10/12/2020 12:53 PM
Honourable members and substitute members of the Committee on Justice and Security,
A month ago, a number of the undersigned, mental health professionals, sent you an urgent appeal (see attachment) not to be satisfied with the answers given by Minister Grapperhaus to Parliamentary questions posed by a number of Members of Parliament regarding independent investigations into pedosexual ritual abuse and the national police body, the National Expertise Group on Special Cases (LEBZ). Although you requested him to do so, Minister Grapperhaus has not yet responded to our letter. With regard to the LEBZ, we informed you that it is seriously biased when it comes to the prevention of ritual abuse and that it is also misleading about its own objective, which is to prevent false reports from being filed. We asked you to make every effort to dissolve the LEBZ or to thoroughly revise it.
Meanwhile, new information has come to our attention, which reinforces our request for closure or thorough revision of the LEBZ. The members and former members of the LEBZ give the impression that they are an action group that propagates a certain vision on complex psychotraumas and dissociative disorders.
In addition to the issues we raised in our earlier email, the LEBZ appears to have intervened on its own initiative in the development of the care standard for the treatment of clients with DIS.
See the extensive article on this subject by Sanne Terlingen and Huub Jaspers, research journalists at Argos, https://www.vpro.nl/argos/lees/nieuws/2020/expertisegroep-politie-zorgstandaard-DIS.html The members of the LEBZ, together with clinical psychologists (and remarkably, not psychiatrists) who conduct research into cognitive behavioural therapy and psychotrauma, have written a letter of intent which has prevented the authorisation of the care standard for dissociative disorders.
What is this about?
Over the past decades, when it comes to DIS and organized abuse, a gap has increasingly opened up between legal psychologists and researchers in the psychological sciences on the one hand, and therapists who are committed to providing proper treatment for people with DIS and dissociative disorders on the other. The LEBZ has played a major role in creating and maintaining this division. In doing so they make use of two mantra's that are repeated in many different ways.
The first mantra is that there is a contradiction between therapeutic reality and legal reality. It is true that in the case of ritual abuse, for example, there is a difference in approach between therapists and investigators. The therapists are primarily concerned with relieving the suffering of the client, the investigators with facts and evidence. However, creating an irreconcilable contradiction, as in the mantra of the LEBZ, is unjustified. Investigators seeking the truth will have to take into account the severe traumatization of victims and create the safest possible environment in which they can tell their story. If two detectives interrogate a 12-year old girl in a bare cell, without any empathy, it should not surprise anyone if no facts are revealed. In this they can learn from therapists, as the German chief of police Franziska Schubiger also argues (https://www.vpro.nl/argos/lees/nieuws/2020/recherchechef-franziska-schubiger-waarheidsvinding-slachtoffers-seksueel-geweld.html). On the other hand, if my neighbour wants treatment because he has nightmares and anxiety symptoms because an airplane crashed in our neighbourhood last week and I am 100% sure that this is not the case, I have to do other things than provide trauma treatment. Police investigation and treatment rightly choose a different angle, but there is no contradiction.
The second mantra that keeps resounding from LEBZ corners is that well-meaning therapists would talk their clients into ritual abuse. And that this aggravates the suffering of the client. This has happened in incidental cases in the past. The field as a whole has learned from this. But what we see much more, is that because of the division among therapists, a group of clients has arisen, who suffer from DIS and other serious consequences of early childhood chronic trauma, who don't feel taken seriously and who, frustrated and discouraged, don't look for help in the mental health services anymore. As a result, they end up in all kinds of alternative forms of care or even completely on the margins of society. The recent closure of Altrecht's Top Reference Trauma Center - where long-term treatment of clients with DIS was possible according to the structural dissociation model - does not make this any better.
It is probably because of these divisions, which have been blown up by the LEBZ, that e.g. Psytrec, a new two-week intensive trauma treatment that could have a place in long-term treatment of DID, has not been involved in the development of the care standard.
In summary, scientists who study how healthy cells derail into cancer cells do not have the final say in establishing protocols around cancer treatment. Those are the researchers of the treatments and the experienced oncologists at the bedside. Nor should scientists who do memory research, or are involved in other areas of psychology (read the majority of colleagues at the LEBZ), have the deciding role in the treatment of clients suffering from DIS. Here, researchers of treatment models and practitioners treating clients with DIS should set the direction.
Dear Members of Parliament, Friday there was again news (Telegraaf, 9 October) that Dutch servers are full of childporno. That comes from somewhere. Victims of ritual and other organized sadistic sexual abuse like the 140 who reported at Argos, know about times, places and persons where (a large part?) of this porno is made. You as members of parliament have the responsibility and the duty to pave a way for them to get justice and good treatment in the mental health care. That road is not there now. The first step is the abolishment or the thorough revision of the LEBZ. The children and adult victims of the pedosexual industry are entitled to your support!
A.S. Terpstra-van Hijum (contact person)
Mrs A.F. Denekamp-van Toor
Occupational therapist - BCZ registered therapist
Mr. Dr. R. Filius,
Ms C. Hamoen,
Mrs. M. van Houten, M.Sc.
Mrs. J.J.A. van Kalmthout
GZ-psychologist BIG - EMDR-practitioner
Ms. Dr. C. Linker,
Ms H. Mateboer-Selles
Ms. D. Mazzolari,
Mrs. T.A. van Neerbos,
(child and adolescent) psychiatrist BIG
Mr. Msc. J. Sarmiento
Mrs C. van Voornveld-de Pender,
Mrs. M. Wielart
Psychologist in formation to psychotherapist