Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pronoun Lesson: "We" in Sexual Assault Cases

by Peter Hyatt



The following is a statement for readers to analyze in an exercise.  

Each one of us has a personal, subjective, internal dictionary.  The work of an analyst is to "break the code" and understand what the subject is reporting.  This is critical in police statements. 

Good interviewing, whether it be by police, a therapist or a journalist, should be done in a way in which new language is not introduced to the subject, so that the subject may enter the Free Editing Process (FEP) where his own words are chosen.  This is critical for discerning truth.  

You have previously read here that it is not expected that the pronoun "we" should enter a sexual assault victim's language, after the assault, concerning herself and the perpetrator.  In fact, it can indicate deception in a false claim.  

Pronouns are instinctive. 

"We went to the theater together but after everyone emptied out, we stayed there talking. It was dark and he grabbed me and I told him "no" but he would not stop.  He drove me home and I told my parents..."

In this statement, the pronoun "we" begins the narrative, but once he "grabbed" her, there is no more "we" in her language.  For her, this is a separation due to his action.  She is truthful. 

Take this truthful statement versus the following: 
  

"He and I drove out to the commons, and he attacked me and threw me out of the car, but then let me back in again.  We drove home and I said I never wanted to see him again and we agreed to cool things off for awhile..."


The pronoun "we" indicates unity, and cooperation.  We find in sexual assault cases that once the assault has taken place, there is no more "we" between the victim and the assailant.  In fact, even in the statements of assailants who want the assault to appear to be a willing consensual relationship, that the pronoun "we" is absent from the guilty man's statement.  In the quick thinking of pronouns, the guilty man instinctively knows that there is no "we" or unity between them.  

The following is for your consideration, and is only a portion of the statement.  The assault has already taken place, where he allegedly  grabbed her and she allegedly resisted.  

"I stayed away from him after that, but kept seeing him around the hall.  He looked at me a few times.  I went with him to the basement because the supervisor told us to get the buckets.  I ignored him and  he then asked me, "We ok?" and I said, "We ok, as long as you don't touch me again."
After that he kept away from me and I kept doing the work that I thought I was hired for, like washing up the grease on the walls, scrubbing the floors, or whatever the supervisor asked me to do.  I made it through the shift and asked my husband what he thought I should do but he was too angry to even talk to me, so I didn't know what to do.  I called the police. 

What do you make of the pronoun "we" in her statement, knowing that it has come after the alleged assault?

Write your response in the comments section, and scroll down for the analysis.








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Conclusion:  She is truthful.

The use of the word "we" in the subject's language after the assault can indicate deception.  However, context is important.

The use of the word "we" after the assault is due to the subject entering into the assailant's language.  She was asked, "We ok?" by the nervous assailant, and she used reflective language, his own words, in her response.

She did not produce the pronoun "we", after the assault, in the Free Editing Process.

By entering into his language, she merely parroted his words, nervously seeking to not be engaged in conversation.  

24 comments:

john said...

Along with the reflective language, i also picked up on the word "With"

"I went with him to the basement because the supervisor told us to get the buckets."

The word "with" when found between people, suggest distance. Sometimes the distance is very important. Other times, the distance may be something very minor.

Given the seriousness of the alleged assault, i can see why she produces the distancing word "with", and, doesn't say "we" went to the basement, which would show unity.

Anonymous said...

"I stayed away from him after that,

could the use of "THAT" be considered as distancing too?

She is trying to distant her mind from the assault? It would be something she would not want to remember or think about, so saying "THAT" makes sense, instead of saying after the assault?

Anonymous said...

She also says"him"&"he"a lot,looking at his overpowering "male,ness"?

C5H11ONO said...

I kept doing the work that I thought I was hired for, like washing up the grease on the walls, scrubbing the floors, or whatever the supervisor asked me to do.

--Did her supervisor ask her to do other things that weren't in her job description? Was the assailant her supervisor?

yes said...

Yes,i think so.

Kellie said...

Since this is a sexual assault incident, is it significant that the 2 chores she spelled out both involve water?

Kellie said...

OT

Just an interesting note on a personal situation.....

The thoroughbred liar I have to deal with on a regular basis is currently trying to convince me that a recent incident had to do with something other than alcohol abuse. Trying to convince me even though I've said nothing of what I know to be true. In the midst of the tale-weaving it was stated that 3 phones calls were made. And of the multiple other subjects thrown in for the purpose of confusing, reference was made to having previously owned 3 vehicles of a particular type.

Kellie said...

Plus..he said"3"!

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

OT

Attorney: Sandy and Casey Parsons are 'Toast'

http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/charlotte/710380/attorney--sandy-and-casey-parsons-are--toast-/

Time Warner Cable News spoke to Casey Parsons by phone Thursday. She said her attorneys have instructed her not to comment on the federal case or Erica's disappearance.

But she tells her side of the story on her new website, www.helpfinderica.com, which went live Wednesday, one year after Erica was reported missing.

Finding Erica

I would like everyone to join together with US and help find Erica. I just believe you really need to know the true facts about the whole situation, and the complete facts about the young lady you're looking for.
We have people calling in leads for 18 month old babies. Others say they was under the impression Erica was a “special needs” kid and possibly have Downs syndrome. If the public is getting information like this than Erica will never be found!
I think everything needs to come out from the time we got Erica until the very time we heard her voice in 2012 for the last time.
This site will be kept updated every single day until we find our daughter and the lady that called herself, “NAN”.
Our message to Erica and “Nan”…
We love you very much Erica, and I know you know this. We need to know where you are and if you’re safe!! You’re not in any trouble at all. You haven’t done one thing wrong. You know our number please give us call anytime.
Nan… Why? I just don’t understand why, who you are, and what you are? I will make sure we find you. I will never give up looking for you. There is more than one person behind this I know of at least 3. I will find every single last person responsible for Erica, Toby and Sadie’s life being destroyed. I want you to pay for what you have done. This isn’t a threat! IT’s A PROMISE!!

http://centralnc.twcnews.com/content/news/charlotte/710380/attorney--sandy-and-casey-parsons-are--toast-/#sthash.QdDbl7De.dpuf

Hobnob said...

off topic

WICHITA, Kan. – Prosecutors say a Kansas foster father was high on marijuana when he left a 10-month-old girl in a hot car, where she died.

The details of the case surfaced during a bond hearing Friday for Seth Jackson. He's charged with first-degree murder in the July 24 death.

Police say the girl was in the sweltering car for more than two hours in Wichita, where temperatures were 90 degrees.

KWCH reported (http://bit.ly/1nZRP4Y) that Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett cited the marijuana use in court as the reason for raising Jackson's bond to $250,000.

Bennett told the court Jackson had gone to his drug dealer's house and bought marijuana. Prosecutors believe he then intended to smoke marijuana. But they have said there's nothing to indicate the girl's death was intentional

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/01/prosecutor-kansas-foster-father-high-on-marijuana-when-left-10-month-old-girl/

Hobnob said...

I would like everyone to join together with US and help find Erica. I just believe you really need to know the true facts about the whole situation, and the complete facts about the young lady you're looking for

Such a weak statement

I would like is passive, why not say the stronger I WANT everyone to join togeather with US.

Quakifiers are additional words which when removed do not change the meaning of the sentence.
here we have several
Togeather
and help
just
really
true
complete


Why not say join with us which is strong rather than the weaker join togeather with US?
Why the need to capitalise the word US making it important and sensitive.

And help not to help?

I just believe leaves it open for others to believe otherwise, however the statement is weakened by the qualifier just which is used to minimise.

It is further waeakened by the qualifier really making this a very weak statemtn.

What is the difference between the true facts and the complete facts
Why the need to add the qualifier true in relation to the facts about the whole situation?
Are the facts not true by default?
Yhis is why they are called facts.

Are there then 'facts' about the whole situation which aren't true?
Who would need to have untrue 'facts' about the whole situation?

Who would benefit from untrue 'facts'

What is the difference between the situation which is a missing girl and thwe whole situation which is a missing girl?
Is it because the whole situation involves suspecting the parents of involvement in her disappearance?

Are there incomplete 'facts' about the young lady?
Why the distancing You're and not the expected we're?
Are they not looking for Erica?
If not why not?
Are they not looking for her because they know where she is?
They are not looking for her but we, the public, are.

We have people calling in leads for 18 month old babies. Others say they was under the impression Erica was a “special needs” kid and possibly have Downs syndrome. If the public is getting information like this than Erica will never be found!
I think everything needs to come out from the time we got Erica until the very time we heard her voice in 2012 for the last time.


I think leaves others to think otherwise
What is the everything that needs to come out from the time they got Erica to the very time we heard her voice in 2012 for the last time?
Why are they witholding information?
Time is mentioned thrice making it sensitive.
Once in relation to getting her and twice in relation to hearing her voice.
Was hearing her voice for the last time the cause of her disappearance?
Was there perhaps a row or fight?
o would ask questions about this part specifically since it is so sensitive.
The last sentence is worded strangely and overly long.
Why not say from the moment we got Erica to the last time we heard her voice?

This site will be kept updated every single day until we find our daughter and the lady that called herself, “NAN”.
Our message to Erica and “Nan”…

Why does she use the term lady in relation to Nan, it is a polite term considering she allegedly abducted Erica.
I would expect the term to be woman.
Is the politeness because there was no Nan?
I know i wouldn't call anyone who abducted my child a lady or gentleman, they would be at best man or woman and at worse major unHobnoblike language.
You aren't polite or nice when describing a criminal.
She uses IF in relation to the public getting information rather than a definite the
questioning whether the public have been getting said information.
Where would the public be getting this information from since it is clear from the media and the police her age, description etc.

Hobnob said...

Note she uses this which is close, rather than that which is distancing.
She places herself close to the misinformation.
Why would she be doing that unless it is to confuse and delay the investigation by having leads for a non existent person being called in to police thus slowing the investigation.

We love you very much Erica, and I know you know this. We need to know where you are and if you’re safe!! You’re not in any trouble at all. You haven’t done one thing wrong. You know our number please give us call anytime.

It is interesting to note the pronouns.
This is her website and she is speaking for herself so why does we keep showing up, when the expected would be I since she is speaking for herself on her website?

She starts with I and then capitalises US ( indicating shared co-operation and unity yet she doesn't tell us who the US is she refers to.
She then uses WE in relation to lead people are calling in, again showing unity and shared co-operation.
Are the leads going to her or more likely the police?
is this a ploy to imply she is co-operating with the police and the police co-operating and working with her.
We saw this with billie dunn.

Nan… Why? I just don’t understand why, who you are, and what you are? I will make sure we find you. I will never give up looking for you. There is more than one person behind this I know of at least 3. I will find every single last person responsible for Erica, Toby and Sadie’s life being destroyed. I want you to pay for what you have done. This isn’t a threat! IT’s A PROMISE!

Who is she asking why?
It is repeated twice making it sensitive.
Is she asking herself perhaps why Nan, especially when it is clear no such person existed.
Just is used to minimise, he she minimises inderstanding.
She then introduces who you are and what you are.
She doesn't tell us she doesn't know who she is or what she is or understand who or what she is, nor does she ask why she took Erica which would be the obvious question.

Hobnob said...

I will make sure we find you. I will never give up looking for you.
We saw this with oj simpson, never give up looking for you implies there will be no end to the search ever.
Considering she just told us we will find you, why the contradiction?
If you find her then the search will end, if you don't, the search will continue.
It can't be both unless of course the person never existed in the first place in which case the search will never end since you can't find a non existent person.

There is more than one person behind this I know of at least 3. I will find every single last person responsible for Erica, Toby and Sadie’s life being destroyed.
Tada, we have the introduction of the magic number three(the liar's number Mark McClish)
If there is more than one person involved and according to her, at least three, why have we not had descriptions released of them since she knows of them.
How does she know them?
She refers only to Nan, why not the others she knows are involved be it names, descriptions etc.
She says nothing about them despite their alleged involvement, she speaks solely to Nan.
Why not speak to them as well unless, of course, they dont; exist, just like Nan.
it is pointless speaking to nonexistent people as they won't see the message nor be able to respond.

I will find every single last person responsible for Erica, Toby and Sadie’s life being destroyed.
Since she is speaking to Nan and, in addition to the others she knows are involved, why does she use the distancing, gender neutral, non identifying person rather than the more personal You
Expected would be along the lines of I will find every single one of you or I will find every single last one of you

It is interesting she includes Erica in lives being destroyed, given she claims erica is still alive and with Nan.
If Erica is still alive, can her life have been destroyed?
It can have been harmed due to emotional abuse caused by her being away from her family, but then we were told Erica said she didn't want to return home so, if it was consensual at that point can she have been considered to have been harmed even?
What is her definiton of destroyed in relation to lives?
Is the destruction of Erica's life the same as that of Tobie and Sadie?

Jen Ow said...

Still getting weirder by the day:

https://gma.yahoo.com/abby-hernandez-saw-newspaper-reports-her-disappearance-while-185710282--abc-news-topstories.html

In this article, Abby and her mother grant an interview to the local paper. (although Abby's mother seems to do all of the talking)

Apparently the paper ran a days missing 'ticker', which Abby claims to have seen during her captivity. Her mom says that one of the first things Abby said to her when she got home was "Thank you to the Conway Daily Sun".

Ooooookay! Still no mention of what the heck went on for 9mos, but at least she got that shout out to the newspaper in print. Sheesh.

john said...

Abby says Sun's page 2 'missing' box gave her hope

ooking relaxed and composed, Abby drops by to express gratitude to community
By Daymond Steer
CONWAY – While she was missing, Abby Hernandez said she saw the page 2 box in The Conway Daily Sun published every day that kept a count of the number of days she was gone, and it gave her hope.
Abby and her mother Zenya stopped by the Sun's office in North Conway Thursday morning to thank the newspaper's editorial staff and to tell the community they are thankful for the effort that went into the search.

"Thank you guys, so, so much, I really appreciate it more than I could possibly put in words," said the 15-year-old, who appeared relaxed and composed as any teenage girl. "I'm taking it a little at a time but I'm feeling a lot better every day."
The informal chat was the first time Abby has addressed the media in person and on record since she came home.
Nathaniel Kibby, 34, of Gorham, is charged with kidnapping her Oct. 9 after she left Kennett High School. She returned home on July 20.
The circumstances of her disappearance, where she was, and how she got home have not been made public, although it has been widely reported she was held in a steel storage container attached to Kibby's trailer.
Police have said, which was confirmed by Zenya Thursday, that releasing details at this time could compromise the ongoing investigation.
Kibby will next appear in court Aug. 12 at a probable cause hearing. Additional charges against him are expected.
Zenya said she and Abby appreciate the box the Sun ran on page two which contained a photo of Abby, a count of the days she was missing and the contact number for the FBI.
"As sad as it was to see the days growing and increasing, we truly thank you," said Zenya. "Abby saw that off and on. She didn't see it every day. It gave her hope that people were looking. It was one of the first things she said to me when she returned home, is 'thank you to The Conway Daily Sun.'"
Zenya said it was heartbreaking as a mother to see the number in the box grow larger.
"I saw that too and it was hard to see that," said Zenya. "At the same time, I knew that good people are there, you are good people, and it gave me hope when there was no hope at all."
When asked if there's anything Abby wants to do now that she's home, Abby replied that she would like to go horseback riding.
"I really miss that," said Abby. "I used to do it when I was little."
Zenya and Abby say they don't want to be treated as victims. Zenya said Abby is a "survivor" and needs to be empowered.
"I'd just like to be treated like a normal person," said Abby.

http://www.conwaydailysun.com/newsx/local-news/115569-abby-stops-by-the-conway-daily-sun

john said...

The Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

I think the best way you can help us find Erica is for everyone to get to know everyone that is involved. We will open our whole live stories up to anyone and everyone if that what it takes for Erica to be found! We have nothing to hide, we haven't lied about anything!!

Meeting "Nan" (AKA: Irene Goodman)

I didn’t meet Nan until July 2011, but I feel it’s very important to start it off in Jan. 2011.
My health was very poor in Jan.2011. Carolyn Parsons wanted to talk with Erica and meet her. She hadn't seen or talk to Erica in about 5 or 6 years. Sandy, Brook, Sadie,
Toby, Erica, and I met her at the What-A-Burger in Mooresville, NC.
We had a nice visit. Erica seemed to be enjoying herself and so was
Carolyn. I honestly thought the visit went very well. At this time I had been very sick and in the hospital almost every month since 2008. I honestly didn't think I was going to live very much longer. I knew it was going to be very hard for Sandy to take care of 6 kids (well 5 because one was out of the house already at this time). I thought the meeting with Carolyn was going very well and I asked Carolyn if Erica wanted to how she would like for her to spend like a night or weekend with her. Carolyn of course said yes. I had thought since ( I was under the impression) Carolyn had “fixed” her life and she was stable, that if something were to happen to me then Carolyn would make an excellent person for Erica to spend time with after I was gone.

john said...

Cont..

After the meeting, Erica told Sandy and me she was very uncomfortable and thought Carolyn was weird. Erica begged me never to make her go through another meeting with Carolyn again. I promised Erica. I did tell her to hold her mind open and maybe in a few years she might feel different. I kind of thought Erica was just saying this because she was just a little nervous and she was also worried about me and my health. She would tell me every day, “I love you and I don’t want nothing to happen to you, Mama.” She also prayed for me all the time. She was uncomfortable with the idea of spending time with Carolyn though and I wanted her to know I would never make her go anywhere she didn’t want to go.
Well weeks go by and Carolyn ask me to see Erica again, for overnight visits, for pictures, and to talk with her over the phone. I told her no. Sometimes I would tell her Erica was here or there and unavailable. This was to try to prevent Carolyn showing up at our home unannounced. I didn't want to "hurt" Carolyn's feelings by telling her that Erica didn't want to see her. The request kept coming so I finally told Carolyn. Erica even wrote her a letter also.
Weeks after telling Carolyn about how Erica felt, a lady named Irene Goodman contacted me. She told me everyone calls her "Nan". This was in July 2011. She went on to tell me Carolyn Medlin Parsons told her how to get in touch with me. She actually used Carolyn's full name. She went on to tell me she was Erica's "Real" grandmother. This lady knew everything about us. She knew our kids' name, even some of their ages. She knew loads of info. Honestly at first I thought it was weird and was scared. I even called my mom and told her about a lady named Nan calling me saying she was kin to Erica. It wasn't immediately after the first contact but after a few times.

john said...

Cont..

For the next few weeks and months Nan kept getting in contact with me.
I knew this lady very well (I thought). Our phone conversations weren't always short I remember one of them being almost 2 hours. She talked with Erica. She talked like my grandma would. I honestly started bonded with her. I really liked Nan. She felt like my grandma. She asked several times for Erica to stay overnight and at first I said no. Erica actually said no too.
Then after months of talking to Nan, Erica is the one that wanted to spend a night with her. So I set it up. Nan was coming from Asheville, NC (this is what I was told). Because I had small kids and it was very early morning hours, Nan is the one that agreed to come and meet me in Mooresville, NC. It wasn't but about 30mins from our home. She told me it was convenient because it was right at I-77. We met on a Saturday at around 7am. We agreed to meet at the same place on Sunday evening. Everything went exactly according to plan. Nan was already there when I got there on Sunday evening. Erica actually didn't want to leave Nan. She wanted to stay another night.
Then again almost exactly the same thing in November 2011 took place.
After this visit Erica started really wanting to go back to Nan's. I got asked almost every day. I remember asking her one day, “Erica, what are you wanting for Christmas?" She told me, "Go to my Nan's." She really loves her grandma.
Erica went to Nan's house on Dec.17th 2011. This was a 3 week visit, supposed to be. After 3 weeks Nan did call to increase the visit. I talked to Erica and she was more than happy to stay. I knew where this was going. I knew that Nan wanted it to be longer. We did finally agree to her staying longer, but I was also under the impression they would always keep in touch.
Her birthday came and we was once invited but then later uninvited by Erica and Nan. Nan told me she thought it was because Erica was scared, "You (meaning me) will make her come back to your home once you're up here."
We missed her a lot and cried a lot, but I knew Erica was happier with
Nan then our family. I also knew Erica was taken care of if something would happen to me because of my health.

john said...

Cont..

Erica knows she is welcome back anytime to our home. Erica knows our phone number, it's still the same. We have never let that phone number go just because of Erica. Erica is a very smart young lady. She is now 16 years old. She has known how to use a phone since she was 5 years old.
Everyone ask where is Erica or where do we think Erica is? I know it was very weird that Carolyn kept asking for Erica and then when we finally tell her that Erica doesn't want anything to do with her she hardly ever wrote us again. Then just a few weeks later Irene Goodman (AKA- NAN) entered our life. No I didn't see that then and it's hard for me even NOW to really believe that lady I talked with for months was "FAKE". I ask myself what did I miss and WHY??? WHY would anyone do this? Why didn't Erica tell us something on the two times she went and came back? I ask myself so many questions. I know everyone also ask why you didn’t go to the cops. Why would I when to my knowledge I thought she was with Nan, her grandma, just like she was the other 2 times. I also know people ask well when the phone didn't work anymore why that didn’t concern me. It did but just like her birthday party I thought it was Nan's way of making Erica feel "comfortable". I thought they blocked my number so I would stop calling Erica.
Everyone needs to also realize this isn't the first time Erica went to live a relative before. Erica had already lived with another relative for 9 months before and then returned home. I always told my other kids and husband, "Erica will be back." I know Erica still will be back even now.
My main concerns are of Toby and Sadie they don't understand this, they know Erica went with Nan. They are living a nightmare.
What to look for?
Last time I talked with Erica in 2012 she claimed to have hair extensions.
She had a pierced nose on the left side. She did this herself one day when I was in the hospital. I didn't let her wear a nose ring. So she probably is wearing one now. She loved piercings. She told me she is getting them in her eyebrows, cheeks, and up at least one ear. Erica is also a very sweet young lady. She will help you in any way she can.

john said...

Cont..

I get really upset when people say she isn't smart, because she is.
Her worse subject is Math (very poor). She is wonderful in reading she was above grade level in reading. She loves books!!! Her favorite was Beverly Cleverly as a kid and some of the Junie B. Jones. She read them all the time. She is a talker. She will talk your head off. Please remember this was when she was 13 almost 14 yrs. old. She is supposed to be working with a tutor so she can have greatly improved in any subject.

.......................

Its going to be interesting following her blog!

http://www.helpfinderica.com/#!about_her/cjg9

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Abby saw others were looking for her. Sad to hear others can't wait until after the trial to find out what happened. Surely they are looking for ways to keep this guy off the streets. Simple trespassing isn't going to do it. Kidnapping with under 7 years isn't going to do it either. It looks like he'll be a problem for a long time to come. Increasing danger!

Erica sounds like a young teen that found someone that has the time and money to spend on her as opposed to a house full of people. Sad that others turned to reality show type maneuvers to plead for her return.

Worst case scenerio. She could go to Nan's home and see if Erica is still there.

wreyeter72 said...

I did not apply statement analysis to what John posted above in any methodical fashion, but I did note there aren't many dropped pronouns, or qualifiers, or indicators of missing information when she describes how she took Erica to meet Parsons or Goodman. But other parts of the story definitely raise flags - I believe Erica Parsons' adopted mother gladly farmed her out to "Goodman" without investigating too deeply because it relieved her of a burden. Her language reflects guilt, and I think it's the guilt of letting her go off with a stranger and disappear. Plus she does have information to hide - for example, it's clear Erica could not have been enrolled in school if she was away from home more than a month, even in December. (Break is usually 2 weeks)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like if Erica is dead, most likly one of the Parson boys killed her. Charges of animal cruelty, beating and biting each other, etc. Makes since the adoptive parents would take up for their own children and throw and adopted child under the bus.

I'd question the boy that claimed his parents killed her.

A terrific tale about Nan and all. They may have aided in concealing what actually happened.

7 years with the family would produce tales by neighbors, school teachers, etc.

Homeschooling is a way to get around not being in school. If she says others think she isn't smart then she made poor grades. That could be because of inherent low IQ, abusive home situation, or lack of motivation.

I read the news article that claims she was addicted to the Ramsey scenerio. Most are and have been for years. I am leary of these people that keep raggin' on it. They do so to recruit people like this couple into caring for children. Pity, then abuse party.

These hanger-ons think they are doing good. Focus on one high profile child and damn the rest.

I have noticed those hanging onto the Caylee death to be a dangerous motley crowd.