F.A.C.T. recognises that all complaints of child abuse must be fully investigated and that the police and safeguarding agencies have a difficult job to do. This difficulty does not however diminish the need for investigations to be carried out in just and competent manner.
In our view the pendulum has swung too far in favour of complainants. What is needed is new ethical, evidence based, model of investigation.
The history of safeguarding investigations shows that there is an urgent for Royal Commission into investigative practice. F.A.C.T’s own campaign and lobbying strategy, Operation Release reflects this need. At its heart are the two fundamental and unifying principles
- the indivisibility of justice for those who suffer from abuse and those who are accused of it
- the right of the innocent to be cleared
Operation Release promotes the need for reform in child abuse cases both of child protection investigative system and criminal trial procedures. We believe that many carers and teachers have been denied justice. We are concerned that the child protection system is in danger of falling into disrepute and that because it has to spend vast amounts of money and resources investigating false claims the guilty will remain free. In our view the child protection system is inherently flawed and in need of a major overhaul.
These flaws manifest themselves in:-
a presumption of guilt
a presumption that unexplained disturbed behaviour in children and vulnerable adults must be related to abuse in earlier life
suggestive interviewing techniques
lack of investigative objectivity and acceptance of a ‘belief based’ investigative model
- direct and indirect contamination of evidence
- reliance on flawed theories and a questionable knowledge base
- use of unreliable expert evidence
- a failure to be accountable and to submit to independent monitoring of investigative processes
F.A.C.T. campaigns for
- release of innocent prisoners wrongly convicted of child abuse with their convictions quashed
- quashing of the convictions of innocent, former prisoners wrongly convicted of child abuse
- stopping more innocent people being falsely accused of child abuse in the future
- clearing the names of innocent people falsely accused of child abuse, whether charged or not
- removal of the names of innocent people from the sex offenders register and other lists, some of which are compiled unofficially.
We are actively involved in making submissions to Government and non-governmental bodies, lobbying concerned politicians, engaging with the child protection community, supporting local campaigns, and conducting prison vigils.
More about lobbying and campaigning.