by Ros Burnett (Editor), 2016 Oxford University Press, 368p.
This book fills a gap for an authoritative and considered text focused on false accusations of recent or historical abuse.
It brings together experts from different disciplinary backgrounds to consider ways of reducing the incidence of fabricated allegations and associated injustices.
While policies that address child abuse, rape and other sexual offences are most welcome, false allegations of such offences have become too common.
It is inherent in the, typically, unwitnessed and physically uncorroborated nature of these 'hidden' crimes that they are difficult to prosecute. They are also hard to disprove if no crime has been committed. Allegations of abuse are rightly treated as believable and rigorously investigated. However, any progressive and robust system of justice should seek to avoid convicting or maligning innocent people.
This controversial matter is addressed by charting the life-course of an untrue allegation.
Beginning with the nature, extent and harm of false abuse allegations, the cultural and political context giving rise to false allegations, and then the causal and motivational factors for making them, are explored, before addressing the role and impact of the criminal justice system when handling such cases. The final part looks at the ways such concerns might be addressed whilst remaining mindful of victims of abuse and their suffering.