Talk

Advanced search

To wonder where this narrative comes from that victims of abuse are making it up?

(74 Posts)
ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 10:13:08

I guess following on from the MJ Leaving Neverland documentary which was so eye opening for me. I have noticed that many people have been successfully brainwashed to believe that

1. People often make up stories about being abused

2. If they testify that they were abused by a celebrity, they were doing it for money

3. There is no evidence (no acceptance that several witnesses coming forward is evidence in itself)

Where does this awful regressive, ingrained culture come from and what can we do to stop it or refute those who perpetuate it? I used to want to give MJ the benefit of the doubt but there is only so long that you can keep defending someone without becoming an apologist for pedophilia and rape. This is of course not just about Michael Jackson but, for example the footballers who people make endless excuses for including that going to someone's hotel room is implied consent. Which, of course it is not.

TheHolySmirk Wed 13-Mar-19 10:23:19

Not sure about the celebrity aspect, but part of it is that abuse is such a dreadful thing to be accused of that people instinctively want a lot of proof.

A false accusation wrecks lives.

It's tricky, because in these cases physical proof, especially in historical cases, is often lacking. So people think the least harm is done (legally) by not just taking people's word.

In murder cases and things, the physical evidence is often easier to come by, and guilt easier to prove.

Shoxfordian Wed 13-Mar-19 10:25:05

It's basically because of rape culture

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

We have to keep believing victims and challenge other people's opinions. It is depressing though

heartshapedknob Wed 13-Mar-19 10:26:52

Its cognitive dissonance.

People simply do not want to confront the reality of someone they know being a rapist or sexual abuser. People care more about the perpetrators than their victims.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 13-Mar-19 10:28:07

A good line in the MJ documentary came from the sister (sic) "people cant separate the man from the performer, no one denying his music was fantastic, but the man is evil '

MJ projected this image of a broken, abused little boy himself - and we know that the abused often go on to be abusers.

RKelly, the other morning stating that HE would nt have to do these things - did we not know who HE is ? Mate, you just thought you were untouchable and that sort of idolatry just creates the impression in your head you are all powerful and others are here to do your bidding.

Anyone in authority – teachers, policemen, doctors, judges, politicians, celebrities, sports people – all have the status over the masses; absolute power corrupts.

People who emotionally invest in celebrities and sports people don’t want to believe they so fundamentally wrong, that they have bought into the media image projected. Its so much easier to blame the abused for offering temptation, or being greedy than admit you made a bad judgement call by placing these people on pedestals.

GiveMeSteam Wed 13-Mar-19 10:29:24

2. If they testify that they were abused by a celebrity, they were doing it for money

This part always fascinates me because if people believe that, it presumably follows that celebrities never abuse anyone or else can’t/shouldn’t be brought to justice for it, because anyone testifying against them is only doing it for money!

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 10:31:00

It's not even just celebrities though.

I remember hearing a programme on radio 4 about rape. One woman was describing how a man in her social circle raped her and her female friends immediately said 'oh no, he would never do that. There must be some misunderstanding'

Tomtontom Wed 13-Mar-19 10:32:58

I believe we can strike a balance, believing and supporting abuse survivors during an investigation, but also allowing the alleged offender the assumption of innocence until proven guilty. It's difficult, you very much have to separate the two parties in your head because one thought process contradicts the other.

The vast number of abuse reports are legitimate and the default position should be believing the victim. But we also need to be aware that there are a tiny minority of people that make these things up, and make it so much more difficult for the genuine victims.

GregoryPeckingDuck Wed 13-Mar-19 10:35:06

The only way people will stop thinking that is if people stop making false accusations. Sexual attacks or abuse can be very difficult to prove especially when it’s long in the past. Without any empirical evidence the accusations of a victim or victims are mere accusations just as the denial of the perpetrator is a mere denial. Some people assume there is no smoke without fire. Others assume there is no crime without impartial evidence. The only real assumption that one can reasonably make in the complete absence of evidence (an accusation isn’t really evidence is it?) is that the full truth will never be clear. I certainly think that the circumstances in the Micheal Jackson case are damning but I cannot say that I believe he is guilty. He looks very very guilty but there hasn’t been sufficient evidence to reasonably show guilt as a fact.

MeredithGrey1 Wed 13-Mar-19 10:45:37

One woman was describing how a man in her social circle raped her and her female friends immediately said 'oh no, he would never do that. There must be some misunderstanding'

I actually think that's quite an understandable reaction to someone who you know being accused of something like this. I imagine hearing that if you hear this about someone you know (and like), the urge to find an alternative explanation would be quite strong. I'm not saying its right, just that it must be hard to accept, when part of what you're hearing is "that person who you know and like is not what you thought he was."
And I actually don't think its limited to sexual offenses. I've never been in this position, but if I heard from a friend that a good friend of mine had assaulted them (not sexually)/stolen from them/committed any kind of crime against them, my first reaction probably would be "that can't be right, there must be a misunderstanding somewhere!" It wouldn't be that I'm saying the accuser is lying, just that I can't fit what they're saying with what I think I know about the accused.

ShartGoblin Wed 13-Mar-19 10:46:53

I tend to just keep my judgement to myself. I can't believe someone is guilty with evidence and I can't believe there is always evidence when someone is guilty

ShartGoblin Wed 13-Mar-19 10:47:17

*without evidence I meant

SpamChaudFroid Wed 13-Mar-19 10:48:41

I would say that it's because of the patriarchal society we live in. A man's word is believed and valued over a woman's or child's voices. Sexual abuse is nearly always carried out by a man. Women are socialised to be nice and not make a fuss, and society vilifies those who do speak up.

Being found not guilty does not mean the accusation was false.

Insecure123 Wed 13-Mar-19 10:57:41

WHat tomtontom said. unfortunately there are a minority of cases which have been made up for varying reasons - I have known/seen this - and it can be enough to cast a shadow of doubt over genuine cases which is just awful.

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 10:59:16

'Being found not guilty does not mean the accusation was false.'

Exactly. I have had to correct people who say MJ was proven innocent. No he wasn't and even one of the jurors says he thought he was guilty.

To the poster who says you would need to see evidence. Why do you not consider a witness testimony to be evidence? And what evidence would you find to be compelling? Imagine (god forbid) that someone close to you said they were abused. What would you say to them and what evidence would you expect them to be able to show?

Insecure123 Wed 13-Mar-19 11:01:24

agree with shartgoblin. I try not to get too over invested when it is not a situation I am close to. Having worked in a criminal setting and seeing the evidence laid out in a court room in comparison to what is set out publicly /in the media I know not to be too led by it. So yes I form my own opinions over things as is normal but also try to balance that with the fact that actually I don't know all the facts as I wasn't there/haven't sat in the trial etc. I just think it is a very difficult balance to get. My heart goes out to genuine victims.

SpamChaudFroid Wed 13-Mar-19 11:09:26

I saw a post talking about rape on my local police's SM page this week. All the responses were from men and one woman saying how people's lives are ruined by false allegations, and how awful the women are who do these things. Not one mention of how awful the rapists are themselves. Very telling.

TheHolySmirk Wed 13-Mar-19 11:10:39

Elektra

I was probably one of the posters who mentioned eveidence.

No, I would never be comfortable with a conviction gained solely through the testimony of a witness. Not just in abuse cases, but in all cases. People can and do lie.

Their motivation isn't always transparent.

If someone close to me alleged abuse, I'd consider what I knew of them. If I knew them to lie, overstate the case, and be malicious or manipulative, it would be ridiculouse to blindly believe them.

If my child made such an allegation, given their character at the moment, I'd believe them. But I wouldn't lose all common sense. If what they were alleging was patently imposible, I'd look further into their story and motivation.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 13-Mar-19 11:11:11

There have been so many false allegations and lives wrecked that whilst 20 years ago the victim might have been immediately believed now there is a question mark.

TheHolySmirk Wed 13-Mar-19 11:11:34

Ridiculous I mean. I can generally spell. hmm

AutumnCrow Wed 13-Mar-19 11:11:48

3. There is no evidence (no acceptance that several witnesses coming forward is evidence in itself)

I'm very interested in this, owing to a situation I currently know personally (domestic abuse) where the police are being completely intransigent over this issue. There's also cctv, which the police won't view. But there's 'no evidence' apparently because the victim herself isn't making a complaint.

But there most certainly IS abuse and it has been reported repeatedly by more than one witness.

I think that the attitude of 'there's no evidence' is seriously misjudged in cases like this, and is part of a culture of dismissing victims as unimportant and disposable.

Missingstreetlife Wed 13-Mar-19 11:14:22

I would like us to get away from he was abused himself as if that's an excuse or reason. Millions of people are abused and it doesn't make them abusers. There may be som correlation but it's by no means a causal link. It's an abuse of power and an addictive behaviour, deal with it and take responsibility.

TheHolySmirk Wed 13-Mar-19 11:14:28

But you can't just rely on allegations and witness testimony.

The courts would be over run with witch hunts and rumours.

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 11:20:14

Already people are saying things on this thread which are examples of what I mean ;

'I would consider what I know of them, if they had a history of lying'

Everyone in the world has at some point told a lie.

I still wait to hear what people feel constitutes evidence. I should imagine there are very few people who consider Savile to have been innocent?

heartshapedknob Wed 13-Mar-19 11:21:32

Twenty years ago, victims were not believed. It’s nothing to do with social media and everything to do with the fact that protecting a man’s reputation comes way above supporting a victim.

CPS data suggests that for every 161 prosecutions brought for rape - and the bar for prosecution is high - there is 1 false allegation.
(Source: www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-men-are-more-likely-to-be-raped-than-be-falsely-accused-of-rape )

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 11:21:37

My point was that everyone lies sometimes. Does that mean that we keep on enabling abusers to get away with their crimes and to turn a blind eye?

BarbarianMum Wed 13-Mar-19 11:24:18

Generally the testimony of one witness alone is not sufficient to convict people of a crime. Do you think it should be (genuine question)?

Confusedbeetle Wed 13-Mar-19 11:26:17

For the most part, people don't want to believe the person has done it. Thats why victims get such a bad time in court. Sadly in very rare cases, people have made up false accusations and wrecked lives. A high profile case where a man who's name escapes me accuse Ted Heath and others at Westminster of outrageous crime including murder.
The police were under a lot of pressure to believe all accusers. On the other had charming groomers will always manage to have people who cannot believe they would do such things, that is their skill.
MJ was the ultimate manipulating groomer. Fans cannot face the fact they worship a rapist

TheHolySmirk Wed 13-Mar-19 11:28:07

Evidence might be physical injuries, DNA, video/photo evidence, testimony including descriptions of things which couldn't reasonably be explained (descriptions of a perpetrator's physical characteristics for example).

That would just be hard evidence.

Testimony of multiple disparate witnesses, who demonstrably have no connection to one another might count too, but is more difficult to convict on.

user1493413286 Wed 13-Mar-19 11:30:35

I think people just don’t like to accept that it takes place. I think it can be easier to just say they’re making it up than to imagine that this takes place and is so widespread. This is further cemented by people knowing someone who has been accused of this and always having previously liked that person and thought they were nice so rather than have to adjust to this person not being who they thought they were they’d rather think it was a lie

ShartGoblin Wed 13-Mar-19 11:31:10

I've seen someone's life almost destroyed due to a false accusation. I've also seen a victim's life almost destroyed for not being believed. I have been a victim myself and not been believed.

For those reasons, I won't trust either side based on witness accounts alone. However, I would never say to someone that I don't believe them, I could never be so cruel. If a friend came to me and told me this had happened then I would believe them because I know and trust my friends and I don't know enough about a stranger to trust them. If a friend came to me and accused another friend and that other friend came to me crying because they had been falsely accused then I honestly have no idea what I would do or what my default position would be. I can only hope that I'm never in that situation because I would feel sick at the thought of getting it wrong.

@AutumnCrow you raise a very valid point about domestic abuse, someone I know is going through this now and she won't accept help. It's heartbreaking to be able to do nothing and the law definitely needs to change there. I find it disgusting that someone suffering all kinds of physical and emotional manipulation is the one being relied on to ask for help.

Catscratchclub Wed 13-Mar-19 11:33:15

I was raped / sexually abused for several years by a family member. It was ingrained in me that no one would believe me, and they were right to a degree - my mum in particular never really believed me at the time. The very nature of abuse is that it’s one persons word against another’s. The man who abused me was likeable, charming, well thought of. I on the other hand fell apart. I skipped school, was drinking, had mood swings. Sometimes I was overly nice to my abuser (because I hoped it would stop him hurting me later on) other times I was so scared I would shake and be unable to talk. What I’m trying to say is that I looked like the trouble maker, where as the man who abused me was seen to be golden. When I told people, I didn’t have the repution to be believed whereas he did.

BarbarianMum Wed 13-Mar-19 11:36:59

I think thats a very common scenario Catscratch. Im so sorry it happened to you. flowers

MaverickSnoopy Wed 13-Mar-19 11:42:03

Hmmm well respectfully some people do lie about it.

I have a family member who has/is lying about it. There are many things that don't make sense and facts refute it. Aside from that she says she has been to the police (several years ago and ongoing apparently) about it and tells us detailed facts about the process. I have a family member (other side of family) who works for the police and has been able to clarify that the process she talks about wouldn't actually happen. She often contradicts herself and her lies are easy to see through. Aside from that she is a compulsive liar and has made up some very serious things over the years and it's taken us a long time to really see the situation for what it is. Always coinciding with positive family news.

Having been raped myself (although mostly kept it to myself) my default position is always to believe and support the victim. This was my position before I was raped too. In the scenario that I've described above though, I just can't believe it.

I absolutely see why people don't always believe it. However we've been exposed to a lot of the details and have been able to see over a long period of time what the truth is. Where this isn't the case I very strongly feel that people are too quick to assume. In the case of loved ones though people don't want to see the bad in people.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 13-Mar-19 11:47:29

Friend knows someone who was accused of murder.

Police had evidence, apparently, he was arrested and thrown in prison to await trial.

No one who knew this guy believed for one second he could have done what he was being accused of. They didn’t believe any evidence that the police put forward.

Friends were right. Real murderer was caught but not before they had devastated this guys life.

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 11:58:15

'Generally the testimony of one witness alone is not sufficient to convict people of a crime. Do you think it should be (genuine question)?'

No, of course not. I think I started the thread to ask what can be done to make things more equal for victims though. Because I think at the moment people trot out the aforementioned narratives in my OP. The same ones every time.

TheHolySmirk Wed 13-Mar-19 12:05:30

People 'trot out' the narratives in your OP, because there is some truth in them.

On the other hand, there are some cases where the hard evidence is irrefutable.

In the cases in between, it would be astonishingly dangerous to fall for the cult of 'we believe you'.

MarieIVanArkleStinks Wed 13-Mar-19 12:07:16

People simply do not want to confront the reality of someone they know being a rapist or sexual abuser. People care more about the perpetrators than their victims.

This was my own recent position. I've been an assault victim and more recently a victim of sustained sexual harrassment and stalking. And I read some of the witness statements in the case, which as far as I was concerned amounted to a second major slap in the face. People didn't want to believe their longstanding colleague with a reputation for mild eccentricity was a mere facade; the real man in fact being a deeply unpleasant sexual predator who enjoyed intimidating women. Far more comfortable for them to believe it's the woman who's lying.

MarieIVanArkleStinks Wed 13-Mar-19 12:08:41

NB my complaint was unequivocally upheld. My employers believed me (and they were the ones privy to ALL the evidence) even if certain colleagues didn't.

GoldenWonderwall Wed 13-Mar-19 12:13:34

I think actually facing the sheer amount of abuse and violence that is carried out behind closed doors is so great that as a society we can’t do it.

80,000 viewing child abuse images, one for every street. 20% of women and girls have been severely sexually assaulted or raped. God knows how many domestic abusers but over 100 women murdered every year by their partner or ex partner. Etc etc. Millions of victims, 10s of 1000s of abusers or potential rapists, it’s not the few thousand that get to court is it? But if we pretend that it is - and there’s just lots of women and children making shit up for reasons then we as a society don’t have to face the truth. Which is that it’s a domestic war zone for many. I envy people who go through life blithely believing that these things are the products of people’s confused or malicious imagination instead of the articulation of the unending horror which is many people’s actual lives.

False allegations of abuse and sexual violence are no higher than other crimes, I hope the fencesitters bear that in mind next time they hear a friend has been mugged or burgled or had their car broken into or been phished or been scammed.

SpamChaudFroid Wed 13-Mar-19 12:26:59

there’s just lots of women and children making shit up for reasons then we as a society don’t have to face the truth.

Exactly, Golden. On hearing about the years of assaults from my ex my mother told me she didn't think it was true because I should have "just pushed him off", and "well you know you have a bit of a temper, Spam". hmm

LucyAutumn Wed 13-Mar-19 12:35:19

I was raped and groomed at 13. My friends didn't believe me because years before I had lied about being adopted and speaking fluent Spanish. One of them brought up the name of my rapist a few years ago at a party infront of my husband. It's absolutely destroyed me, more than the actual rape, that my friends still to this day think of him as just an ex 'boyfriend'.

SmarmyMrMime Wed 13-Mar-19 12:39:20

In the case of crimes where the evidence is basically one word against another, I don't know how you can make it a fair balance between believing victims and not over-zealously attributing guilt to people who may be innocent. I can't vouch for the USA, but in Britain the proof needs to be beyond reasonable doubt. There have been cases where it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that a "victim" has lied. Miscarriages of justice have occured for other crimes through more "evidence" than one testimony over another. As much as I loathe victims being disbelieved and crimes going unchallenged, I don't want culture to swing too far the other way to innocent lives being ruined on one claim over another in assuming guilt. I say this as someone who never reported a sexual assualt because there was no other evidence as record of his offence. I was shaken enough about my experience without having to confidence to have my claims put to scruitiny. Should perverts like my offender get away with it because I also believe in protecting innocents? It's an interesting moral question.

The only thing I can confidently say is that in the case of Michael Jackson money has corrupted justice and truth.

If the original 1993 case surfaced now in a post Saville culture where we are improving our understanding of grooming, public perception would be different to when the earlier claims were made. But this is a celebrity that people grew up with from being a cute child in the 1970s, with a very distinctive, influential talent that has inspired so many music/ dance artists. Guilt was not established beyond reasonable doubt in 1993 or 2005. It is credible that allegations could have been made, motivated by money and pay-offs. It is also likely that the grooming culture and money beyond a victim's wildest dreams eventually outweighed the battle of proving the guilt of a much-loved, highly influential, very affluent celebrity. Evading a guilty verdict twice does undermine confidence in current allegations.

Saville was different in that the sheer swathe of consistent testiomonies of victims and juniors that knew an open secret of his actions opened up more recently after his death. His actions were conducted more openly, not behind closed gates with his own staff. His sphere of influence was also significantly more reduced after death, both through family and legacy of "product". It is considerably easier to believe posthumously beyond reasonable doubt that he was guilty of the allegations made in the case of Saville than Jackson.

NWQM Wed 13-Mar-19 12:41:02

But shouldn’t the reaction of ‘no, surely x isn’t capable of that’ be really fleeting when you remember that your friend is your friend because they are good, sensible people who don’t lie.

In terms of MJ it strikes me that people are very hung up on defining the abuse as if some level of exploitation is actually okay. The kids were taken to Neverland to entertain a wealthy stranger were abused by him and their parents. That’s not okay. We know it happened. He was not innocent.

GoldenWonderwall Wed 13-Mar-19 12:50:14

flowers spam and for all the posters who talk on mn and elsewhere about the violence and abuse they have endured, which has never ever come close to a police report, even amongst a sea of views regarding ‘where’s the evidence?’

Of course loads of crimes take place where there’s no witnesses or evidence. You’d have to be pretty stupid or incredibly arrogant to carry out a crime in plain sight that could be done behind closed doors. Obviously a lot of evidence is ignored or dismissed beyond witness testimony including cctv, other witnesses and physical evidence. Jackson being a case in point as he carried out his grooming under the gaze of millions.

mollycoddle77 Wed 13-Mar-19 14:26:09

where there is an accusation of abuse, it has to be a case of investigating the accused, searching their house and computer for example, criminal history, other allegations made in the past etc etc to make a complete picture and to establish whether "no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime" (quick google search on what constitutes proof beyond reasonable doubt). In the MJ case there are just so many facts beyond the men's testimonies that it is almost incomprehensible that someone would try to defend his innocence. In other cases, Cliff Richard's for example, there was one allegation at one point but absolutely no other evidence found at his house, from what around him were saying etc etc.

In fact all crimes are like that aren't they? It's all the known pieces and the picture they paint, only very very rarely do you have hard proof of a crime like that he perpetrator being caught on camera doing it.

AutumnCrow Wed 13-Mar-19 17:58:09

AutumnCrow you raise a very valid point about domestic abuse, someone I know is going through this now and she won't accept help. It's heartbreaking to be able to do nothing and the law definitely needs to change there. I find it disgusting that someone suffering all kinds of physical and emotional manipulation is the one being relied on to ask for help

@ShartGoblin I am so glad you get it. I've been wondering whether to pursue this via a police complaints procedure. If the police won't take statements and won't view cctv, they are being disingenuous surely in saying they've no evidence to go on?

I am pretty sure police forces can and should be gathering evidence and making their own cases to go to the CPS since rules around domestic abuse changed.

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 18:09:41

@LucyAutumn that is just awful. I don't think they sound like your friends 😢😢

Gingerkittykat Wed 13-Mar-19 18:19:06

www.theguardian.com/law/2014/dec/01/109-women-prosecuted-false-rape-allegations

109 women prosecuted for false rape allegations in 5 years, a tiny fraction of the number of women and girls who are raped or sexually assaulted.

People seem to be far more concerned about the damage of false accusations than the damage of rape.

People don't want to believe somebody the know and like can be capable of a crime like that, much easier to believe it is the dodgy guy hiding in the bushes. It was very easy to believe an oddball like Saville was guilty, far harder when it is Mr normal.

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 18:20:30

'People seem to be far more concerned about the damage of false accusations than the damage of rape'

Yes, quite 😢

TVandToast Wed 13-Mar-19 18:31:33

A very small number of people lie about having been abused and everyone is dissgusted that anyone could make that up. Abusers then use people's disgust to their advantage. It's awful. Celebrities/rich people have the added 'advantage' of saying they are making it up because they want money. People buy into the brand that celebrities create and then think they wouldn't commit such a terrible crime. That combined with something like rape being very hard to prove makes people think the victim may be lying.

The MJ documentary was very difficult to watch. I have no doubt he was a paedophile. He was also very clever at how he got in with the families, tricked them into thinking he was child like and then manipulated all involved. I'm shocked anyone can defend him.

Thesigerbriber Wed 13-Mar-19 18:40:59

It's also sad that usually along with abuse goes this awful parallel personality of the abuser participating in grandiose gestures of generosity and kindness. See .., jimmy saville and his charity work. See Michael Jackson. See all those members of the Catholic Church / other religious groups over time . It's easier sometimes for people to not believe a victim than to give up their property, special privileges, social status, financial gain etc.
Even though we'd all like to believe we have a moral high ground, it's alarming how many people will do business with say, a convicted rapist or perpetrator of domestic violence, if the price is a little lower than other offers.

Thesigerbriber Wed 13-Mar-19 18:48:03

Like if someone says
Bob next door is a violent wife beater.
And there was some evidence, even a teeny bit to suggest it was true. And you'd heard it from his wife too. You'd not want much to do with Bob.
But if Bob had given you a lovely free five bed house, a nice sports car, free food at Nandos for life and a few diamonds.
Most people would be like
Ah... "I can't believe it. He was always good to us Bob"
It's just how it works, sadly.

colouringinpro Wed 13-Mar-19 18:51:09

Yanbu OP I had exactly the same thought especially regarding the MJ situation.

We don't doubt burglary victims, victims of other crimes, why these?

GoldenWonderwall Wed 13-Mar-19 19:00:46

If someone wants to abuse children then it’s much easier if you can groom adults as well as children because it will make it easier to access them. Money, power and status make that process even easier because lots of people get stars in their eyes and appear to lose several faculties of critical thinking.

If you like hurting women (abuse, dv, sexual assault, rape) you can do much better by being superficially charming, good looking, successful etc as the women you meet will be less guarded and the people who know you will believe you in criminal proceedings more than a dodgy smelly bloke in a mac who enjoys loitering down dark alleys.

This stuff is hardly rocket science and it doesn’t seem to take a particularly skilled abuser to pull this stuff off. Tbh if someone I knew was pulled for sexual assault/rape/child abuse I’d believe the charges to be honest as logically it’s more likely to be true than a false accusation. What also happens ime is when someone is charged and found guilty people then start coming out of the woodwork with examples of their inappropriate behaviour or concerns they had about them. Every time so far ime.

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 19:03:38

I wonder whether we will now see more people coming out about MJ.

I was absolutely horrified to see what a narcissist he was.

EnthusiasmIsDisturbed Wed 13-Mar-19 19:04:29

Lots of reasons

We have been conditioned into believing (and only recently questioning this) that men have to have sex, that girls from a young age flirt and are sexual, that the abuser is confused by their feelings and must be understood (usually because the are male)

Now we are talking more openly about sexual abuse and rape of young boys people are confused by it, it’s too much to take on it’s too much to comprehend and even try to understand

It will take time for things to change and they are not quick enough but it’s always happened and it’s only in very recent year that it’s being spoken about publicly

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 19:05:31

I grew up involved in the world of dance and my mum and I agreed that there were stage mums at that time who would have let their kids stay at celebrities houses.

Thesigerbriber Wed 13-Mar-19 19:22:17

@ElektraLOL
I think in some dance circuits this is still the way. In a way it's difficult, say for ballerinas from less affluent places, being offered massive opportunities that surpass their wildest dreams. Parents are often in such a difficult position, maybe they can't afford to accompany with siblings in tow, hotels are expensive... Another dancer has a friend with an apartment etc. I imagine it's the same for classical musicians, athletes etc.
we all like to think we'd say never ever ever. But sometimes a child's ambition and our inability to fulfill it financially leads to risky lines being crossed.

Oblomov19 Wed 13-Mar-19 19:32:19

What is considered 'hard evidence'?

I disagree with holy:

"Evidence might be physical injuries, DNA, video/photo evidence, testimony including descriptions of things which couldn't reasonably be explained (descriptions of a perpetrator's physical characteristics for example).

That would just be hard evidence.

Testimony of multiple disparate witnesses, who demonstrably have no connection to one another might count too, but is more difficult to convict on."

Is testimony hard evidence? Is it considered to be, in a court of law?

Personally, I don't think it is.
Someone could stand up in court and claim anything. About any one of us: me, you, anyone.

I wouldn't expect to be convicted on heresay. Just because someone claims it.
That's not evidence!

The courts would be a laughing stock. With murder there is a body and dna and evidence.

What 'hard' evidence is there if sexual abuse had happened years ago. Unfortunately there is often little. None. Not enough to convict.

Unfortunately is virtually impossible to prove. I wish it was easier to prove. But it's just not.

dangermouseisace Wed 13-Mar-19 19:48:15

I think part of the issue feeding into it is when people go on trial for abuse/rape and get found not guilty due to “lack of evidence”. They interpret “not guilty” as “innocent” and the victim is made out to be a liar, rather than a jury not thinking there was insufficient evidence for a jury to feel a person was definitely, without a doubt, guilty.

Also people who don’t understand abuse believe that if someone was abused they would hate their abuser and avoid being with them. Ppl on a friends Facebook couldn’t comprehend how those men had admired/loved MJ when he did those things to them. They see that as proof they were lying/duplicitous.

dangermouseisace Wed 13-Mar-19 19:48:58

Typo with a not, sorry

LunafortJest Wed 13-Mar-19 20:42:58

@ShartGoblin So you don't believe the victims of Catholic priests then?

ShartGoblin, very rarely is there 'evidence' of childhood sexual abuse. Very, very, very rarely. So going by your absolutist thought process, almost no child molestor or even rapist would be convicted.

People don't make this shit up. Men especially, do not make this shit up. Child molestors don't tend to have witnessess hanging around them or cctv footage, so the 'evidence' you want will never be there to satisfy you. So if we go on your logic, no child molestor or rapist would ever be convicted. That is the problem with such black and white absolutist thinking. You want evidence that simply can't be given.

LunafortJest Wed 13-Mar-19 20:48:12

@TheHolySmirk "But you can't just rely on allegations and witness testimony."

But that is ALL most abuse cases have to go on! Priests are convicted, 30 years later, and obviously evidence is no longer in existence, if it ever was.

We can, and we DO convict on the basis of allegations and witness testimony. That is how it's always been done. Didn't you realise that?

HeyCarrieAnneWhatsYourGame Wed 13-Mar-19 20:56:49

Haven’t RTFT so this may have been said, but as a victim of grooming/abuse myself I think part of the issue is that abusers are often very skilled at making everyone feel sorry for them and so therefore, that image persists.

TitchyP Wed 13-Mar-19 21:07:18

The one thing that strikes me is that so many of MJs fans say, well, Macauley Culkin says it was all perfectly innocent. So what if HE came forward and said he had been abused, would they believe it then? Why should one be believed over another?

I think MJ was savvy enough to realise that a famous child was more likely to be believed than a non famous one. Or couldn't be paid off so easily. He chose his victims carefully, IMO.

ElektraLOL Wed 13-Mar-19 21:08:28

I agree Titchy.

Thesigerbriber Wed 13-Mar-19 21:13:13

Yeah I think an abuser chooses victims carefully . But then chooses the people they specifically don't abuse with even more care.
Like the guy that beats his wife but does odd jobs for the ladies on the church committee. He knows their power... Their church gossip... What a kind man... Always been good to me etc etc.

redexpat Wed 13-Mar-19 21:20:28

People simply do not want to confront the reality of someone they know being a rapist or sexual abuser. A friend of mine once said to me that this is because if the "nice" or "good" people are capable of this then suddenly the world is an unsafe place and that is scary.

FromEden Wed 13-Mar-19 21:28:21

The one thing that strikes me is that so many of MJs fans say, well, Macauley Culkin says it was all perfectly innocent. So what if HE came forward and said he had been abused, would they believe it then?

Of course they wouldnt. They would do the same as they have done with Wade and Safechuck. Especially as MC has allegedly had a serious drug problem in the past, they would use that to discredit him. They will never allow even a chink of doubt to creep in

NorthernBullet Wed 13-Mar-19 22:29:13

When I was 14, there were 3 of us who were 'best mates' among a large group of kids. 2 girls and one boy in the three. One day right after school me and my boy mate were in his sister's empty house watching films together. We then went out to meet the large group. Everyone was up in arms as the other girl who'd usually hang out with us had said our boy mate had led her into a wooded area where there was an old shed and sexually assaulted her. One girl had apparently witnessed them walking into the woods together (impossible, as he was say right next to me). Half the school seemed to split between knowing she was lying, or jumping on the drama and accusing of me of lying for this boy! It was horrendous. She's made similar accusations since. Even as a survivor of rape myself, its hard to not be cynical sometimes.

Buddytheelf85 Wed 13-Mar-19 22:48:07

I think part of the issue feeding into it is when people go on trial for abuse/rape and get found not guilty due to “lack of evidence”. They interpret “not guilty” as “innocent” and the victim is made out to be a liar, rather than a jury not thinking there was insufficient evidence for a jury to feel a person was definitely, without a doubt, guilty.

Absolutely. I think this is a very common misconception. There’s a comment upthread where a poster has said that it is frequently found in court beyond all reasonable doubt that the victim is lying. No. That’s not how it works. If a jury can’t find beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, that doesn’t mean that they automatically find that the accuser is lying - far from it!

Vixxxy Wed 13-Mar-19 23:01:32

A lot of people seem way more concerned about false accusations than actual abuse..it upsets me sometimes how many straight away 'they could be lying'. Well yes they could be, but its unlikely going by statistics. These people who get up in arms about false accusations do not seem to get so angry about actual rapes and such, of which there are many more.

The MJ thing has made me rethink a lot of my friendships actually. I know that sounds OTT but the stuff some friends are saying about the guys is just disgusting. Also the ridiculous 'X says he did not do anything o him therefore he is clearly innocent' does my head in. Paedos generally do not abuse every single child they come across, you could produce thousands of kids who came into contact with Saville at some stage and were not abused..means nothing. Yet in the MJ case its more 'proof' that the people he abused are lying hmm

ElektraLOL Thu 14-Mar-19 13:47:31

I feel the same about that. But honestly people just repeat what they've heard

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »