Our thanks to David for pointing us to a 66-page report by three (female) academics at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. The end of the report:
The authors of this study hope that it will provide a valuable corrective to the uncritical discourse that has dominated media, political and policy-making discourse over the past 20 years – the discourse which states that victims will, almost invariably, be telling the truth. It is worth here repeating the Metropolitan Police statement on Operation Midland, ‘our starting point with allegations of child sexual abuse is to believe the victim until we identify reasonable cause to believe otherwise.’ It will be recalled that this statement was made after it had emerged that the main source of the allegations was probably a fantasist.
No doubt the intentions behind that statement were honourable: a desire to right an historic wrong, and to give victims who had been previously ignored a voice. But this study suggests that in the process, a whole new and growing class of victims is being created, whose suffering is just as intense – all the more so for having been, until now, passed unnoticed. The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions. Unfortunately, that is where the victims of false allegations of abuse are likely to find themselves – in a living hell.