Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Formal Complaint to the BBC re: Aaronovitch’s misleading programme on ritual abuse

This is a formal complaint from RASAC South London. As we've noted previously, the BBC only allows a limited number of characters in their complaint forms making it difficult to enumerate the ways in which the programme hosted by David Aaronovitch was misleading and inappropriate.

We are writing in support of the claims made by two of the participants in the programme, Tim Tate and Dr Sarah Nelson, that this programme was biased and inaccurate. These claims are addressed in full on their blogs.

In particular we would like to complain about the statement from the presenter, David Aaronvitch, that “I think in understanding what happened over ritual abuse, it might help listeners make sense of what’s happening now, because what you have is a certain amount of testimony and very little corroborative evidence ­actually none, none."  We believe this is a misleading and inaccurate statement, designed to bias the audience towards disbelieving survivors of sexual violence who are currently coming forward with allegations of historic sexual abuse. For many survivors of historic abuse, both within and without ritualised settings, there is corroborative evidence, evidence that is used to prosecute and convict offenders. To claim there is no corroborative evidence is deeply inaccurate and works to support the dangerous belief in false allegations, which acts as a barrier to disclosure for many survivors. Rape Crisis South London

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