Presumed Guilty – I must admit I have been heartened by the widespread support I’ve received from ordinary folk, particularly from people who have gone through the misery of a similar situation, either directly or indirectly. This stated, I have also been disappointed by the glib manner in which some vocal ‘campaigners’ and ‘activists’ dismiss experiences like mine as being unwelcome or inconvenient.
Some people can’t understand how being the target of a dangerous, insidious liar is worth even dwelling upon. The attitude seems to be ‘Oh, get over it and move on....’ Can you imagine the same dismissive approach being taken towards someone who has been a victim of a convicted paedophile? ‘Oh, stop complaining, just get on with things...’ There’d be uproar, and quite rightly so.
In the modern hierarchy of victimhood, I, and others in my situation, are regarded as being the ‘wrong’ kind of victim of crime. Indeed, agents of the state don’t seem to recognise fabricating stories of having been sexually abused by an innocent party as a crime.
|Police: no support here...|
On the one hand, those who make allegations of sexual abuse - regardless of whether or not they are telling the truth - are afforded a significant level of support and encouragement by the police, vocal campaigners, numerous charities and other organisations. If the person complaining is a genuine victim, then this is totally laudable in any caring society. (If he or she is lying, of course, then it undermines the entire process). Some complainants are also offered psychological counselling and therapy, as a person telling telling the truth should. And a significant number receive substantial sums of compensation, even if the alleged perpetrator has already died or the claims being made have never even been tested in a court of law. (Unfortunately, because of the sizeable amounts of money on offer, these handouts, unsurprisingly, attract the fraudsters, the fantasists and the inadequates).
|But only for some victims?|
Regardless of the category in which innocent victims fall, none will find any official institutional support, counselling, recompense or compensation.
Yet many victims of false allegations have lost everything: careers, homes, professional reputations, life savings, pensions, even their pets. Some have lost close friends, relationships with family members and – in the worst cases – have felt unable to carry on with life and have killed themselves (one such case happened this very week). Others are saddled with vast legal bills which they may never be able to pay. Yet none of this seems to count.
|No votes to be had here|
Meanwhile, those fakers and fraudsters who have told the most blatant lies – to police officers, to social workers, to psychologists, to barristers, to judges and to juries – unless they actually admit they have made up a pack of lies - face no sanctions nor consequences. Police officers who have ‘believed’, supported and encouraged these liars for months, or even years, are most unlikely to recommend that any of them are charged with fraud, perjury or perverting the course of justice. This would be far too embarrassing because questions might then be asked about the shoddy, partial, virtually non-existent ‘investigations’, which too often pass as modern detective work in cases involving sexual allegations, past and present. It’s far easier for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service simply to kick the failed prosecution into the long grass and hope no-one asks any awkward questions.
here) – which do offer support and advice to victims of false allegations, but, without exception, these organisations are privately funded and staffed by unpaid volunteers. There is no public money provided to aid or support people whose lives have been ruined by greedy liars, fantasists and the plainly delusional. Police, prosecutors and the whole institutional structure of the criminal law simply turn away. After all, there will be no rise in public popularity for those seeking justice for the falsely accused. And public popularity is so important to those who run the system.
Until we, as a society, stop rewarding these liars, fantasists, fraudsters and compensation-grubbers, I fear that the phenomenon of false allegations – and the ever-expanding industry which supports it (including personal injury solicitors who profit from the misery of others) – will never be tackled. In order to restore popular faith in our beleaguered criminal justice system, we urgently need to see evidence that perjury and lying to the police will no longer be tolerated and that compensation payouts made to proven fraudsters will be reclaimed with interest. Criminal actions must have consequences and we need to stop treating innocent people whose lives have been wrecked by false allegations as the ‘wrong’ sort of victims, just because it is the easiest route to take.