The number of child abuse cases has dramatically increased in the past decade. This increase coincides with the fact that children these days are becoming a lot more vulnerable because of their constant and leveled exposure to venues of abuse such as the internet and television. Nonetheless, we should also take into account the number of instances where a person is wrongly accused.
An American father of two was convicted of first-degree sexual offense way back in 1986. As a punishment, he was given two life sentences for the immoral and gruesome crime he allegedly committed. Then a sudden twist of fate happened more than a decade after. His alleged victim, his own daughter, confessed that her father never really touched her and the accusation was false. Going back to the merits of the case, it was found out that there was really no physical evidence proving that sexual abuse took place. The only thing that convicted the father was the emotional testimony of the daughter.
Although the father in the case above got his needed redemption, nothing can repay the pain he suffered by spending more than ten years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Much worse, the one who accused him was his own blood. When asked why she did it, the daughter simply admitted that she wanted a way out of the very strict and harsh upbringing her father imposed on them.
Most of the time, people tend to forget that the scenario is not always the same. Even if children don’t know how to lie, they still are capable of fabricating stories and making accusations especially when they are put in a tight and pressured situation. What happens here is that the accused becomes the victim of false accusation. While being sexually abused entails lifetime trauma, being falsely accused of the same has an equally irreparable trauma as well.
It is unfortunate to note that false accusations of child molestation are a common occurrence in the criminal justice system, especially in the United States. When a certain person is imprisoned because of false conviction, his entire life is ruined, not to mention, his whole family as well. This is especially true when the accuser is another member of the family. But if we try to dig deeper, there are actually several motives that drive children to lie and pretend that they’ve been abused. We will be tackling them in another post. But what’s really discouraging is the fact that courts (and society, for that matter) are more inclined to favor the accuser rather than assuming the accused is innocent until proven guilty within the boundaries of law and justice.