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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.

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

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

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

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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

I agree Titchy.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

Typo with a not, sorry

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 19:03:38

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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 😢

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