
I called my constable the other day because I was worried about statute of limitations which turns out don't exist on my case but he did tell me that they are going to do a polygraph test on my mom soon. Which is freaking me out because in her emails to my dad and stuff shes in complete denial which means if shes in complete denial she could come up as not lying on the test. However then I hear that the polygraph isnt admissible in court and is only one part of the investigation anyway I am still really nervous about all this. I think one of the moderator is a police officer maybe he can post to this with his thoughts and whats going on?


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#199168 - 01/12/08 10:49 AM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: Aidanchase]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Aiden:
Polygraph examination is not 100% reliable or accurate. That is why it is generally not admissible in court. However, the accuracy rate is in the 90+% area so it can be useful for some applications.

I can't speak for Canada or BC. However, in NJ, if the defense and prosecutor's office agree to having a "stipulated polygraph", the results stand. In other words, I was accused of stealing $200 from the cash register. My boss asks if I will take a poly. I agree and the prosecutor and my lawyer agree that if I pass (didn't do it) charges are dropped, but if I fail, I will do 30 days in the county jail. Results stand and we all agree to the test.

This is called an "instant offense" polygraph. The questions relate to actual behaviors pertaining to the crime. ("Did you steal the $200 from the cash register?")

Polygraph tests also include (for sexual offenders, besides the did you do the act) sexual history, and maintenance.

Sexual history is done to determine one's sexual behaviors, legal or not. This is generally done for an offender in treatment, juvenile or adult. The person's sexual experiences, what he has done or experienced, are reviewed ahead of time and the key question on the test is "Is your sexual history as just described accurate and complete?" So, if he didn't tell about masturbating the dog when he was 17, or "forgot" about the little girl he molested when he babysat for his girlfriend ten years ago, he will fail. Unless he coughs up the hidden act(s), the poly will show only that he failed, and won't reveal what exactly he did that caused the failure.

A third kind of poly, after the instant offense or sexual history one is done, is the maintenance poly. This is like a deterrant, so if you've been previously polyed, periodically you will get tested on the question, "Since your last poly, have you had any sexual contact with anyone under the age of 18" for example. It is like knowing you will be drug tested at work. If you believe that you could be tested any time, you would not be very smart to use drugs when you could be tested. Unlike drug tests which won't show drug use after a certain amount of time has passed, polygraph testing can ask the question months or years later and if the person lies, it will show.

That's a brief explanation. If your mother abused you and is denying it, she could take a polygraph. Although some really disturbed individuals (sociopaths) can convince themselves that they didn't do something, most criminals can't cover it up. It must be answerable by "yes" or "no" and have to do with a behavior. You can't ask about fantasies or intention.

Hope that answers your question.

Ken
PS I'm not a cop, just a clinical social worker.


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#199181 - 01/12/08 12:40 PM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Aidan,

Hey, it's good to have you back. I hope all these latest developments go well for you, Aidan. Just remember always that YOU know what happened. And so do we.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#199192 - 01/12/08 01:45 PM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: roadrunner]
mvnforwrd Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 216
Loc: NJ
My Feelings about polygraph test are. Polygraph test are very subjective while also being objective. Subjective for the professional reading the graph and objective to the person taking the polygraph. To many variables for me. But if it gives you good feelings then go with it. But be prepared POSSIBLY not to hear what you want to hear from the out come.


MVN4WRD

_________________________
Take your foot out of yesterday and your other foot out of tomorro or you will keep pissing allover today!

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#199264 - 01/13/08 02:48 AM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: mvnforwrd]
Brian Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Upstate NY
Aidan,

I'm no longer a moderator here but I've been a police officer for the past 19+ years. I don't know anything about Canadian criminal law or criminal procedure law so I can't comment on your particular case.

In New York, the polygraph is only an "investigative tool". My department uses Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) instead of the polygraph but it serves much the same purpose. The computer printout of the results are very easy to read. In fact, in many of the tests that I have witnessed, after a 4 or 5 minute lesson on how to read the results (before the test is given), the detective asked the suspect to interpret his own results! If the results of the test show that the subject is showing deception, the detective will use these results to further "discuss the issues at hand".

In my opinion, the polygraph/CVSA should only be used as a last resort - when the detective feels that the interview has reached a point where no further information can be gained. Then the detective will explain the test to him. He will come up with a set of "yes or no" questions (usually between 8 and 15 including control questions). Before the test is given, he will tell the suspect the exact questions that will be asked during the test. This will sometimes elicit questions or comments from the suspect trying to justify why he may "not quiet pass" certain questions. A skilled detective will explore these unsolicited questions and comments to further the interview.

It's getting late so I don't have time right now to fully explain the process. The bottom line here is that the polygraph/CVSA is about only about 95% accurate (as Ken said, it does not work on sociopaths and some other mentally ill people). It is an very useful "tool" to a experienced and talented police interviewer. The test results are used as "talking points" to ultimately get the suspect to confess to his crimes. In my experience, these tests are VERY valuable to obtain confessions.

Hope that helps, Good luck!

Brian







_________________________
Recovery is Possible!

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#199510 - 01/14/08 10:57 PM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: Brian]
Aidanchase Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 83
Loc: Vancouver, BC
thank you for your detailed responses I think how you worded it is kinda like what my constable is doing. He told me that its only one part of the investigation and she has been interviewed before so maybe its like you say to push for information standerd interviewing cant uncover.

As for reports my therapist has decided to not write a report. her reasoning is that therapists words can be used against there patients sometimes in court by lawyers to say you made it up. She says she stands behind me and if requested by a lawyer in the future or my constable in the case then she will write what shes requested to. this is hard for me to understand when I hear that these people are trying to help me and protect me... why would some people in the system use reports against me \:\( she says unlike my ER report for the marks on my back which cant be argued therapists are often argued in court.. it all just gives me a headache to be honest


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#199674 - 01/16/08 12:48 AM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: Aidanchase]
Brian Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Upstate NY
Aidan,

I don't want to get your hopes up, but from a police perspective, having her come in for a "second" interview is a very good sign (if she actually shows up). It means that she will be much more confident and comfortable this time around since she did not get locked up the first time she was there. This confidence usually leads to letting her guard down and thinking that she is much smarter than the cops (we love it when they think that). She won't be able to recall all of the details that she told the first time and will start making small contradictions of her previous statements. The more she talks, the deeper the hole that she is digging for herself. When the constable brings these contradictions to her attention, they will have something new to talk about. This is the constable's way of handing her a brand new pick and shovel to dig even deeper!

A second interview also says a lot of good things about the constable working your case. It shows that he is patient, understands the interviewing process, believes your story and is taking your case very seriously. He is taking his time and not overplaying his hand. He is letting her feel comfortable enough to come in a second time so she can provide him with the statements and evidence to build a stronger case.

As I stated in the beginning of this post - "I don't want to get your hopes up". A lot of crazy things can happen in even the strongest of criminal cases. Roadrunner said it best: "Just remember always that YOU know what happened. And so do we".

Good luck!

Brian

_________________________
Recovery is Possible!

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#205924 - 02/18/08 06:42 PM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: Brian]
Aidanchase Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 83
Loc: Vancouver, BC
just an update from me... I finally did it I wrote the second report my constable needed for crown council listing in a time line from 8 years old in detail and adult language everything she did then I faxed it off to him. I am both relieved to be done hopefully the last report and at the same time a part of me is always sad because maybe its still attached to her?


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#206172 - 02/19/08 02:19 PM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: Aidanchase]
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3369
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Thank You for the update Aidanchase

I'm glad you wrote the report - I'm sure it took a lot of strength to do that - I am real hopeful for you that it will bring good results for you

I do understand that feeling of the part that is still attached to the abuser - but please know in your mind that you did the right thing by writting that report - she never had any right at all in any way to do the things she did to your body

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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#206201 - 02/19/08 04:45 PM Re: Polygraph test on abuser [Re: TJ jeff]
endlessjourney Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Once again, congratulations on taking the steps to do what you've been doing. I remember going to the Sheriff's office and writing down, in detail the abuse that I had undergone. What you did took a lot of strength. I know this from experience. I remember my hands shaking when I gave the report to the sheriff.

"Just remember always that YOU know what happened. And so do we".

Such a great quote, it had to be reposted again.

Stay strong,
Jason

_________________________
Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

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