Tuesday, October 7, 2008

False allegations of violence ~ Domestic and Otherwise

Read the Globe and Mail editorial of October 6, 2008 and then Barbara Kay's column, both following below, that focuses more on the false allegations of abuse and their impacts against fathers. Note the Globe's comment on punishing the false accusers and those that "egg" on the vigilantes.

Lets put this in the context of the family courts. False accusers are usually the female, therefore, they should be punished; those that "egg" the accuser on are often misguided feminists, some of whom will say to you with a straight face that Parental Alienation doesn't exist either. They should also be sanctioned and/or punished. Who would the vigilante be under these circumstances? The judge who causes the father/man to lose his self respect, his property, his children, his reputation; his livelihood? Add to the judge the lawyer who is bringing these false accusations to court? Is she/he an expensive and duped baseball bat being sent to wield as much damage as possible on to this man/father?

It gets quite interesting doesn't it when one gets a good look at the "other side" of an issue involving false accusations in the family court. It kind of makes it look like judges and lawyers can be dupes and low lifes just like the vigilantes in the editorial. Makes you stop and think about the seriousness of what is going on - doesn't it - all without any penalty to these perpetrators and conspirators of injustice. Who are judges answerable to? When was the last time you heard of a Superior Court judge being punished for wrong doing. Once perhaps in the past 50 years or so.



Gossip and vigilantism

Clifford Frederick Martin is charged with a cowardly and despicable crime. Two girls aged 13 and 15 had claimed that a 19-year-old man, a young father living in Courtenay, B.C., had touched them inappropriately.

According to the charges, Mr. Martin did not call police, but picked up a baseball bat, broke into the man's home at night and savagely beat him to death.

Even if the man was guilty of the rumoured sexual interference, the response was horrific. But the most sickening aspect of the events is that the RCMP say the girls' allegations appear to have been fabricated. So, if he is guilty, Mr. Martin is not only a coward and killer, but also a dupe of young people's gossip.

It's not the first time this year that an innocent man was attacked on the basis of gossip. A 42-year-old man was beaten and stabbed by some men in Owen Sound, Ont., in July after a 17-year-old girl mistook the victim for another man and began verbally and physically assaulting him. She then summoned her male friends who furiously attacked him.

Police later revealed it was a case of mistaken identity. The victim, police say, was left with "close to life-threatening" injuries.

In that case, at least, the 17-year-old was charged with assault. But the two girls whose claims allegedly prompted the Courtenay murder have not been charged. And an 18-year-old woman, Janelle Peyachew, who accompanied Mr. Martin, is facing only charges of breaking and entering.

To deter vigilante-style attacks, the authorities need to punish those whose false accusations are at the root of the incidents, and those who egg on vigilantes - not just those wielding the baseball bats and knives.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month; How about making November false allegations awareness month

Barbara Kay
Posted: October 06, 2008, 9:11 PM by Jonathan Kay

Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first observed in October, 1987 and is celebrated on the first Monday in October. That's today, October 6. Fittingly enough, this morning's Globe and Mail carries an editorial on the sometimes tragic effects when innocent men are charged with false allegations of sexual abuse.

The editorial recounts the story of a young father who was savagely beaten to death with a baseball bat by a young man who took the word of two girls, aged 13 and 15, when they claimed the victim had "touched them inappropriately." The girls had lied and clearly incited their male "protector" to violence, but they were not charged with any crime. Nor was an 18-year old woman who accompanied the murderer and presumably, at the very least, approved of his actions. Perhaps she even egged him on. She was only charged with "breaking and entering." The editorial indignantly concludes that "the authorities need to punish" those whose false accusation are at the root of such incidents.

The Globe editorialists' indignation suggests a certain naiveté about the prevalence of this practice. They would profit from spending a few days in family court, where, in the interest of tipping custody battles in their own interest, women's false allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse of children against their former partners are so rife - and virtually never punished - that it is apparently the best-kept secret crime in the western world. Oh, perhaps these men are not beaten up with baseball bats, but they do lose their homes, their children, often their jobs and friends, spend time in jail, are rarely given the benefit of the doubt - and many of them kill themselves from despair.

In 2000, it was reported that the FBI's DNA testing over a three year period had exonerated more than 30% of their 4,000-plus sexual assault suspects. Going further back, in the FBI's Behavioural Science Unit's 1983 study of False Allegations, a total of 220 out of 556 rape investigations - 40% - turned out to be false. Over a quarter turned out to be actual hoaxes (remember the infamous Tawana Brawley, who at 15 falsely accused a number of white men of a marathon three-day gang rape, some of them police officers? At least she got successfully sued for defamation, but that was small potatoes for the havoc she wreaked in those men's lives). About 4,000 allegations of rape a year are levelled in Manhattan. About half never happened. Police officials in New Zealand state that 64% of rape reports are false.

False reports of child abuse are even more prevalent. A 1999 National Post article reported on a study by two law professors from Queen's University: "The academics looked at 196 abuse allegations involving separated parents. Of these, 46 cases resulted in judgments that abuse did occur. Of the 150 unproven cases, the trial judges believed the allegations were intentionally false (either a parent or child made them up) 45 times. Thus it appears there are as many cases of false accusations of child abuse as there are provable, true incidents.

After lifting the veil on the prevalence of false claims, the two law professors then detail[ed] the costs - emotional, financial and legal - of such accusations. Since mothers make the preponderance of abuse claims - true and false - it is fathers who bear the bulk of this burden. Further, it is important to remember that even if the charges are found to be baseless in criminal court, they can subsequently re-appear in family court. This means the father may never escape the stigma of being falsely accused of child abuse. And just one instance of a mother being charged with making false accusations was reported in the study, even though the data suggests one quarter of child abuse charges are likely to be deliberately invented."

All allegations of sexual abuse or domestic violence should be routed immediately to criminal court and the burden placed on the accuser to prove (usually) her case. Real punishment should follow on false accusations of abuse of any kind. When women get away scot free with ruining men's lives - or provoking tragedies like those detailed in this editorial - it is inevitable that the message trickles down to society at large that false allegations against men by women and girls are tolerated and even triviliazed. I don't think those girls thought they were doing anything "wrong," certainly not committing a crime. I daresay they would not have been so insouciant about accusing the unfortunate young man if they were aware that false allegations result in serious consequences.

I would love to see the Globe and Mail follow up their editorial with an in-depth story on the state of false allegations in Canada today. As a kind of ironic "homage" to domestic violence month.

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