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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse

Edited by: Ros Burnett

ISBN13: 9780198723301
Published: September 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £75.00

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Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse fills a gap for an authoritative and considered text focused on false accusations of recent or historical abuse, both as a miscarriage of justice and as an ordeal which impairs lives even when it does not result in criminal charges.

It brings together experts from different disciplinary backgrounds and relevant specialisms to explicate the context, causes, and processes that foster erroneous or fabricated allegations and to consider ways of reducing their incidence and the injustices that follow them.

While there has been a welcome increase in policies which address child abuse, rape and other sexual offences, these tend to neglect or disavow the diametrical problem of false allegations of such offences.

It is inherent in the, typically, unwitnessed and physically uncorroborated nature of these 'hidden' crimes that they are difficult to prosecute; but also to disprove if no crime has been committed. It is right that all allegations of abuse are treated as believable and are rigorously investigated, but it is not in the interest of any progressive and robust system of justice to convict or malign innocent people.

The final part looks at the ways such concerns might be addressed whilst remaining mindful of victims of abuse and their suffering.

Tackling an under-researched and under-discussed area, Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse offers thoughtful and thought-provoking discourses around an understandably difficult and sensitive area.

Criminal Law
PART I: THE REALITY OF WRONGFUL ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE What kind of allegations, how prevalent and why do they matter?
1: Ros Burnett: Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse: A Neglected and Growing Category of Injustice
2: Edited by Ros Burnett: Experiencing False Allegations of Abuse: First-hand Accounts
PART II: CULTURE, IDEOLOGY, POLITICS What is the terrain that gives rise to false allegations?
3: Mary deYoung: Demons, Devils and Ritual Abuse: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
4: Frank Furedi: Moral Crusades, Child Protection, Celebrities and the Duty to Believe
5: Mark Smith: Telling Stories? Adults' Retrospective Narratives of Abuse in Residential Child Care
6: John Brigham: 'Rape Culture' Narrative, State Feminism and the Presumption of Guilt
7: Bill Hebenton and Toby Seddon: Making Accusations: Precautionary Logic and Embedded Suspicion in an Insecure and Uncertain World
PART III: THE ALLEGATION: CAUSES, MOTIVATIONS, CASE-STUDIES Why would anyone make a false accusation?
8: Felicity Goodyear-Smith: Why and How False Allegations of Abuse Occur: An Overview
9: Barbara Hewson: The Compensations of Being a Victim
10: J. Guillermo Villalobos, Deborah Davis and Richard A. Leo: His Story, Her Story: Sexual Miscommunication, Motivated Remembering, and Intoxication as Pathways to Honest False Testimony Regarding Sexual Consent
11: Christopher C French and James Ost: Beliefs about Memory, Childhood Abuse and Hypnosis Amongst Clinicians, Legal Professionals and the General Public
12: David Rose: To Catch a Sex Offender: Police, Trawls and Personal Injury Solicitors
PART IV: INTERROGATION, PROSECUTION, CONVICTION, APPEAL How could the justice system get it so wrong?
13: Deborah Davis and Richard A. Leo: When Exoneration Seems Hopeless: The Special Vulnerability of Sexual Abuse Suspects to False Confession
14: Luke Gittos: Complaints of Sexual Abuse and the Decline of Objective Prosecuting
15: Daniel Medwed: 'In denial': the Hazards of Maintaining Innocence After Conviction
16: Michael Zander: When Juries Find Innocent People Guilty: Strengths and Limitations of the Appellate System in England and Wales
17: Steve Herman: Reducing Harm Due to False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse: The Importance of Corroboration
18: Galit Nahari: Advances in Lie Detection: Limitations and Potential for Investigating Allegations of Abuse
19: Robert F. Belli: Toward Reconciliation of the True and False Recovered Memory Debate
20: Timothy Bakken: The Defendant's Plea of Innocent in Sexual Abuse Cases
21: Ros Burnett: Reducing the Incidence and Harms of Wrongful Allegations of Abuse