We have been asked to start a group for those affected by false accusations and today have launched a new group on Facebook:
We invite all those willing to help others to join the group and contribute.
Author: Jason Manning
Sometimes people make false claims of victimhood. These could take the form of hate crime hoaxes — pretending one has been victimized by some unknown member of another social group– or of falsely accusing a particular individual of personal wrongdoing.
In The Rise of Victimhood Culture, Bradley Campbell and I address social factors that make false accusations more likely. One of these factors is institutional: To the extent agencies charged with policing misconduct are bound by rules of due process, false accusations will be rarer. Where due process is limited or absent, false accusations increase.
The reason for this is simple: By requiring a set of procedural rights that protect the accused from being falsely convicted, due process makes it more likely that false accusations will be revealed. This not only makes them a less reliable weapon against one’s enemy, but also makes them more dangerous, since exposure of the lie might lead to trouble for the accuser. On the other hand, if accusations reliably lead to punishment even when evidence of guilt is lacking, then falsely accusing others becomes a safer and more attractive option for getting back at someone.
The erosion of due process is often driven by moral fervor. The urge to punish deviants and protect or avenge innocents can lead to impatience with rules and restrictions that protect the accused. In a victimhood culture, with its extreme sensitivity to slights against anyone perceived as disadvantaged, this means the destruction of due process for those accused of offenses against women and minorities.
We see this in zeal with which the Department of Education has interpreted Title IX, a law forbidding sexual discrimination, as requiring universities to investigate and punish claims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. Even when legal action is possible, universities are to handle the matter themselves, and to do so using fewer due process protections than the law would provide, including a much lower standard of proof required for conviction and punishment. As we note in our book, this also leads to cases where “universities refuse to inform accused students of the details of the charges against them, refuse to allow them to ask questions of the accuser, refuse to look at evidence that might be exculpatory, and order them not to speak about the case to anyone.”
This lack of due process for the accused makes it more likely that people will handle conflicts through accusations to authorities. This is so even when the substance of the conflict has little to do with the content of the accusation. People who wish to use authority to punish someone else do not necessarily complain about what is really bothering them; rather, they complain of whatever offense it is that authorities will reliability punish. Authorities in the Soviet Union, for instance, would quickly and uncritically accept accusations of disloyalty to the Communist state. Because this was a sure way to cause trouble for one’s adversary, all sorts of ordinary interpersonal disputes having nothing to do with politics could lead to such accusations. In our book, we cite cases from the work of historian Sheila Fitzpatrick:
“For example, the wife of a biologist denounced a powerful communist in the same profession as ‘a vulgarian who pulls the wool over people’s eyes, a pitiful scientific pigmy, a plagiarist and compiler’” while “the agitprop files in Moscow contain many letters from leading actors, actresses, and opera singers denouncing the theater directors who had insulted them and failed to give them appropriate roles”…. One man served an eight-year sentence due to a complaint about “counterrevolutionary agitation” that apparently arose because his communal neighbors were jealous of the size of his family’s room (Fitzpatrick 1996:856).
With this in mind, consider a recent description of a Title IX investigation published by Ingrid Jacques in The Detroit News. It describes the case of sociologist and demographer Pamela Smock, who had a close mentoring relationship with several female students.
“A few weeks prior, while at a conference with one of the students, Smock had gently confronted the woman about a paper she had turned in for another class. Smock had reason to question whether this was her student’s work, and she was concerned.
The student did not take the conversation well.
Within a few weeks, campus police stormed Smock’s office, searching for a reported gun (she didn’t have one). And around the same time, she was informed harassment allegations were filed against her with the university’s Office for Institutional Equity, which investigates Title IX gender discrimination complaints.”
The police quickly found she had no firearm, and despite their low standard of proof, the Title IX investigation ultimately acquitted Smock of “creating a sexually hostile work environment.” But the final report did call her behavior “inappropriate,” and this led to further sanctions:
“The dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, Andrew Martin, found the report “troubling” and decided some punishment was necessary. So he sanctioned her, meaning her salary is frozen, she can’t take a sabbatical and she can’t serve as the primary or sole adviser to doctoral students for at least three years.
. . . In sanctioning Smock, the Dean referenced the Title IX complaint. Even though she was cleared of official wrongdoing, there was still something he didn’t like. But neither Martin nor anyone else in the department has specified exactly what Smock did wrong — or what policy she violated.”
Smock is now suing the University for violating her rights to due process and free speech.
The article relates Smock’s side of the story, and it could be the root of the conflict was something other than the confrontation it describes. If this story is accurate, though, it shows the ease with which one can handle a grievance – any grievance – with an accusation of discrimination or harassment. Even a heterosexual woman and self-described feminist can be punished with accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination against a female student. Furthermore, she might be punished even if found innocent of that particular charge. If acquittal can still result in punishment, the validity of the initial accusation is not relevant – falsely accusing someone stands a good chance of hamstringing their career, and so is a reliable weapon of social conflict.
Those of us who did not witness Smock’s interaction with her students, or read the evidence presented against her, cannot know for certain whether she violated any university policy or did anything we would find inappropriate. But if accusations inevitably lead to sanctions, and if administrators can punish without specifying any wrongdoing, it does not matter — anyone could be punished, regardless of their innocence. Thus false accusations and false claims of victimhood will inevitably become a more attractive option for anyone with an ax to grind.
Original source: http://victimhoodculture.com/index.php/2018/03/03/false-accusations-due-process/
#dontcrywolf Campaign Aims To Stop False Abuse Allegations
Dontcrywolf.org Asking For Victims of False Abuse Allegations To Share Their Stories
BOSTON (PRWEB) May 11, 2018
A new web based organization, Dontcrywolf.org has launched this week with the mission of bringing awareness to the growing epidemic of false abuse allegations today that is destroying lives, clogging up the judicial system, and distracting attention away the stories of real victims of abuse (whether it be domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, etc.).
Much like the #metoo movement, the site has started a #dontcrywolf hashtag campaign to bring awareness to this societal issue and is asking victims of false abuse allegations to come forward and share their stories on the Dontcrywolf.org website. The hope is that these stories will change the perception of many that these types of allegations rarely occur, have minimal impact, and is acceptable as collateral damage for the benefits of other social movements.
About the Problem Being Faced: The impact of the false abuse allegations to the accused can be disastrous: From high legal defense fees, to loss of career, to loss of standing in the community, to loss of child custody, to loss of freedom and civil liberties. The price victims of false abuse allegations pay is high. Yet, today, the accuser rarely faces any legal accountability for their actions. Would be false accusers have the freedom in many instances to abuse the protection from abuse programs and laws in place with no repercussions. These self-serving individuals, who stand on the back of real abuse victims, are aware of this and are littering our legal system with these matters and are taking away the validity of real abuse victims claims. In addition to destroying lives, every false allegation of domestic violence, domestic abuse, sexual abuse and child abuse drowns out the voices, cries, and stories of real abuse victims.
About Dontcrywolf.org: Dontcrywolf.org stands to help come up with collaborative solutions that will put a stop to false abuse allegations. Join us in our efforts to bring awareness to this issue and help stop false abuse allegations in its tracts and help maintain a clear pathway for real abuse victims to have their voices heard and their abusers held accountable.
This release can be viewed online here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15476599.htm
We invite anyone that has been wrongfully accused of domestic abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse. etc. to use the #dontcrywolf hashtag to get the word out about this important issue we are facing today. The more people aware, the more likely change will happen. Feel free to link back to dontcrywolf.org to help spread the word.
Author: dontcrywolf.org staff
You may be asking yourself why bother sharing your own story. For the longest time I know I asked myself that same question. I would convince myself that no one cares and that my struggles are mine alone. Fact is, your stories make a difference, not only to yourself, but to others that are struggling with similar situations.
I recently ran across a very good post by Sherry Hamby, Ph.D, a research professor of psychology at Sewanee, The University of the South in Sewanee, TN. She discusses the 4 major beneifts to sharing your story:
1. Realize your stories can help others
2. Finding your voice
3. Re-affirming your values
4. Finding peace and hope
Read her full post here, and when you are ready, come back and share your story. It will make a difference.
Please click the button below to share your story. Your identity does not have to be revealed. Our staff will publish your story on your behalf.