May 2016 saw the online publishing of Oxford University’s study, The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused of Abuse in Occupations of Trust: Victims’ Voices
This much awaited report revealed the devastating impact wrongful allegations have on the lives of those wrongly accused and their families.
“In our view, the cumulative impact of these interviews is both shocking and
“The majority reported high anxiety levels, severe depression, ill health and
associated symptoms of trauma, with short and longer-term symptoms, with some
experiencing permanent behavioural and personality changes. The effects of false
allegations were felt by their partners and children too, with anxiety and depression
experienced by many family members, in addition to consequential financial
burdens. The stigma of a false allegation is felt by the whole family and can lead to
family breakdown, or permanently damage the relationship”.
“The authors of this study hope that it will provide a valuable corrective to the
somewhat uncritical discourse that has dominated media, political and policy-making
discourse over the past 20 years – the discourse which states that victims will,
almost invariably, be telling the truth”.
The Full report and shorter executive summary are available from the website of the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford.