Justice denied: False CSA claims rob survivors

An issue we’ve tried to hammer home again and again on this blog is that when people use the issue of child sexual abuse to further their own agenda, it hurts real survivors.

We’ve made the point that dramatising imaginary “Satanic ritual abuse” cases rather than focussing on the very real and much more mundane sexual abuse of children drains much-needed resources from those who need it most.

The same applies to so-called “VIP paedophile” investigations such as the ill-fated Operations Midland, Fairbank, and Conifer: massive amounts of police time and energy, not to mention public money, went into chasing alleged high-profile paedophiles (some of whom were deceased) on the say-so of fantasists who told improbable tales which ought to have been easily debunked early on.

This is not just a hypothetical argument. One contributor to the IICSA’s Truth Project, called “Lucy” in the report, illustrates the real harm done to survivors:

Hospitalised at the age of 11 years because of an assault by her mother, Lucy was taken into care and placed with a foster family. There, she was raped repeatedly by a violent man and his two teenage sons.

Lucy’s attempts to seek justice have not succeeded and she has suffered severe mental health difficulties. Despite this, she has managed to build strong and happy relationships with her family and loved ones. 

In the foster home, Lucy was sexually abused on a weekly basis by the foster father (“Mr Ambridge”) and two teen-aged sons (“David” and “Stephen”):

The three of them raped and sexually abused her every week for a year, and she was given money each time it happened.

One day David hurt her even more than usual and Mr Ambridge beat him as punishment. He made Lucy watch, asking her how much he should hit David. She was very distressed by this.

Eventually Lucy was returned to her mother. She told her what had happened, but her mother called her a liar and beat her severely. Lucy resolved that she would black out her experiences, and for many years she was successful. Eventually though, she suffered a breakdown due to physical and mental problems.

Feeling suicidal, she went to hospital, where she saw a psychiatrist and began counselling. As she became more able to talk about her past, she reported the sexual abuse to the police. She gave a statement and was reassured by the officer that the case would go to court and she would have the chance to face her one remaining abuser, David.

By that time Mr Ambridge and Stephen had both died. In a voluntary police interview, David denied even knowing Lucy. She persuaded the police to seek other potential victims, and several others came forward who had been fostered by Mr and Mrs Ambridge.

While the other former foster children reported physical abuse in that home, they did not disclose sexual abuse. Lucy’s case was passed to another police officer, who she found to be “cold, rude, and dismissive”, and whose main concern seemed to be with the harm her allegations might do to David.

Lucy’s case was eventually closed without prosecution.

She felt upset that the police had not followed up several leads she had given them, and particularly angry to see in the media that police resources were being put into investigating high-profile allegations of child sexual abuse.

One cannot draw a straight line from Lucy’s negative experience with the police to, say, Mike Veale’s fruitless pursuit of a dead prime minister. Just because one police organisation was willing to go haring off on a wild goose chase does not mean that another would reject a more “ordinary” case such as Lucy’s.

However, it’s quite easy to see how survivors of sexual abuse could feel that their concerns could be overlooked in favour of more “glamorous” or “important” cases.

We also know that in one year—2015—Scotland Yard spent £5 million on three investigations into allegations of historical child sexual abuse by celebrities and politicians. Meanwhile, organisations such as Scotland’s Fresh Start Foundation have made it their mission to spread the gospel of SRA in the course of their “road shows”.

While the FSF operates on a comparatively tiny scale, their determination to privilege SRA as an “extreme” form of child sexual abuse is worrisome. The fact that they were recently relieved of the presence of Catriona Selvester on their board of directors does not alleviate their core problem. They seem determined to promote the idea of SRA, and are allied to the group “Izzy’s Promise”, which has been found to use various dubious techniques which promote “recovered memories” in clients.

Such memories are co-inventions of the client and therapist, and are generally unprovable in court—and so a client who might have sought assistance for real child sexual abuse issues can find their true story buried under a mountain of improbable, unprovable “memories” which can actually prevent them from receiving the justice they deserve.

justice denied

36 thoughts on “Justice denied: False CSA claims rob survivors

  1. Agree wholeheartedly. Genuine child abuse has long been pretty much the hardest crime to prosecute and the real ‘tip of the iceberg’ as only a small percentage report crimes and only a few of these are taken to court and are successfully tried. Well over 90 percent languish in the shadows never to even be acknowledged.

    That in itself is bad enough. When the self serving fabulists engage publicly in their ludicrous crusades to publicise the fictitious narratives of satanic cults and governments composed entirely of paedophiles it turns the whole issue into a grotesque circus muddying the issue and preventing genuine abuse, horrific enough in it’s psychological pain that destroys victims, to even be acknowledged, let alone understand or dealt with.

    How long was it before the savile case was turned from a disturbing story of a prolific offender who made himself untouchable through wealth and influence into a satanic drama involving necrophilia and sacrafice ? Real abuse is terrible enough without laying fiction upon it to spice up tabloid front pages and mediocre blogs and YouTube channels.

    Now we’re seeing CSA move beyond it’s rightful position as a matter for the police, social services and courts to deal with into a far right neopolitical meme to beat immigration with as it predominantly focuses on Moslem abusers.

    It’s bad enough that social services and the police are having numbers and funding cut under austerity and are increasingly less equipped to address genuine abuse, which is the real matter we should be addressing, but to see diminishing resources squandered chasing the ghost of Ted Heath for 1.5 million plus is laughable.

    It’s infuriating.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I sometimes wonder whether the horrible, banal reality of child sexual abuse is just too ugly to consider, and so some people feel compelled to dress it up in fancy dress—”famous” abusers, spooky Satanic cults, MK Ultra programmes, aliens, whatever it takes to keep us from actually thinking about adults and older teens raping younger children. As you say, these false trappings spice up the topic, but they also distract from the reality and allow people to dwell on fictions instead of actually helping victims and survivors.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Spooky. That post disappeared immediately after I wrote it. The reality is a sordid affair of weak people unable to contain their perverted lust and damaged victims ruined for life. Plus people love to blame the ruling classes. Just look at jack the ripper, often blamed on the royals, or the fall of the Knights Templar as an exercise in false accusations for financial gain. It’s not a new thing.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. A timely piece EC. I have been saying repeatedly for years (only the cat listens) : there needs to be a Judicial Inquiry into the entire “child abuse charity” sector. Over the past 2 decades endless scammers have jumped on to the bandwagon and are soaking up the general public’s limited sympathy and cash.

    And meanwhile, 100,000s of British kids alone live either in poverty or under conditions that lead to abuse be it sexual, physical, mental or by neglect.

    Alleged kosher outfits like the NSPCC receive £Multi-Millions in donations and government funding every year but where does it go?. Huge salaries for administrators and lots of advertising asking for more donations.
    That doesn’t mean those who work there don’t mean well but the entire “abuse” charity sector has become a self perpetuating industry with no discernible positive results.
    And like a giant roaming shark hundreds of minnows tag along side of the “abuse” industry whether they be highly suspect outfits like “Fresh Start”, the Hampstead Hoaxers and it’s fan base, the Tom Dunns of the world etc.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Agreed, it definitely needs an overhaul, the charity ‘industry’ (as opposed to the charities) needs a good hard looking at.
        Locally here we have a small, privately run charity that looks after battered wives/families- they receive no government funding, use a donated farm shed on a persons property for goods storage, runs out of a persons house for their office, and relies totally on goods/ time etc from volunteers/businesses/door knocks/boot sales stalls etc, they rehouse 2 or 3 families a week using volunteers to move furniture etc, and donated trucks/trailers to move the stuff (a local rental outfit gives them a truck or large pantech trailer for free if available, all they have to do it fuel it or use a volunteers ute to haul it)

        While the big (name) charity gets lots of donations etc, their management has new (expensive top of the line) lease cars that are changed out every year that they can use as personal transport, new trucks to pick up goods (that they sell in an op shop), a huge rented warehouse in an industrial area (that size shed costs over a thousand a week to rent) and yet- doesn’t actually help anyone locally at all- not a single person… it’s all overseas or ‘elsewhere’ they apparently do it, here its just donation pickups and the op shop sales- which while ‘cheap’ compared to new goods, really aren’t any cheaper than Gumtree or Ebay in many cases…

        Liked by 4 people

        • And that’s the sort of charity I prefer: ones that actually do practical work helping people at the “coal face”. With child abuse we have seen endless people jump on the bandwagon and become “survivor” or victim advocates but they really are just lobby groups asking for more money all the time and not a penny goes to real children in need.

          There are several in Australia who have received huge government funding in the $Millions over the years and I have tested 3 well known ones by requesting information as a “survivor” ( I hate using that word but I can legitimately use it having experience an incident in the past). No practical help was offered, just reams of colorful brochures. The UK is far worse.

          One who really annoys is a CEO who is quick onto the airwaves over scandals like the Catholic Church abuse who I unfortunately sat next to on a flight back from Asia and she insisted on bending my ear as she proceeded to get quite drunk and told me all about the conferences she attends 3 times a year in 5 star hotels. Even worse when I mentioned a priest I had met, Father Chris Riley who runs an outfit called Youth Off The Streets which actor Eric Bana is the patron off, she almost flew into a rage of jealousy. Unlike her “charity” where not a single child is aided, Riley’s charity helps inner city and abused kids and has had huge successes with many former “street kids” who have grown up, become successful and in turn help out the charity by raising funds. And unlike other charities Riley only gets his priest wage and accommodation.

          Liked by 3 people

          • I wonder how many charities are just vain exercises like poet’s whobself publish their crap or musician’s daughter’s who had a piece in a magazine 50 years ago and insist they’re s writer. The world seems full of vacuums with grand facades of late.

            Like

      • I’m still uncertain about Thatcher and her friendship with Savile. I think she probably wasn’t really aware of what he was up to. It is said that she was very vulnerable to men who flattered her.

        Like

        • Thatcher had a long standing friendship with the notorious dictator Augusto Pinochet.

          Pinochet used the horrific child sexual abuse cult Colonia Dignidad to frame people for CSA accusations, drugging them and photographing them in apparent sexual acts with children in order to blackmail them and keep them in line.

          Pinochet also used the colony as a base from which to torture dissidents, usually to the point of death. His goons carried out illegal and unethical experiments on completely innocent people at the colony. He even had kennels of dogs that had been trained to violate women sexually.

          Pinochet was a monster who makes Savile look like a saint in comparison.

          I have posted many links to videos about Colonia Dignidad here before so I won’t repost them again but, for those who don’t know, here’s a good video by the highly reputable Journeyman Pictures on Pinochet’s Secret Death Camps

          Why people bang on about Thatcher and Savile when nobody knows how aware she was of his crimes, when she was overtly friendly to Pinochet and could not possibly have not known of his activities it a total mystery to me.

          Sorry to rant I just have very strong feelings about this.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. organisations such as Scotland’s Fresh Start Foundation have made it their mission to spread the gospel of SRA in the course of their “road shows”.

    Some would say that FSF have made it their mission to capture a share of the moneyflow.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Just received this from the Electoral Commission.😎

    Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

    We will be writing to the Democrats and Veterans Party to ensure they fully understand the rules on permissible sources of donations and loans, along with reporting donations and loans correctly. As part of our regulatory role, where we become aware of a breach of the rules, we conduct enquiries and where appropriate issue sanctions, in accordance with our enforcement policy.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Excellent post EC
    As you know this very issue is one of my bugbears

    The other aspect of false SRA allegations is that it makes life very hard for survivors of genuine sexual abuses within cults or ritual settings, something that is extremely widespread, even though the only recent focus has been on the cult NXIVM.

    Just one example of a sex cult where minors are at risk of all manner of abuses, emotional, sexual and via child labour

    This video is of the 50th birthday celebration of a notorious pimp, child abuser and cult leader. Like many similar cults he has has own dance and theatre companies, psychotherapy organisations and various sex businesses including strip clubs, brothels, massage parlours, video chat, pornographic websites.

    This so called guru has raped and sexually assaulted countless minors and vulnerable adults, all under the guise of spiritual initiations and ceremonies. He is not alone, sadly this is a growth industry.

    NSFW and does contain very grainy footage of naked people acting out sexual roles and includes blurry footage of a child (face blurred) amongst the “celebration”. The guru is a jail dodging criminal but the network that his cult represents has many offshoots and there are many crossovers with other cults so while I refer to him as a “cult leader” it is impossible to know who really runs things, other than to say that they are part of many serious criminal networks operating internationally.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OK this is from the Socialist Worker (what do expect an old lefty to read?) but the story examples those who jump on bandwagons on the false claim they care about victims.
    https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/47359/Tommy+Robinsons+racists+turn+on+Rotherham+survivor

    Tommy Robinson’s racists turn on Rotherham survivor.
    Rotherham abuse survivor Sammy Woodhouse has come under attack from racists and supporters of Tommy Robinson.
    It follows an interview with the BBC Newsnight programme where Sammy said that abuse wasn’t just committed by Asian men.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s mob mentality isn’t it. People can’t discern the truth when they follow someone like TR. They really need to be sat down with an abacus & restart their education!

    Like

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