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Sufferers of agraphobia may have had an experience linking emotional trauma with sexual abuse. Such experiences do not have to happen to the sufferer: watching sexual abuse occur can act as a trigger to the condition.
In some cases sex abuse hysteria, caused by misinformation, overzealous or careless investigation practices, or sensationalist news coverage, can cause agraphobia as well, this being different from the PTSD-driven agraphobia that comes from real situations of sexual abuse. Day care sex abuse hysteria is one example of this erroneously caused agraphobia. Many people who were originally accused or even found guilty were later found to be innocent of sexual abuse, their ordeal having been caused by hysteria and misinformation-driven agraphobia.
A professional and carefully done investigation is necessary to determine which type of agraphobia may be occurring in any particular case. Newer standards for sexual abuse investigation have been developed in some states (and are mandated by courts) in order to prevent such hysteria-driven agraphobia from causing prosecution of the innocent. These new standards are not uniformly applied or followed in all states, however.
Malicious intent can also sometimes cause hysteria-driven agraphobia in children. For example, a vindictive or abusive parent may purposely try to instill agraphobic hysteria in a child in order to manipulate a false accusation by a child against the other parent in a divorce child-custody case, or to trigger a damaging police investigation in order to abuse an innocent parent. This sometimes results in the prosecution of the parent who tried to cause the false accusation. Courts are increasingly viewing proven cases of intentionally induced agraphobia in children as a form of child abuse, as well as being a crime against the falsely accused target adult.