You've probably already seen the reports of Sir Cliff Richard having his home raided after an accusation by a man in his 40's claiming to be sexually abused in 1985 when he was a regarded as a child by the law in the UK.
I have read of the term being bandied around of "copycat victims" and whilst I'm not accusing this man of being such, we have to consider this. The past year or two have seen many high profile names, with money, being accused of wrong doings many years ago. I'm sure some of the accusations are real, but I can't help feel that some aren't.
What concerns me more is the length of time that has passed since the alleged abuse and when an official complaint is made. I understand that some of the victims may be distressed, but that shouldn't stop them from making a complaint as soon as possible. It seems that the more historical the claim is, the more creedence given to it. If a man or woman is truly guilty of some sort of sexual abuse in the past, they must face some sort of punishment for that abuse. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is how long it takes to make an official complaint, what is alleged, and the potential of exaggeration of the claim to "further dig the knife in". Lets say a man touches up the breasts of an underage girl. OK, it's sexual abuse, but it's not exactly life altering. 30 years later the girl decides that it's time to make a complaint to police. Is it fair to simply present the facts to the police or should it be spiced up a bit to "dig the knife in"? She could easily claim she was digitally and/or orally raped, degraded, forced to perform fellatio, and the list goes on. What hope in hell does the guy have against a claim like this? If he's guilty of touching her breasts, he should face that accusation and the punishment for it. No more, no less. I know some of you will not agree with this relatively plain outcome, and will cry out "dig the knife in", but is "digging the knife in" fair? No, of course not, but I'm sure it happens. How do we know that the knife wasn't being "dug in" with Rolf Harris? If he was guilty of sexual abuse at the 'lighter' end of the scale, fine, charge him with that and let him suffer punishment for that, but he shouldn't be suffering punishment for something he actually didn't do.
It's not fair for victims to exaggerate claims, and it's also not fair for victims to seek media attention to further "their cause". Juries read news papers and so its possible for jury members to be influenced by what they read of a victims story.
When I was at school a long time ago, I was touched up by an older girl in a more senior year. I was probably about 15 years old I reckon. We were walking through a fairly deserted building as it was having renovations, but it was the shortest route to where we were going. She stopped me and started fondling my penis through my pants and then pulled my fly down and kept fondling me. I certainly didn't ask for it, and being the naive kid I was, just went with it. If we didn't hear voices at a nearby doorway, I don't know what else, if anything, would have happened. Anyway, she stopped and we went on our way. Now I've just been sexually abused and for all intents and purposes, violated. Is it fair now for me to go to the police and lay a complaint some 35 years later? I don't remember her name but I should be able to look it up in some old school photo. I didn't feel then that I had been violated, and, I don't FEEL now like I've been violated, I don't FEEL like it's been life altering for me, but I've still been wronged so why shouldn't I complain, and while I'm there maybe I should spice it up a bit and let the story become more juicy, why not, "dig the knife in a bit", after all, I've been sexually abused albeit it, well in the past. I'll bet there's lot of guys with similar circumstances to mine. (Please note. This actually happened and I've decided to air it to help emphasise what this post is about).
We've even had popular football personalities suffer accusations of rape and/or sexual abuse. It seems these young, and often drunk, girls love the idea of going home with a footballer and having sex, but wake up the next day thinking "what have I done"? .. "I know, I'll claim I was bought drinks and then raped back at his apartment"... "That way, I won't look like a slut in front of my friends". I know this paragraph will probably draw the ire from some women, but you can't tell me that this doesn't happen at times? Guys aren't always "the bad guys".
I started this post about Cliff Richard and the surfacing of a sexual complaint, and the idea was to draw peoples attention to other points around a sexual allegation, and to not necessarily believe everything that's put in front of you. It's up to a court of law to decide the 'probability' of an event happening back 30 years ago (for example), but how can they do that properly if the victim taints their claim with exaggerations to make it seem more real or believable?
Speaking broadly, I know with us guys is that we're not always the 'good guys', but sometimes we're not always the bad guys either.