In response to a new campaign calling for suspects accused of sexual crimes to have anonymity prior to charge, The Survivors Trust CEO, Fay Maxted OBE said this:
“There are now over 130,000 rapes and sexual assaults reported each year, but only a tiny percentage will ever result in a charge or court case. It is also acknowledged that vast majority of victims don’t report the crimes against them anyway. Research consistently shows that rather than being a common occurrence, false allegations are very rare and even more rarely result in anyone being charged let alone convicted.
The current guidance for police is that only in exceptional cases where there is a legitimate policing reason should the alleged offender be named and we don’t believe there is any need for this guidance to be changed. There are very valid circumstances where naming an alleged offender results in other victims being identified. The difficulty we face is that the notion of false allegations feeds the myth that victims lie about being sexually abused and raped, which results in many victims feeling reluctant to make a report.
Whilst we certainly don’t dismiss the impact on someone when a false allegation is made, we should remember that this is very rare. The issue has more prominence now, but policy should not be changed because celebrities have had allegations made against them.”