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"Otherwise...it would be unfair on the molester."
April 25, 2014 12:29 AM   Subscribe

His Career Will Be Absolutely Fine: On Telling People About Being Molested
People who have no vested interest in your father’s job, other than as citizens of a country where he pays taxes, will suddenly be very interested in your father figure’s job. Your sister’s friend will say, “She’s going to ruin your dad’s career.” You’re not even sure she knows what he does. Other things people will say. “These are very serious accusations. This kind of thing can ruin a person’s career.” “You should be very careful what you say because stuff like this can end a person’s career.” “You know this could hurt his career?” It will hurt you, because none of these people give a shit about your career.
A devastating and beautifully written article.
posted by hindmost (36 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
I learned a lot that year. For example, did you know that a sex offender isn’t necessarily charged according to the most current Sexual Offences Act? They’re charged according to the act that was around when they doing that particular molesting, “Otherwise,” the lady police officer explained to me, “It would be unfair on the molester.”

With all due respect, this is really dumb as an outrage-baiting lede. The fact that criminal defendants are charged under the law in effect at the time the alleged criminal act was committed is a good thing; otherwise you risk running afoul of the Constitution's prohibition on ex post facto laws. (There's actually an exception to this for sex offender registration requirements, which have been imposed retroactively in some states.)
posted by eugenen at 1:02 AM on April 25 [28 favorites]


eugenen: With all due respect, this is really dumb as an outrage-baiting lede.

Yes, but "It would be unfair on the molester." is hardly the sensitive way to put things. An important distinction might be that it's one thing if it wasn't illegal at the time (that would be unfair, even if it's common sense don't be a molester 101), it's another if it just carried a smaller sentence.
posted by JauntyFedora at 1:13 AM on April 25 [6 favorites]


The outrage isn't supposed to be about the legal minutiae, it's that the attitude of "unfair on the molester" is emblematic of the general regard our institutions give to people who report sexual assault.

It's like the author's pointing at a horror of our society and you're staring at her index finger.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:24 AM on April 25 [64 favorites]


It just isn't a good example of that attitude. The worst thing you could say is that it was insensitively blunt to phrase the response as "it would be unfair to the molester," even though it would indeed be unfair -- that's why we have prohibitions on ex post facto laws.
posted by eugenen at 1:29 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


[Before this thread becomes thoroughly derailed, let's say it's now been registered in the conversation that defendants being charged under the law in effect at the time of the offense is fine as an element of law, and move on from this point, since the link is not an article about this aspect of the legal system.]
posted by taz at 1:37 AM on April 25 [29 favorites]


This was deeply, deeply bitterly funny. Amazing writing. I started highlighting the best bits to save and after I'd marked up every other paragraph, saved the whole damn thing.
posted by viggorlijah at 1:39 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


dude. index finger. it's the attitudes that allow somebody like a cop—whose job is to deal with people in stressful and vulnerable situations—doesn't bother to think twice about saying so something colossally stupid to a person in an emotionally vulnerable state.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:40 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Powerful article, you can tell how the author has now moved to just weariness about people's ridiculous responses to her father being a molester. I have no idea about how this can be their response to a molestation claim. People can be awful.
posted by arcticseal at 2:22 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Difficult to read, but worth it. Thanks for posting it.
posted by zarq at 3:47 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


[Comment deleted. It's a difficult topic, but perhaps it's better to discuss the article or skip it rather than turn the discussion into an argument about writing style.]
posted by taz at 6:42 AM on April 25 [8 favorites]


I find the use of the second person powerful; it's almost mechanically so, and thus should not be used indiscriminately.

This doesn't seem like an indiscriminate use, and allowed for total gut-punchy effectiveness, even as I was aware that "you" may not have this exact same experience ...

I think maybe shifting to the consequences for the perpetrator is simply a way of avoiding really feeling the horror for the person who was abused. (Consider how awful 'we' often find it to be called a racist.)

We need as a culture to be better at dealing with horror from the perspective of those harmed, and this is just awesome. I have an adult student (who has been very open with me about her childhood abuse) I'll be sending it to this afternoon.

Thanks.
posted by allthinky at 6:44 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


otherwise you risk running afoul of the Constitution's prohibition on ex post facto laws. (There's actually an exception to this for sex offender registration requirements, which have been imposed retroactively in some states.)

Which UK constitution and state requirements would that be, then? This is obviously not American.

Thanks for the post, hindmost. A very powerful piece.
posted by goo at 6:51 AM on April 25 [9 favorites]


This is a really powerful piece, thanks for sharing it.
posted by corb at 6:55 AM on April 25


It's crazy reading this, and thinking about it from the side of (male) people who work with children.

Clearly, this person is experiencing the reality of accusing a family member of a heinous crime and the world around her collectively frowning at her as if to say "really, this?" and then shrugging it's shoulders. Which is weird, because in the works-with-children world, dudes I know are completely terrified of even the hint of impropriety regarding anyone under the age of 18, because it will ruin their career.

And then I think, maybe it only ruins your career if you aren't a pedophile (or hebephile, or whatever). Maybe only people wired to abuse are prepared for accusations and suspicion and are ready to derail it. Maybe if you're accused of it otherwise you're so horrified that you just want to pull up stakes and get out of Dodge. But either way, it's crazy, you know? Because I know a guy who audio records every single interaction he has with students in his office "just in case".

Every man I know considers even the allegation to be potentially life-ruining. I'm not really sure I know what all of that means, but it's weird and sad at the very least, as well as insane, that somehow our system is built in such a way that it might protect abusers and wreck everyone else. Geez.

Good post, worth thinking about. Thanks.
posted by Poppa Bear at 6:57 AM on April 25 [15 favorites]


Poppa Bear: " Clearly, this person is experiencing the reality of accusing a family member of a heinous crime and the world around her collectively frowning at her as if to say "really, this?" and then shrugging it's shoulders. Which is weird, because in the works-with-children world, dudes I know are completely terrified of even the hint of impropriety regarding anyone under the age of 18, because it will ruin their career.

And then I think, maybe it only ruins your career if you aren't a pedophile (or hebephile, or whatever). Maybe only people wired to abuse are prepared for accusations and suspicion and are ready to derail it. Maybe if you're accused of it otherwise you're so horrified that you just want to pull up stakes and get out of Dodge. But either way, it's crazy, you know? Because I know a guy who audio records every single interaction he has with students in his office "just in case".
"

It's different when you're in a family situation. When your abuser is a family member.

When you're working at a job, even if your co-workers or HR department doesn't necessarily want to face the possibility that someone is abusing a child, they will still feel obligated to take accusations of impropriety seriously because there are clear, potential legal repercussions. They may even be trained to handle them.

But when you're talking about one family member accusing another, there's no legal onus of responsibility, just a moral / ethical one. No formal training to lean on and guide those who want to help. . From personal experience, people will do a lot to convince themselves that an abuser is innocent. They tend to not want to face the situation -- to deal with the fact that someone they love and care about might actually be molesting / hurting a child. Also, there are other dynamics at play. You may divide or destroy your own family trying to discover the truth and protect a child.

When it's family, there is less objectivity. Children may not be taken seriously. Abusers can and do exploit that fact.

Child abuse always involves unequal power dynamics between the abuser and the victim. When the abuser is a family member, it's easier to hide what is happening, handwave away accusations and intimidate the victim into silence.
posted by zarq at 7:37 AM on April 25 [15 favorites]


Powerful and so sad. Thanks for posting.
posted by greenish at 7:37 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Which UK constitution and state requirements would that be, then? This is obviously not American.

UK constitutional convention (non-binding), and Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

posted by maledictory at 7:48 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Forewarning: The show's a decade old, but there's going to be spoilers in this comment about an episode of Veronica Mars.

I think that part of the problem is guys like that who work with children--although I don't mean to say that they intend it to be so, or that they have anything but care for the kids they work with. But planning lives around this intense fear of being accused despite being innocent.

So, the Veronica Mars thing, which is the best example I can think of of why this is a problem: there's an episode where she's in high school and her favorite teacher is accused of impropriety with a student. And she loves this guy and he's never been anything but appropriate with her, so she goes to the mat to defend him from what seems to be a false accusation. And it turns out, it is a false accusation--but there's a real one beneath it, only the person who was really abused won't come forward for fear of not being believed. By people like Veronica.

It was a gut-punch, different from this, but because it illustrated for me that we have this narrative, socially, and especially about male teachers and the like, of The Guy Who Is Falsely Accused. Like this is a thing that happens as often as real abuse. Maybe even more often! But--wait. Does it? I mean, not that it hasn't happened before, but is it actually a social phenomenon, kids making things like this up? Why would they do it? Why are we more paranoid about false accusations than about the real thing happening? This is how we built a world where the first thing people think is, "He doesn't seem creepy and yet his daughter is saying this stuff, so there must be a significant chance she's lying."
posted by Sequence at 7:53 AM on April 25 [16 favorites]


Thank you. It is especially harrowing when the people you'd trust to not be idiots about it betray your trust.

I'm kind of surprised that some jobs still ask you for your birth certificate.
posted by divabat at 8:09 AM on April 25


Child molestation is a selfish, disgusting, shameful act of a sociopathic person.

The sheer scope of the lingering damage to a child, which can persist a lifetime if left untreated. The fear, mistrust, anger, broken future relationships, and destructive behaviors instilled in its victims.

And the evil that lurks in the hearts, heads and groins of these monsters. One can almost imagine the grinning leer, the threat of violence or impending destruction of family and lives being levied against a minuscule mind, all of which can be only forestalled by enforced silence.

The repeated attacks, sometimes lasting years. Grinding down the will, forcing acceptance through erosion of the self. How can these evil creatures continue to live, sleep, work, or play? How do we know that they won't continue to do this to someone else?

We don't.

The verdict must be that they should be removed from society for good; whether through jail, institutions or death...

It seems so cut and dry, doesn't it? A molester is evil incarnate, comparable only to serial rapists, thrill-killers, and child murderers.

I have believed this, as far back as I can remember. I have shook with rage at terrible articles describing acts of horror against toddlers, children, and teens. Fantasized about being alone with a molester and doling out a terrible and pain-filled justice the legal system would never condone.

I have long accepted the above, and count myself among the ranks of common society with this line of thinking. I have never and will never see any justification whatsoever for an adult to molest a child...

13 years ago, my sister called and told me that she had been molested by my father as a child.

After years of therapy to get down to the core of her fear, lack of direction, and troubled relationships, she had discovered the cause and condition of these issues during a session.

I paused, pulled the phone from my ear to look at the time: 12:46 PM.

I said nothing. I remember glancing around at the traffic, thinking that there really are a lot of cabs in Manhattan. I mean, there's hardly any passenger cars at all... Well... there's a black one over there. Funny, it kind of looks like a sunflower in the road, surrounded by yellow and...

I remember her voice coming back on the line. A tiny, and if memory hasn't colored it different, a plaintive: Hello?

I pretended I hadn't heard what she said.

She repeated herself. I said, perhaps stupidly, "Are you sure?"

There was another long silence, this time from her end, and she mumbled something about having to go, and my phone beeped in my ear to let me know the call had ended.

I sat on the planter outside of work and lit up a cigarette. I stared blankly at the people carrying their lunch bags, the hustle of the city, and called her back.

We talked for a while, and she described the timeline: Starting at 6, she thinks, and ending around 10 or so, but after that, there was still inappropriate behavior until she left for college.

While she was talking, I remember thinking that all the decades of therapy had fucked up her head worse... but then again... my dad had always drank alcoholically, and had often made sexual comments about women on TV when he was drunk that made us feel really uncomfortable.

I think I must have been responding to her end of the conversation with a mixture of responses like "Oh, wow..." and "Man..." which I usually reserve as a tactic when I don't know how to take what I'm hearing, as she then began describing how her therapist told her that memories can be suppressed for a really long time, and she always knew that there was something there, but it wasn't until she had her breakthrough that her mind would let her focus on the substance of these memories and thoughts.

We ended the call soon after. I had expressed my deepest sympathies for these Terrible Events, and I told her to let me know if she needed anything.

I lit up another cigarette and called my father.

I told him what she had told me, and asked him what he thought of that, in a bit of an accusatory tone.

He was shocked, stunned, and completely confused about her revelation and my accusation. To me, there was nothing false about his reaction. He noted that there had been physical abuse (which we were both completely aware of), mental abuse and his drinking, and that there had been some weird "shenanigans" which went on at our Uncle's house when my Uncle used to watch us, but that he had no knowledge of anything sexual, and certainly didn't do it himself.

I went back upstairs and sat at my desk. I tried to work for a few hours, but I couldn't seem to really focus on anything.

Later that afternoon, my father sent a few emails regarding some cases where therapy and hypnosis therapy (which my sister had done a few times very recently to this), resulted in false memories being created, including sexual abuse.

I kind of skimmed them, but quickly put them in the deleted folder without really reading them.

Over the next hours and days, I was faced with a reality: There is a lie.

There can only be one truth, and whether it's a lie borne out of shame and guilt, or an untruth borne out of therapy-gone-wrong, there is a lie.

Yet... they are both so believable.

One does not lie about being molested, and while it is expected that one would lie about not molesting someone, his reaction was so genuine and believable.

I am confused and torn. I feel like everything I know has been ripped apart. Like I don't know what's real and what's not. I withdraw. I stop picking up calls from either my sister and my father.

I am angry. I am angry at her for bringing this up after all this time. I am angry at him for the possibility of being this monster. I am angry at myself for not being able to discern the Truth. I am angry at the world, and at God, for even allowing this to be a Thing.

I start suspecting what he may have done to me. I go over every interaction I can remember. Why was he sitting on my back that one time? Was that really wrestling? ... There is nothing there.

She is crazy.

He is a liar.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Until, "Fine, they're both right... Fuck them. She can go be crazy, wacko over there, and he can be a fucked up, piece of shit pervert over there. I quit."

I distance myself from both of them, withdraw emotionally and physically from both of their lives. Since I cannot determine the truth, then there can be nothing. I want to be on the side of Right, but I cannot know with whom the Right is.

...


This is still kind of where I am with this today. I have made my peace that I will never know the truth... that in their own minds, they are both right, and so it must be in my mind.

I keep them at arms distance. I speak to them separately, and never about them to one or the other unless a direct question is asked. After 13 years, it still sickens me, and I know that I have done great damage to both of these relationships in order to preserve their existence.

I have expressed my doubts to my sister with her experience, and I have expressed my doubts to my father with his response.

So with this issue, I sit on the fence, my sister on one side, my father on the other.


That's my story anyway.
posted by Debaser626 at 8:18 AM on April 25 [65 favorites]


Well said Debaser. It's funny, as we know false memories from therapy are actually a serious issue, and that myriad tests have determined how utterly shite our early memories are. The ability to have memories implanted into our memory of childhood, without us knowing is VERY staggering. I mean you don't realize it until you sit down and pull up the robust medical lit and you're just thinking "Holy shit, they convinced over 50% of these people they ALL had the same memory when they were five?? WOW" And then you read about the ability to implant or faux-discover sex abuse. And it's really fucked up. Because on one hand someone pours their pain, heart, and soul out. But you also know that while they probably truly believe it, you know there is this disturbing reality that it could have been fabricated, and they wouldn't even know it.

So how do you reconcile that disturbing fact with legal zealotry and profound empathy and love for the accuser? It's probably not possible. When we know false accusations are rife, due to poor memory or malice, and we have zero evidence, how can you lock or imprison a person? I mean maybe there is a 20-80% chance they did some of the things they are accused of, but can we truly imprison them for that?

Anyway, well written piece. Whatever the truth is, the author is clearly in a lot of pain, and I sincerely hope she is able to find peace and justice.
posted by jjmoney at 9:22 AM on April 25


A friend of mine was molested as a child by a sibling. Absolutely devastating to the family and well in the past before we had ever met. Years of therapy and dealing with it made them stronger, but with a lot of land mines that would suddenly detonate when I'd walk moose like into a topic that was dangerous.

I will admit that in a time of frustration and anger at the explosions thinking uncharitably that how could I be sure that this wasn't a false accusation. Never met the sibling in question. Have no reason to defend them. Have zero reason to disbelieve my friend. The family all agrees this happened, etc.

And yet, there was that moment when I thought that way - like it would be easier if this was all just made up and not real.

Calmer, less angry, less reactive me was baffled and horrified. I try to be empathetic (i fail - a lot) and I still was the uncharitable asshole about it. (Thankfully only in my head - I don't know how much worse it would have been had I actually vocalized that question)
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:48 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


jjmoney: "When we know false accusations are rife

We know no such thing. False accusations of child sexual abuse are not "rife." I believe they're lower than 10% and of those, the rate of false accusations by children of adults is somewhere around 2%, I believe. By contrast, false accusations of child abuse by one adult of another is (I believe) around 5-7%, and most of those are associated with divorce and child custody cases.
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on April 25 [28 favorites]


In theory, everyone finds abuse to be horrifying and they all say that they would stand behind the victim 100%. In practice, people will do just about anything to convince themselves that they've misunderstood or the victim is lying or it couldn't have been that bad or ... or .... or.

In practice, no one takes the hard step of cutting the abuser out of their lives or fires them from their job or stops giving them leadership roles. Because then you have to accept that the normal seeming person is someone you labeled a monster theoretically. That anyone could be harboring that sort of secret. So you just move on with your life after making shallow gestures to the victim. But the victim is the one that actually ends up with their life marginalized. They're the ones that end up with family not believing them. They're the ones that end up dying alone in mobile homes after struggling through a life where their family keeps them at arms length because they finally came forward.

Go ahead, ask me how I know.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:34 AM on April 25 [36 favorites]


I wrote that comment before Debaser626 and jjmoney commented. I don't mean it as an attack on anyone.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:39 AM on April 25


Something very similar happened in my partner's family, Debaser626. A cousin accused an uncle of inappropriate fondling when she was somewhere between 10-13, the memories were recovered during therapy. The therapy itself was unorthodox, but the anger and pain the cousin was feeling could not be more real. The denials from the uncle also seemed authentic. My partner isn't particularly close to either family member, but hasn't seen either of them since the revelations... which is obviously a great disservice to one of the two, whichever one is telling the truth.
posted by cell divide at 10:54 AM on April 25


I really wonder how inauthentic people expect the denials to sound, especially when there's generally been years of time for a child abuser to be planning in their heads exactly what they're going to say when they're accused. The denials usually sound authentic. I'm still having problems with my church because a member who was caught with significant quantities of child pornography is still on the prayer list, and a lot of people there still totally believe that he was subject to some kind of entrapment for that to have happened. Or possibly computer hackers. Because he didn't seem guilty in the way that they were expecting someone to seem guilty. But that's, well, normal.

The guilty do not usually break down in tears upon the first allegation and confess to everything, or the criminal justice system would be a lot simpler.
posted by Sequence at 11:35 AM on April 25 [17 favorites]


I think it's more complex than that. I think they've managed to convince themselves, in their heads, that what happened wasn't abuse.

I once read the most freakishly upsetting book I've ever read - it was by Elizabeth Scarborough, and it was a very, very good book, except that at a certain point, it puts you inside the head of a pedophile. And it was upsetting not just because the pedophile was thinking "I'm going to do X to this child" but because the pedophile in question was thinking of justifications and reasoning about why it was natural and right. She's a good author, I still can barely bring myself to touch that book. But that is what these people think.

And so if they've convinced themselves that they weren't doing any harm, that they are good people, then of course their denials sound plausible. "I'm your father, how could you think I would do such a thing?" "Why would I ever harm my own daughter?" All of those sound plausible, because in their head, the person is thinking, "Well, it wasn't molestation because I didn't do XYZ."
posted by corb at 11:42 AM on April 25 [7 favorites]


Acquaintances of my parents' and close friends of my aunt and uncle faced sexual abuse allegations from their adult daughter, both in relation to abuse of the daughter and the daughter's children. I've only met these people a couple of times, and did not care for any of them. My parents felt similarly about them, but when the allegations came out (and there was a trial and the man was found guilty) I watched my parents perform cognitive acrobatics to place the blame on the daughter. "She's crazy and unstable" said my dad, so it must be untrue. I told him that it was probable that she WAS crazy and unstable, because she was abused by her father. The damage that abusers do is real and long-lasting and affects the credibility of the accuser profoundly. My uncle (who is a kind of creepy guy in his own right) apparently disposed of this man's pornography collection for him. When telling me this, my mother was adamant that it was all adult pornography, with 'nothing weird' but she had not seen it herself. It was so unthinkable to them that someone who had been in their home and who was close to members of their family was an abuser that they were willing to believe anything other than the possibility that this man was a paedophile and an abuser, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Instead they pointed to the daughter's messy history of relationships and promiscuity, because they felt that this was evidence of her instability.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 12:05 PM on April 25 [17 favorites]


I think it's more complex than that. I think they've managed to convince themselves, in their heads, that what happened wasn't abuse.

This is real. And if anything, I think in some cases it goes one step further and the accused even cast themselves in the role of the victim.

I once sat down with a prominent local female police detective and quizzed her about her (groundbreaking, at the time) career. She mentioned that she was urged to consider the sex crimes division, due to the shortage of women officers on this detail. But she knew she couldn't cut it almost immediately when a perp she interviewed angrily told her, "She was flirting and rubbing herself all over me! She's always jumping on me!"

The victim was a three year old niece.

I don't know about the authors father, but a certain percentage of molesters [necessary disclaimer: most survivors do not go on to perpetrate, but a higher than average number of perpetrators are survivors] were themselves molested, which may also normalize the behavior to them. And while we've gotten better at offering support and a public voice to those molested as children, something that is absolutely NOT part of that narrative yet is, "Oh, and by the way, if you find yourself feeling urges to manipulate/threaten/force people/children into unwanted sexual contact because they 'owe' you or 'they don't know what kind of signals they're sending' or 'they'll like it once we get started,' that can also be a side effect of your abuse and you can ask for help for that without being completely demonized."

But for that to happen, we'd have to give up the idea that child abusers and sex offenders are all demons instead of Bob from accounting, or Pastor Bill, or the really cool girls basketball coach.
posted by blue suede stockings at 12:51 PM on April 25 [19 favorites]


I watched my parents perform cognitive acrobatics to place the blame on the daughter. "She's crazy and unstable" said my dad, so it must be untrue. I told him that it was probable that she WAS crazy and unstable, because she was abused by her father. The damage that abusers do is real and long-lasting and affects the credibility of the accuser profoundly.

Also: professional-grade perpetrators additionally know to go after those who are already perceived as compromised in their credibility (cf. Jerry Sandusky with his foundation to reach out to fatherless and wayward young foster boys, violent sex crimes against sex workers, etc.).
posted by blue suede stockings at 12:59 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


A good friend of mine disclosed & reported surviving child sexual assault at the hands of a neighbor and a sibling who were also minors. The neighbor was later registered as a sex offender as an adult, he was older than the sibling.her family struggled. Tried to do all of the right things. Sibling moved halfway across the country after court matters ended. She decided she needed time and space, so she cut ties. Sad conversations I had with her were when she said she was breaking ties with her family. They were giving her the space she wanted, but would call me to see how she is doing, which I was vague about, as she was heading for graduate school, then we gradually lost touch. This was 15 years ago. I ran into her Dad, and he said she visited him out of the blue. No details for contact yet, but my heart was happy for that little bit for both of them. This article was right on time, so I can be a better friend if we get to reconnect.
posted by childofTethys at 5:00 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I am angry at myself for not being able to discern the Truth

Thank you, Debaser626, for telling your story. That one comment made a big impact on me in terms of understanding the mindset of family and friends of the accuser/accused.
posted by vignettist at 5:01 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


I'm still having problems with my church because a member who was caught with significant quantities of child pornography is still on the prayer list...

Sounds like he has some serious issues, and isn't that basically what a prayer list is for?
posted by sour cream at 4:08 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]


professional-grade perpetrators additionally know to go after those who are already perceived as compromised in their credibility

Indeed, rapists and molesters systematically and deliberately take advantage of "innocent until proven guilty" by targeting specific groups of people who are both vulnerable and not credible in court. "Bad kids", particularly in care homes, people with learning difficulties or mental health problems, drunk people, prostitutes and promiscuous people.

"Innocent until proven guilty" is clearly a valuable premise for a lot of reasons, but it's pretty sad that it provides a loophole the size of a tank for criminals to systematically exploit the vulnerable without fear of recrimination.
posted by emilyw at 11:23 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Indeed, rapists and molesters systematically and deliberately take advantage of "innocent until proven guilty" by targeting specific groups of people who are both vulnerable and not credible in court.

Yeah, I agree, but I think it's down to a failure of how society in general perceives the groups you mention, rather than a failure of judicial theory.
posted by Ned G at 7:24 AM on May 2


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