False allegations cost us dearly

This week’s writer calls for more stringent
safeguards against and awareness of false allegations of sexual

I am a member of a family where the lives of
children have been wrecked by their father’s wrongful conviction
for sexual abuse. It is so hurtful to read articles that dismiss
miscarriages of justice as part of a necessary price for society to
pay in the war against sexual abuse.

As I have investigated how this has happened,
it has been hard to maintain the belief that in some quarters
protecting children is being taken nearly as seriously as
protecting colleagues, departments, ignorance, belief systems,
ideologies, and the adult need for certainty and revenge.

What is your honest, gut response to sexual
abuse? Have you ever harboured the thought that as so many of the
guilty get away with it, so what if a few innocents go to the wall
for the cause? If you do not care about false allegations or
injustices in this area, why not? Do you publicly espouse the idea
that children must be believed and yet privately keep the door open
when working with children, work in twos to protect yourselves from
potential falsehoods that you say do not exist? Why are the
children who are harmed by false allegations less important than
those harmed by sexual abuse? Are you as open to hearing a child
say that nothing has happened, as you are to a child saying
something has?

Are you trained in the area of false
allegations? If not, on what basis do you claim to approach child
sexual abuse investigations in a balanced, informed, educated

Our family has been destroyed, but not by the
damaged woman who first made the allegations about her

She had power over her children, but she had
no power over the ill-trained, vehement social worker who met not
one member of the paternal family and who broke guidelines over and
over again as she “kindly” dominated and sadly manipulated
vulnerable children in her interview with them. She had no power
over the police who said prior to interview that the man they were
arresting was guilty.

I ask all well intentioned social workers,
writers, academics, and professionals, to come out from behind your
barricades of ignorance and to educate yourselves about false
allegations and the part that professionals have played. If you can
do that, the result will be not the betrayal of innocents, but
their protection.

The writer wishes to remain

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