Legally Kidnapped

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bleed 'em and plead 'em: The plight of wrongly accused child molesters

Bleed 'em and plead 'em: The plight of wrongly accused child molesters

There may be no more explosive allegation than child sexual abuse. How do you fight it if you're innocent?
The following is a letter to the editor that was left on this site.

Examples of what I was talking about

I talked about how well-intentioned activists were doing their best to convince people by propaganda tactics that every accusation is founded, and Alix Dobkowski provided a particularly perfidious example of it.

Alix Dobkowski especially. I mean he basically accuses people who speak out against false accusations (or rather "false" accusations according to him) of being child abusers only trying to protect themselves. He then also called people who want due process and presumption of innocence for the accused of being "child abuser-apologists". He also plays the numbers game by talking about the number of undeclared victims, as if a "false" victim having an innocent person put in jail was like a compensation for the victims who will never be revealed. It's just absurd.

The numbers game is common with activists. The principle is simple, try to shock people with the estimated prevalence of sexual abuse (and studies diverge a lot, you can find studies with prevalence rates going from 10% to above 70%) and sometimes, as a corollary, try to dismiss charges of false allegations by using extremely low percentages (the 2% false accusation figure for rapes, which doesn't come from anywhere but is only supported by how much activists repeat it). This is to send the message, "it happens often and it's unlikely to be false, so you should believe anyone who says they were". The intention is good, but the results may lead in fact to the presumption of guilt that innocent people, once accused, can never shake off, even if declared not guilty.

Cases should be judged on their own merit, not on perceptions of how often they happen.

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