Reading today’s news about allegations of child abuse that seem to appear everyday, I only hope that they are true. ‘But they must be true’ I hear some say ‘People wouldn’t make things as nasty as sexual abuse, up would they’ Well sadly ,yes they would and yes they do. This is the main reason for my being so angry when a person shouts rape or abuse when it isn’t true! One of the biggest crimes in my opinion! As you my readers know, I have been involved with a nasty person who cried rape over and over, so my reasons for feeling angry when this happens are also personal.
A few years ago, in my role as Lead Counsellor for a local County Council, I was asked to see a few employees who had been accused of historical sexual abuse. I was very apprehensive but had faith in my experience and training and knew I could fulfill my role.
At first I saw 3 clients, two women and one man who at first thought it would all just be seen for what it was, a made up story. One lady left her job and didn’t feel she needed therapy at that point. They all thought that yes, of course the police had to look into the allegations but would soon realise that none of it was true and not formally charge them. But the two remaining, were arrested and charged and the gentleman concerned was to be tried for child sexual abuse and being part of a paedophile ring. The women was charged with the same offences and her fate would depend on the outcome of this trial. The two young men making the allegations, had known the three accused and had given their story to the police.
I saw all three clients weekly and soon believed they were all innocent, although I couldn’t say this as Counselors in their work with clients need to be non-judgemental and impartial.
During the years I was working with these clients, 18 months up until the trial began, 4 months during the trial and a few years after. I supported them as best I could and worked with the many fears and issues that came as a result of being charged with these evil offences.
The first client a young woman in her ’30’s, breezed into my consulting room the first day, with beautiful red curls bouncing off the side of her face. She was very pretty and began by saying she knew everything would be okay, she had done nothing wrong and at that time, hadn’t been given the facts of the allegations. She had been suspended from work until it was all resolved. Over the weeks,I watched her change from this vivacious lady to a bewildered, scared, introvert who after a few months, only left the house to come to my clinic. She was terrified for the safety of her children and her husband. She knew people would talk and was afraid of what the children would hear. There came a time that her fear for them made her have suicidal thoughts. It was only working with what she knew was the truth, that she was able to cope. Her initial disbelief of what was happening to her, turned to bewilderment and then fear and horror and she was scared that even when she was found to be innocent, mud would stick. After a few weeks she was unrecognizable and knew that life would never be quite the same again.
The same for the man concerned, he was a wonderfully sporty extrovert, a gentleman who was thought highly of, both by his family and friends and the community. He loved children and that showed in his work. He also at first thought it would all ‘blow over’ after all, ‘it was ludicrous, I wouldn’t harm anyone’ he said on more than one occasion. Over time,he became someone who came into my room with his head down, his clothes scruffy and his hair uncombed. He never went out anymore and his marriage was under a lot of pressure. Eventually, not because she thought he was guilty but because of the strain and the change in her husband, his wife left.
Even with the support and counseling, these clients were struggling to cope and I was worried for their mental health.
I continued to see them for 18 months after the trial but although they managed to get their lives back, they both said they would never be the same again. They had trust issues, were still a bit afraid around children in case someone accused them of anything. Their personalities changed and although they are both now happy, they have changed. Life will never be the same for either of them. They were happy before these young men made these wicked accusations.
It appeared that the young men concerned, at first thought it was funny, then they heard of someone getting compensation for historical sexual abuse and thought they could do the same. The stories to begin with were believable but they took things too far, their lies became too awful to believe, they made so many allegations they would have to have been abused every single day by these clients, even when the accused were out of the country. To be a good liar, you have to have all your facts in place and have a very good memory. As I have always said, ‘when evil and stupidity meet, yer gonna get caught’. I welcome this stupidity at this time.
I know that the police have no choice and that anyone claiming to have been sexually abused or raped, should be listened to and believed. The steps to find out the truth have to happen and sometimes the innocent are caught up in someone else’s lies and fantasy. My point to all of this, is that claiming to be victims of these horrendous crimes when it is not true is unforgivable and makes others wary of believing real victims. If an accusation is made, the offender needs punishing and the victim supported. If it is lies then the accuser should be named and punished. Nothing will heal the wounds of these sordid nasty lies but if punished, others might think twice before making false allegations against innocent people.