F.A.C.T. recognises that, tragically, some children and some adults are abused by their carers and teachers and others in positions of trust.
In accepting that some allegations are truthful all we ask is that those concerned to support victims of abuse also accept that, sometimes, children and others, make false allegations.
However in recognising that abuse does occur, the evidence shows that it does not occur on the scale that is claimed.
It is clear to us that many whose work regularly brings them into contact with children and/or vulnerable or dependent adults, do not realise just how:
- vulnerable they are to being falsely accused of abuse or misconduct
- closed safeguarding bodies are to any possibility that the allegations made might be untrue
- inadequate the justice system is in establishing truth
Our aim is to:
- campaign for justice, and lobby for change
- provide advice and support to carers and teachers (and their families), and others who have been falsely accused of child abuse
- raise public awareness concerning the reality and risks of false allegations of abuse
- encourage and promote research into the reasons why false allegations are made
Our work involves media campaigns, lobbying politicians, and when we can entering into a more positive dialogue with the investigative bodies, safeguarding bodies, Government agencies, and regulatory bodies. We work closely with the media, academics and lawyers and other groups who share our concerns.
F.A.C.T. will robustly defend the rights of people working in occupational settings or or in voluntary sector who have been falsely accused, wrongly convicted, and will challenge poor investigative practice whenever and wherever it takes place.
We strongly believe that it is important investigative agencies acknowledge the reality that sometimes false allegations are made, and that to say so publicly is not incompatible with a duty to safeguard children or adults from the risk of harm. Indeed we would argue that until the State and safeguarding agencies accept this reality innocent citizens will be wrongly accused of abuse.
What matters in any investigation of abuse is the truth. The truth can only be established if society and the investigative agencies remain equally open to the possibility that allegations of abuse may not be true, as they are to the possibility that an allegation is true.
Presuming guilt and suspending disbelief helps no-one. What is needed is a return to objective, evidence based investigation without which serious miscarriages of justice will continue to occur.