From a thread about the Woody Allen accusations:
“My grandfather molested multiple children and was accused but never charged. No one did anything even after he was reported (my mom’s childhood friend later changed her mind).
Another person in my family was molested by her grandfather, it was reported, but they said that there wasn’t much they could do about these “groping incidents” especially since it was out of state.
Life destroyed? Less often than you think. Most often what happens is that a few people are livid at the abuser and everyone else stands around defending them and pointing out no one else can know for sure and the courts can’t prove anything because it’s one person’s word against another so when no charges are filed communities can heave a sigh of relief and presume innocence– which also presumes guilt or mentally instability/delusion on the part of the accuser and thus destroys THEIR relationship with their community which is sacrficed in order to allow everyone to go on pretending nothing happened.
In short, in saying “innocent until proven guilty” they assume the reporter is guilty of lying or being deluded– also without trial.
The court of public opinion is and should be handled differently than courts.
There is no right for the accused’s words to be considered more valid than those of the accusers. People are allowed to make their own opinions and handle the matter accordingly. The most common response to abuse is not anger but disbelief– EVEN WHEN YOU SAW IT HAPPEN YOURSELF OR IT HAPPENED TO YOU.
Part of why dissociation is so strong in sexual abuse victims, people don’t even want to believe it could be true when they saw it happen to them.”