Role: Clinical Psychologist
Impact: One of the first psychologists to challenge the findings of Ralph Underwager in scientific literature
Anna Salter is a leading psychologist in America who was one of the first psychologists to speak out in defense of children’s testimony against Ralph Underwager, receiving considerable backlash as a result. Since then, thas written multiple books on trauma, childhood abuse, and sex offenders. Two notable books of hers include “Transforming Trauma: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse” and “Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders.” She has given numerous trainings on sexual abuse throughout the country and abroad.
Anna Salter received a small grant from the New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors in 1988 to study claims that the standard procedures of interviewing children were suggestive, leading to false accusations. Upon receiving this grant, she used Ralph Underwager and his partner Hollida Wakefield as a case study, publishing a detailed review criticizing their “extraordinary number of distortions and errors.”  This was one of the first significant pieces of literature challenging Underwager's work. Shortly after, Underwager staged a harassment campaign against Salter, involving numerous lawsuits, an ethics charge, and phony phone calls. Throughout all this, Salter completed her work and published "Accuracy of Expert Testimony in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: A Case Study of Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield." Her experience writing this work and the subsequent harassment campaign are detailed in her piece, "Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned."
Anna’s website, detailing her biography and work:
"Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned."
"Accuracy of Expert Testimony in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: A Case Study of Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield."
A formal ethics complaint with the APA was filed against Salter by Hollida Wakefield. “The Committee voted unanimously not to find [Salter] in violation of the Ethical Principles and to dismiss the complaint as entirely without merit.”
 Salter, A. (1992). Accuracy of expert testimony in child sexual abuse cases: A case study of Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield. Unpublished manuscript.