False Accusations Undermine Child Safety But Safe Adults Should Still Report Reasonable Suspicions
Commentary and Checklist
In 2016, a young woman accused a young man of raping her in an alley outside a bar.
Ten months after the incident, the woman alleged that after she saw the young man playing pool with his friends, she attended a rape crisis center and called the police.
The man was brought in for questioning and charged with rape; however, he was acquitted after the jury found out the alleged victim told a friend on social media that her accusations were simply, "fun." Chris Riches "Man, 21, cleared of rape after girl says her claim was 'fun,' express.co.uk (Sep. 27, 2017).
- All mandatory reporters are required by law to report reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse (physical, sexual, neglect).
- Everyone else should report child sexual abuse to help protect children.
- Report reasonable suspicions of child abuse to police or your local child protective services agency or both
- When filing a report, be prepared with as much factual information as possible (e.g., child's name, date of birth or approximate age, race, gender)
- Stick to the facts. The professionals will investigate and reach conclusions.
- Avoid telling the person taking the report what you think should be done or offer opinions regarding people involved in the report you are filing.
- Always remain calm, polite, and professional when you make a report.
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