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Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse

Ros Burnett


Child sexual abuse, rape and other abuse against vulnerable populations attract outrage around the world. It is right that efforts have been redoubled to prevent and intervene against them, but where so much reliance is placed on verbal evidence, mistakes can be made either way. Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse brings together contributions by academics and experts from different disciplinary backgrounds to fill a gap in the literature relating to false allegations of recent or historical abuse. The adjective ‘false’, used interchangeably with ‘wrongful’, includes allegations mad ... More

Keywords: wrongful allegation, falsely accused, victim, offender, complainant, innocent, miscarriage of justice, sexual offence, child abuse, evidence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198723301
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723301.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ros Burnett, editor
Senior Research Associate, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

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Part I The Reality of Wrongful Allegations of Abuse: What Kind of Allegations and Why Do They Matter?

Part II Culture; Ideology; Politics: What is the Terrain that gives Rise to False Allegations?

5 Telling Stories?

Mark Smith

7 Making Accusations

Bill Hebenton and Toby Seddon

Part III The Allegation: Causes; Motivations; Case Studies: Why Would Anyone Make A False Accusation?

10 His Story; Her Story

J. Guillermo Villalobos, Deborah Davis, and Richard A. Leo

Part IV Interrogation; Prosecution; Conviction; Appeal: How could the Justice System get it so Wrong?

13 When Exoneration Seems Hopeless

Deborah Davis and Richard A. Leo

15 ‘In Denial’

Daniel S. Medwed

Part V Finding Ways Forward: What’s to be Done?

End Matter