Psychologist: Reporting sex abuse is extreme decision for trauma survivors

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A psychologist is discussing the scrutiny accusers face when going public.

Dr. Liane Nelson now oversees multiple programs that address sex abuse as the chief psychologist at the Westchester Jewish Community Services.

Her decision to choose this line of work is connected to an incident that happened at a friend’s pool party back in 1981.

"We were swimming in the pool and her father and a number of his friends came to the pool and were skinny dipping, and tried to convince us to take off our bathing suits," she says.

Dr. Nelson says while she refused, some of the girls didn't.

Nine years later she went public with her story after her friend’s father, Jon Grunseth, decided to run for governor in Minnesota.

"My cousin and I felt strongly that the people, that the citizens of Minnesota, deserved to know a more complete, have a more complete picture of who he was," she says.

Dr. Nelson says the memories of the backlash have resurfaced as she watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

She says reporting sex abuse is an extremely difficult decision for trauma survivors.

"It does make me feel sad that women are routinely not believed," she says.

Nelson says that she hopes that the coverage of Dr. Ford's testimony will help change how society views sex assault

"I am really hopeful that we’ll attain that goal that when people have trauma done to them they will feel more comfortable disclosing,” she says.

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