I will be speaking at this very important conference in a few weeks, so a little recap of our story and an update seems in order.

My step son was found not guilty of sexually assaulting a girl a little over 2 years ago now, yet it is still as raw for me as it ever was. Living through the trauma of the Covid years, then nursing my terminally ill father for 9 months before his death haven't helped my recovery.

Sitting in silence, in this age of censorship and bullying will never be the answer and will only perpetuate the shocking culture in which we currently live: one where information is tightly controlled so that you don't commit thought crimes and one where men are demonised incessantly as 'toxic' perpetrators.

About a year ago, when I was out on a very rare shopping trip as I rarely left the house while my father was so ill, I was accosted by a woman I didn't recognise outside of a shopping centre. She screamed and swore at me initially insistent that I knew her 'Don't you recognise me? You know who I f***ing am." She became more furious as I simply stated I had no idea who she was. People stood around. I asked her to stop swearing in front of my grand daughter who was with me and other children who were about. I assumed she was drugged up and lashing out thinking she knew me.

It turns out she did know me. She told me she knew everything about me, where I went, what I did. She named my son who was with me, and my grand daughter. She threatened my grand daughter by suggesting to me that it would be awful if something happened to her when she was visiting her mother in the town that she lived. She even knew that my grand daughter only visited her mother, and where.

The woman was the mother whose allegation against my son of assaulting her daughter dragged us through years of legal anguish and changed our lives forever. This mother threatened harm on my grand daughter and basically said she was stalking me.

Once I realised who she was I tried very hard to de-escalate her. I offered to sit and talk to her calmly. I told her I was sorry for what we all went through. The entire time she swore and yelled and I expected at any moment to be physically assaulted. In the end I had to walk away with her threats on the wind behind me.

I felt sorry for her. I was halfway home before I began shaking and recognised the threat that she had been and potentially was to my family. Encouraged by everyone I attended the police who said she hadn't really committed an offence but they offered to visit her. I declined. I hoped it was a one off and that she now had it out of her system. I had no energy while managing everything at home to manage that as well.

This is the reality of false accusations for me as a step mother, not even as someone who was accused. Imagine what it is like for my step son to walk around town expecting this kind of thing and possibly being subject to it.. years after the event.

We must restore some sanity to our legal system. We must stop the media from lying or even sensationalising allegations. In fact we must stop people being named in the media as just the naming can be enough to destroy their lives and the lives of their families. It's horrendous.

If you can, come to the conference or watch it livestreamed. We all have fathers, brothers, sons, husbands.. somewhere a man you love who could easily become victim to the culture especially with States shifting to control the most intimate acts in relationships with coercive control legislation. Do something before it is someone you love affected.