The Growing Challenge of False Accusations and the Urgency of Protection for the True Victims
The False Accusations Observatory, under the umbrella of the Ayudar & Crecer Foundation, urgently communicates the need to act in the face of the growing wave of false accusations that harm innocent individuals and their families in Argentina. This phenomenon not only causes irreparable damage to the lives of the people affected, but also leaves the true victims of real crimes unprotected.
The publication of our data survey, a year after the relaunch of our digital platform, comes to light at a crucial moment. Coinciding with the recent introduction of a bill in the Senate to combat this scourge and the recent protest against the public shaming of men last May 30th, we highlight the importance of keeping this issue visible and the urgency of seeking effective solutions.
The alarming increase in false accusations, evidenced by our records, calls for deep reflection on the current state of justice and the legal system. These must not only guarantee the protection and rights of legitimate victims but also prevent the victimization of innocent people through false accusations.
We call on society, legal and political institutions, to implement urgent and effective measures to stop this problem eroding our justice system. It is crucial that the true victims receive the protection and justice they deserve and that the innocent are safeguarded from the devastating consequences of false accusations.
According to the data collected by our Observatory, it is noteworthy that 71% of the reported cases are people who are directly harmed by false accusations. In addition, a significant 28% of the reported instances come from third parties – usually close relatives, friends, or acquaintances. This situation mainly occurs when the person directly affected has been unjustly detained or convicted as a result of the false accusation.
It is particularly worrying that the children of those affected find themselves needing to report these injustices carried out by one of their parents, which represents 1% of the total cases registered. Under these circumstances, there is an equal distribution in terms of whether the false accuser is the father (0.5%) or the mother (0.5%), underscoring that no one is exempt from being involved in these unfortunate situations.
When breaking down the data, it is clear that the majority of the reporting made by third parties, exactly 84%, are made by relatives of the person affected. Even more strikingly, within this family group, the new partner of the falsely accused is the one who reports the case on their behalf in 29% of the cases. This happens because the falsely acccused is often wrongly imprisoned or detained and can’t upload their own case on our systems due to lack of internet access or knowledge, so their families or friends, desperate for justice, report the false accusation on their behalf.
This fact illustrates not only the deep emotional involvement that these situations entail, but also how these circumstances can fracture family and couple relationships, highlighting the deep personal and emotional impact of false accusations.
Our reports reveal that the greatest number of false accusations are made in the context of “gender violence”, followed by false accusations of child sexual abuse and obstruction of child access. These are followed by false accusations of rape, domestic and intra-family violence, false accusations of violence, social media and media public shaming, and sexual harassment.
The consequences for those falsely accused are devastating. The most common include restraining orders, health deterioration, loss of contact with children, unjust social condemnation, chronic depression, and threats of more accusations. Sadly, to date, we have registered 11 suicides as a result of false accusations.
Our records indicate that only 23% of cases went to trial and a worrying 59% of cases have not been dismissed. This raises serious questions about the efficiency and justice of our current legal system.
In divorce or separation cases where children are involved, 46% claim that their children were never heard or treated by the court psychologists, and 57% indicate that the Gesell Dome interview (interrogation for minors) was never carried out. Regarding access or contact with the children, only 7% of those affected were able to resume contact with their children after the accusation.
It is important to highlight that in the vast majority of situations, approximately 80%, the party making the accusation does not provide more evidence than their own testimony, which reveals a possible favorable inclination towards their gender. In a broader perspective, a notable 87% of individuals affected by these false accusations declared that the accusing party was a woman, which provides an important perspective regarding the gender distribution in these incidents.
The overall trend shows that 66% of those affected claim to have enough evidence to prove the false claim. However, 43% of them affirm that the evidence offered by them is arbitrarily ignored by the courts.
These statistical data demonstrate the sad reality of false accusations in Argentina, a phenomenon that is accelerating with devastating consequences. It is essential to continue recording these cases and to work to show society the severity of this situation.
This is a call to action for our judicial system to strive harder to ensure justice, transparency, and equality for all parties involved. We ask for serious consideration of the bill presented to address false accusations and request the support and involvement of all of society to put an end to this problem.
In this regard, the recent May 30, 2023 protest “against public shaming and false accusations towards men” has been an important step forward to make this problem visible as it occurred simultaneously with protests in several cities in Argentina, including the cities of Santa Fe, Resistencia, La Rioja, Neuquén, Mendoza, and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The event also crossed borders, with concentrations also in Mexico City, which indicates that the problem continues to be at an international level.
Source: False Accusations Observatory – June 6, 2023
About the False Accusations Observatory: The False Accusations Observatory is a non-governmental organization based in Argentina that works on the identification, documentation, and analysis of reports of false accusations. Founded in 2021 and with its digital platform relaunched in 2022, the Observatory is an open space for victims of these accusations to report their experiences. With a dedicated team of legal and social professionals, the Observatory strives to promote transparency in information, conducting constant monitoring and analyzing reported cases. Its mission is to provide statistical data by surveying cases to foster transparency in the justice system around this problem. Through education and data dissemination, we aim to eradicate all forms of violence and raise awareness about the severity of false accusations. The False Accusations Observatory is administered by the Ayudar & Crecer Foundation in Argentina.