There’s a well-known kids’ story from Aesop’s Fables. It’s called The Boy Who Cried Wolf and it has been used through the ages as a tale to caution children – and everybody, actually – against lying. In this fable, a little shepherd boy alarms people in a village nearby by yelling out that a wolf is attacking his flock, yet it’s not true. When a wolf really does attack, the villagers are so fed up with his lies that they completely ignore him. The sheep – and the boy too, depending on which version of the fable you read – are devoured by the wolf. The moral at the end of the story is “this shows how liars are rewarded: even if they tell the truth, no one believes them”.
Though this story has generally been told to children, it’s quite interesting that the truths it holds are relevant to adults too. Sad as it is, there are grown up people who lie about things that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Though cases of false accusations of rape and abuse are few and far between, they happen and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s already bad enough that there are people who really do abuse women and children. Those who lie about it when it has never happened are, in some way, making a mockery of the issue and disrespecting those who have been abused and are having to deal with the aftermath of traumatic experiences.
In as much as we are making a call to those who abuse others to stop doing so, we also would be making a pretty big omission if we were to keep quiet about those who try to abuse the system and ruin it for others. Lying about abuse is, in itself, a form of abuse!