What Happens When an Ordinary Member of the Public is Falsely Accused of Historic Sex Abuse?

We know that celebrities usually have the finances to pay for the expensive services of top-class barristers, but what happens when an ordinary member of the public is accused and has no such resources? What happens when the defence barrister does not appear to be acting effectively on behalf of the accused? How is it possible for justice to be done when the odds are so overwhelmingly stacked against an individual?

 

For months David (56) had been working away from his home when police broke into his flat, presumably searching, in vain, for evidence of paedophelia, specifically video tapes which the woman claimed had been made by him of their sexual activity. Alerted by a neighbour David returned home to find police instructions to report to the station immediately where officers took a statement, did a cursory check of his proffered laptop, and bailed him pending further investigations.

Stunned by the allegations, David told me later that it was as if she had seen a film or read a book and had fantasised about the sex she imagined had happened. I thought immediately about false memory syndrome and a search on the Internet lead me to The British False Memory Society which, ultimately, was instrumental in our eventually finding effective legal representation and expert witness advice.

To read more of this fascinating story please visit: https://catewilson7.wordpress.com/

 

Parents falsely accused of sexual abuse by their now adult children are bravely speaking out about their heartbreak through a book which puts their accounts into the public domain for the first time.

The book, Fractured Families, was launched at an event hosted by Earl Howe at the House of Lords on 15th May 2007. It charts the tragic stories of how adults have become estranged from loving parents.

It describes the damage done by well-meaning healthcare professionals, counsellors and therapists and by irresponsible self-help literature.

Some of the stories have a happier ending, with the accusers retracting their accusations and beginning a process of reconciliation.

Sixteen parents have decided to break the silence and stigma of allegations of historic child sexual abuse. They represent thousands of families known to the British False Memory Society, and perhaps many more that remain isolated in their pain.

Shattered by these horrifying accusations and understandably afraid of the stigma they bring, parents keep quiet and rarely speak out – until now.

Professor Larry Weiskrantz, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Oxford University has contributed an article to Fractured Families that explores the science behind false memories.

He says: ‘False memories can play a dangerous role in witness testimony and other claims for the recall of non-existent or seriously distorted events. The most serious examples, perhaps, are accusations of severe sexual abuse that never occurred, although fervently believed by the accuser.’Madeline Greenhalgh, Director of BFMS, said: ‘With the stigma attached to allegations of sexual assault, it’s not surprising that families decide they cannot speak out in their own defence.

‘This is why Fractured Families is so important. It gives a voice to the falsely accused and the opportunity for them to provide an insight into the heartbreak caused by such shocking allegations.

‘We also hope that the book, launched on the UN’s Day of the Family, will raise the profile of the issue with academics and clinicians, child protection workers, social workers and everyone in the criminal justice world, especially lawyers and the police.’

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