by Jo Wheeler, Fighting for the Falsely Accused
This article has been published on the Justice for Men and Boys website, so a huge thank you to Mike Buchanan.
There is an accepted form of discrimination prevalent in society, that for some reason is endorsed by the media, the authorities, the courts, and the government. This discrimination has led to frightening and appalling consequences, that have destroyed thousands of lives, and unless addressed immediately, will continue to devastate thousands more.
This is the modern-day witch-hunt. The similarities between the witch-hunts of the 14th to the 18th centuries and today are staggering. There is much information about how fear, accusations, and prosecutions occurred in villages, local law courts, and courts of appeal in Roman Catholic and Protestant cultures in western Europe.
I am saddened to say, things have not improved, just the roles have been reversed. The witch-hunts typically targeted women, whereas now it’s men that are hunted. Men are the only unprotected demographic left in the western world. I never thought I would see an MP stand in the Houses of Parliament, and announce that, for the safety of women, all men should have their freedom restricted, and be subject to a curfew. Could you imagine a MP saying the same against people of colour?
Men have found themselves in an extremely vulnerable position, the equality struggle has resulted in men becoming the victims of a discriminatory society. The saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is certainly relevant. It only takes one lie to destroy a whole family’s world, once that accusation has been made, it can never be taken back. There are various reasons someone would make an accusation, revenge, regret, jealousy, legal aid qualification, and of course money.
The politicians, police and the courts deny the prevalence of false allegations and are constantly repeating the mantra that “false allegations are extremely rare” although they have no actual figures to come to this conclusion. [J4MB: They are conflating prosecutions related to false allegations, which are rare, unfortunately, with the false allegations themselves, which are common, see below.] Could this be because if they looked at the figures, they would have to admit what many of us are more than aware of, including Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter,2 that in actual fact, the real figures would make for an extremely frightening reality. [J4MB: William Collins, the man behind The Illustrated Empathy Gap blog, 3 estimated by using just two official statistics in his book The Empathy Gap: Male Disadvantages and the Mechanisms of Their Neglect (2019), that 77% of the rape allegations made to the police in the UK are false.]
I have first-hand knowledge of the false allegation circus, and a witch-hunt is the best description. My son at the age of 14 was accused, not by the girl in question but by a boy who had been bullying him since primary school, a boy that was blackmailing young girls for naked photos. Jumping ahead three years, six months of a police investigation, resulting in a NFA (no further action), life did most definitely not return to normal, both my son and daughter had to be removed from school, for their own safety, agreed by the Education Welfare Officer, the house has been attacked, the children have been attacked. The most recent was only a month ago, three years later.
This unfortunately is not my only experience of false allegations. 100 miles away, my partner’s ex was creating a story, after telling him she would destroy him, unless he continued financing her lifestyle. Destroy him she did, absolutely no evidence, just the story, no witnesses, just hearsay repetition of what they had been told. No evidence found by the medical examiner, the complainant admitted lying about a charge in court regarding a video that was supposedly taken, after the digital forensics found no evidence. The fact the so-called “victim” was unable to recall if it was winter or summer was irrelevant, in the words of the presiding judge to the jury, “it should be discounted, as it is not a memory test”.
Due to this farcical Great British Justice System, my partner was found “beyond reasonable doubt” guilty and sentenced to 16 years.
The phrase used by many prosecuting barristers is “why would she lie?”
The complainant, after reporting their accusation, is immediately entitled to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), that is thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money, regardless of a verdict, regardless of it proceeding to court, regardless of the accused even being arrested. If this is not an incentive to make an accusation, I really don’t know what is. The argument that people wouldn’t lie about such despicable crimes is completely unfounded – is a lie any more despicable than stealing from, or hurting a vulnerable person, a crime which happens every day, all around the world?
A guilty verdict should be reached after being presented with evidence, not a story – why should one person’s word be of more value than another? Our criminal justice system should be based on “Evidence Not Targets”.
This is highly comparable to during the height of the witch trial era. There was a general disregard for real evidence, society was suffering from an irrational hysteria. The accused was presumed guilty, and there was a method, involving several degrees of torture, which would increase in intensity and brutality, all of which would be observed, and recorded by a clerk, with the aim of extracting a confession, it was an extremely exceptional occurrence that the torture resulted in an acquittal.
There are thousands of us who have been affected. We have had our families ripped apart, many by a justice system that doesn’t require evidence, and many that have been destroyed by the years spent on bail or under investigation, unable to work, losing their homes, family, and friends, after all, “there’s no smoke without fire”.
This witch-hunt must stop now, enough is enough, let’s require evidence once again in our courtrooms, instead of media-fuelled discrimination