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False allegations: balancing the rights of sex abuse victims and those wrongly accused

Date:13 APR 2016
While media outlets continue to focus on high profile cases involving child sexual abuse a controversial development at the Goddard Inquiry has quietly taken place.

A recent statement released by the nation's Independent Inquiry into Sexual Abuse focusing on addressing misconceptions about its work mentions in passing that the investigation will address the impact of false sexual abuse allegations on defendants. But what exactly is a false allegation and how will this aspect of the Inquiry's work affect survivors?

A false allegation of child sexual abuse is sometimes defined as an accusation that a person committed one or more acts of child sexual abuse when in reality they did not. The Inquiry is going to look at the damage that can be caused by these kinds of allegations and its Panel will also make findings on any individuals or institutions they feel on the evidence before them appear to have falsely alleged abuse.

However this part of the Inquiry's work is likely to make survivors feel uncomfortable as long-passed acts of sexual abuse are incredibly hard to prove and a lack of evidence does not...

Read the full article here.