Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, spoke to Nefesh in Chicago in November, 2011. She addressed risks of false accusations of abuse:
We have to balance things. In our society, what’s more important: the vulnerability of our precious children or the reputation of a grown adult? When we are balancing it and trying to determine it, even if the allegations are true or not true, it is really important to recognize that when we choose the grown adult — think who is on the other side. I want to propose to you that as horrific as it would be to be falsely accused as an adult, I think it is easier for a grown adult to repair his or her reputation than it is for a child to repair their life if their innocence is shattered. So, when we are taking the risk, the risk has to be on the protection of the children.
Check out the video of the talk. The above quote comes from 19:56-21:03. To hear her moving story, start at 8:00.
In my experience, many valid accusations never reach the criminal justice system. Moreover, I am familiar with many cases where valid indictments were dropped because the victim was intimidated into not testifying. No sooner is the indictment dropped that the defenders of the pervert start screaming: look at this terrible problem of false accusations. Balderdash!
One man who was indicted in Australia committed suicide while he was awaiting trial. The same people who defended all the other convicted perverts from the Chabad run school in Melbourne now had their martyr and started blaming his suicide on “false accusations.” Given the record of Chabad in Melbourne, their defenders haven’t any credibility when they scream about false accusations. In fact, the more likely explanation for a suicide in this situation is that the young man could not deal with the shame of being exposed, especially with a trial coming up where all the dirty details might be aired. I feel any suicide is a tragedy. However, it is also a tragedy that his victims were denied a chance to finally get their moment of justice in the courts.