Every so often, you hear stories about adults who suddenly begin to remember being subjected to some sort of abuse when they were younger. You may find yourself wondering how this can possibly happen. If something so traumatic occurred when the person was a child, wouldn’t it be etched in their memory? How could they forget about it in order to remember later?

Scientists agree

First and foremost, it’s important to point out that scientists do agree that this happens to children. Their claims about forgetting the abuse are valid and should never be cause for concern. It may be perplexing to people in their lives, but those who have actually studied the topic know that it does occur.

One reason is age. Even when something is traumatic, a very young child is unlikely to remember it. For most people, everything prior to the age of three is forgotten.

Trauma itself can also play a role. There are cases where the brain seems to block out these traumatic memories. They get buried. It may be intentional or done subconsciously. When they come back to the surface later in life, it can be quite a surprise, even for the person who went through those events.

Some have referred to this as a link between amnesia and trauma. It has been well-known for generations. While scientists are not always sure why it happens, we are learning more about the human brain every day, and it’s clear that this is simply part of how it copes with these events.

Advocacy for victims

If you or a child were victimized by domestic violence, you must know what rights you have and what legal steps you can take, even well after the event has occurred.