Last night saw TV history made in the UK, with the BBC broadcasting a documentary titled “I am not a rapist”. Shown on BBC One, the 44 minute programme examined the cases of victims of false rape accusations, and very surprisingly for the BBC nowadays , it did a rather good job of it too.
The programme is advertised as follows: “This gripping film tells the dramatic story of three young men falsely accused of rape, and the devastating consequences the allegations had on their lives.” The three victims in question are Liam Allen from South London, Ashley from Abertillery in Wales, and finally Jay Cheshire from Southampton. The Allen and Cheshire cases are shown retrospectively, with some re-enactments of scenes owing to the fact that the case occurred several years previously, whereas Ashley’s case is somewhat different as filing occurs as events are unfolding.
One slight issue with the broadcast is that it regularly uses the term “complainant” to describe false accusers. This is of course legally the correct term and far better than the BBC’s previous record of front page headlines stating that those on trial for making false rape accusations of rape were “rape victims”. However, using the term “complainant” so regularly somewhat takes away from the fact that the false rape accusers are committing heinous criminal acts.
Thankfully, the programme steadily improves in quality as time progresses, and it clearly demonstrates so many of the common impacts of false accusations. Not only the mental trauma and psychological impacts, but the impact on friends and family and how the victims’ lives are on hold (even after being cleared). The broadcast also shows tangible impacts, for example the loss of employment when being accused not to mention difficulty in obtaining employment even when cleared “without a stain on their character”.
The broadcast is interspersed with, statistics about rape cases, some of which are barely-relevant, particularly early on. However, these on-screen stats soon become far more useful and they inform us that “Since 2016, 1419 men under investigation for rape or sexual assault have died ‘untimely deaths’“
This is a simply eye-watering statistic, and while it’s hard to estimate the number of false accusations, all things being equal then at the very least that’s hundreds of dead innocent men killed by false rape accusers.
Despite the lack of promotion of the programme from the BBC and its relegation to a later time slot, we’re delighted to see that it’s currently fourth most popular programme on BBC iPlayer. And we’re particularly delighted becasue it finally means our long campaign on this issue has resulted in a sucess.
At HEqual we conducted an investigation into the BBC’s reporting of UK false rape accusations which resulted in the suicide of the victim. We studied every case we could find in the media from the last two decades, and found that the BBC (and the Guardian) had failed to report on a single one!
We then also ran a campaign to try get the BBC to actually report on Jay Cheshire’s suicide, promoting the relevant local news reporters at BBC South at every stage of the story to do the jobs they were being paid to do and report on the case. They failed in their duties to viewers completely, refusing to utter or print a single word about the case, just as they had done with every other such case previously. The BBC was only finally forced to acknowledge the case following the tragic suicide of Jay’s mother, and even then waited months to report the story. Furthermore, the focus of their reporting was that of mental health failures by the NHS not recognising Karin Cheshire was at risk of suicide, thus they never directly once reported on Jay’s death as a story in itself nor gave appropriate attention to the root cause of her death
This refusal by the BBC to report on the case was then massively compounded by the contrast with its simply fraudulent (and front page) reporting on the Eleanor de Freitas case, a false accuser who took her own life, and the treatment of two stories when contrasted proved the obscene BBC bias on the issue beyond any doubt.
Thankfully, the BBC’s cover-up of false rape cases resulting in the suicide of the victim (and not the criminal) appears to be at an end, and thus we can finally consider the HEqual campaign to be a sucess. It really is a compelling documentary, in fact 95% of the broadcast feels as if it doesn’t belong on the BBC at all, which is a simply massive compliment in 2020.
It’s clear that a lot of work has been put into the documentary and it shows. It manages to cover all three cases reasonably well within the 44 minutes and even with our knowledge of the cases it’s hard to fault much of the content. The only obvious mistake and omission in the piece occurs towards the end in which Allen’s (otherwise excellent) defence lawyer appears to blame the evidence disclosure scandal on a lack of funding/resources combined with an increase in rape allegations. No doubt any lack of funding didn’t help matters, but anyone with the slightest insight into the scandal knows that the overwhelming issue was politically motivated misandry directed right form the top. The prosecution (and thus any deaths) of innocent men resulted directly from CPS policy and thus the vast majority of the blame lies at the door of the likes of utterly despicable radical feminist Alison Saunders.
The ending of the broadcast is particularly powerful, not merely in terms of drama and emotion, but more in terms of facts too.
We’re correctly infomred that there’s no “political mileage” in prosecuting false accusers and the broadcast also notes how none of the three victims prosecuted the people who ruined (or ended) their lives. Most importantly of all, we’re told that false allegations are only officially recorded if the accuser ADMITS their complaint was untrue. This fact in itself utterly destroys so many feminist arguments about statistics on this issue and it clearly shows such official statistics are therefore a nonsense. Such statistics become particularly farcical when when one considers the failures to prosecute even the most blatant false accusers – there’s almost no attempt to get false accusers to admit they’re lying and as we see in two of the three cases, they’re simply allowed to withdraw their false allegations as if they’d never happened.
The most powerful messages are at the end of the broadcast where the programme notes that a minimum of 1,500 men are falsely accused of rape per year. The documentary quite brilliantly explains that all three false rape allegation cases covered were not recorded as false accusations. This is simply extraordinary, becasue it means even the most blatant cases of false accusations where the evidence was completely debunked in court using the accuser own words are still not recorded either as false allegations, let alone the horrific crimes that they are.
Refreshingly, instead of having to despatch complaints or requests for retractions of utterly dishonest material, for once we’re in a position to owe thanks and congratulations to the director, Huw Crowley, on his work. We’ve contracted him to express out gratitude and point out the historic nature of his documentary and how it partly brings to an end the BBC’s cover-up of suicides caused by false rape accusations. (and we did of course give him a few pointers as how he could have made the documentary even better too.)
Of course the BBC is a vast organisation, and the fact that BBC TV have got things right on this one occasion doesn’t mean BBC News have learned any lessons. In fact we’re still in the position whereby the news wing of the BBC again still hasn’t even directly reported on a false rape accusation in the UK resulting in suicide any time in the last twenty years. This documentary most certainly is must-see viewing for anyone interested in equality issues, and even more so for any BBC staff! However, the overwhelming pattern going back many years with the BBC is to produce the odd token quality broadcast concerning men’s issues, perhaps ever 2-3 years, only revert back to their standard output of everyday misandry, marginalisation of men’s issues, and outright lying the rest of the time.
Readers in the UK can watch the programme in full here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p08pldr0/i-am-not-a-rapist
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