Characteristics of previously forgotten memories of sexual abuse: A descriptive study

C. M. Roe, M. F. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The present study is a first attempt to describe what people remember when they initially recall childhood sexual abuse after a period of self- reported amnesia for that abuse. Subjects were 52 white women who had previously been hospitalized for treatment of sexual trauma. Participants completed a questionnaire that inquired about their first suspicions of having been sexually abused, their first memories of sexual abuse, other memories of abuse, and details of their abuse history. Participants were more likely to recall part of an abuse episode, as opposed to an entire abuse episode, following a period of no memory of the abuse. Additionally, first memories tended to be described as vivid rather than vague. Descriptive statistics are used to present and summarize additional findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-206
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Psychiatry and Law
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


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