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Purported false allegations of rape, child abuse and non-sexual violence: Nature, characteristics and implications

Rumney, Phil; McCartan, Kieran

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Abstract

The subject of false rape allegations is a subject shrouded in anxiety, confusion and misunderstanding. Despite a growing body of quality research there continue to be significant gaps in our knowledge about the topic, including the phenomenon of false allegations beyond rape and other sexual offences. The purpose of this article is to seek to deepen our understanding by examining a unique dataset comprising 701 cases involving individuals who purport to have been the subject of false accusations of rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, child abuse/neglect and other wrongdoing. The article aims to provide an insight into the nature and characteristics of these allegations and explore the implications of the data for several research and policy questions. It will also critically examine some of the current literature and scholarly claims in this area, particularly around the commonality of false allegations and critique claims that discussion of this topic is dangerous and best avoided. Finally, the article sets out a future research agenda in which the complex issues raised by false allegations can be carefully considered, and the scale, impact and pathways to accusation can be better understood.

Citation

Rumney, P., & McCartan, K. (2017). Purported false allegations of rape, child abuse and non-sexual violence: Nature, characteristics and implications. Journal of Criminal Law, 81(6), 497-520. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022018317746789

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 9, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 19, 2017
Publication Date Dec 1, 2017
Deposit Date Nov 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Nov 16, 2017
Journal Journal of Criminal Law
Print ISSN 0022-0183
Electronic ISSN 1740-5580
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 81
Issue 6
Pages 497-520
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0022018317746789
Keywords false allegation, false accusation, rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, assault, wrongdoing
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/878502
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1177/0022018317746789

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