The University of Oxford has conducted a study into the impact of false accusations of abuse on professionals who work in positions of trust with children or vulnerable adults, or who worked with them at the time of the alleged abuse.
We have interviewed and collated written accounts from 30 people across England and Wales who have been the victims of such false allegations. This study explores the consequences for those so accused and their relatives, including the immediate and longer-term impact of the false accusation on finances, physical and mental health, employment, social relationships and feelings about the future.
The Principal Investigator is Professor Carolyn Hoyle, Director of the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology and the researchers are Ms Naomi-Ellen Speechley and Dr Ros Burnett, Research Associate of the Centre. The research has been approved by the Social Sciences and Humanities Inter-Divisional Research Ethics Committee, University of Oxford.
This research was funded by the University of Oxford's John Fell Fund, the Oxford Law Faculty's Research Support Fund, and FACT, a voluntary organisation established in 1999 to support people wrongly accused of abuse in occupational contexts.
Readers may be interested in a related project, on support needs of foster carers facing allegations of abuse, carried out by the Rees Centre