Why Do Victims Lie?

Important post here and a must read.

ACEs Too High


By Amanda Kay, JD, and Ryan L. Gonda, JD

Children and adult victims of violence and abuse are routinely called upon by police, attorneys, advocates, and judges to be witnesses and to tell their stories. But many victims lie or recant their testimonies.

Often victims’ stories change over time; they might recant their original testimony. And when a victim who initially described abuse later withdraws the allegations, minimizes them, or expresses confusion about what happened, police, attorney and judges often conclude that the victim lied.

Truth, however, is very rarely the issue. In child abuse cases, it been reported that nearly 75% of sexual abuse victims initially deny abuse and that nearly 25% eventually recant their allegations. Many reasons have been identified for the relatively high percentage of adult victims who fail to press charges, refuse to cooperate with prosecution, or do not pursue protection orders.

Distrust of the system

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