False allegations against men, whether intentionally malicious, mistaken or misguided, have life-long impacts when they are slathered all over the media, not only on the men involved, but also their families.
While we have endured Covid these past years, we have also been living through another horror.
Three years and 8 months ago our son was subject to criminal allegations of a abuse of a young child. He not only spent 7 months in prison, he lost his career and many future opportunities.
The media portrayed these allegations and subsequent charges in sensationalised and highly inaccurate ways, so horrendous that a judge issued a suppression order. This has not meant the removal of any of the media on the internet. At that time the local paper on several occasions printed photos and lies on the front page.
Even the print news of his acquittal contains at least one direct lie and has nit picked the information to make it sound like there could be doubt.
At the trial it was revealed that there was no substantial evidence against my son.. no dna (which would not be possible if the allegations were true) and no signs on the child. It was also revealed that the parents were not told that their child denied anything occurred in her first interview with police.
While we absolutely understand a parent's concern and many of the actions taken by parents, driven along by police processes, we also know this will have also caused them and their child, who now believes she was abused, untold harm.
He has now been found not guilty of any charge and is expected to just resume his life. However, our lives (particularly our son's) will never be the same. While clearly very different, this experience has been equal in its intensity and impact on our daily lives as the cancer journey we traversed 16 years ago with another son who then died. We still have this one and we will do all we can to help him build a positive future and create some positive meaning from this trauma.
We do not know how our own recovery looks at this time.
I will be doing a media interview about this journey next week.