Me Too vs False Accusations

This subject has been around in various forms since long before the #metoo movement. This is hardly surprising given that most men accused of sexual assault and or rape claim innocence, often even when there is incontrovertible proof. In twenty-five years of working in mental health, I didn’t come across anyone where I thought a false accusation had been made. In contrast with this, I worked with over twenty young people where their accusation was proved in court and many more where all the professionals involved believed the assault or abuse had taken place but there was never enough evidence for it to go to court.

Why am I writing about this now and why in a blog about massage and aromatherapy? On the now front, I am responding to President Trump’s assertion that men are now going to be living in fear of being accused of sexual assault/rape. The figures on how many men are accused of sexual assault or rape are low. Evidence shows that between two and ten percent of accusations are false. This means that less than one man in a thousand is going to suffer a false accusation. Compare this with twenty-five percent being one of the lowest estimates of how many women suffer sexual assault.

Why on an aromatherapy blog? I am a man, most of my clients are women. I am not sure how this compares with other countries but in UK, aromatherapy seems to appeal much more to men than women. Men are much more likely to seek sports massage. I treat women, usually wearing just underwear, some naked. (Their choice.) Only very occasionally do they have another person in the room with them. On that basis I would be a prime candidate for an accusation to be made.

However, being well aware of the reality behind this subject, I do not live in fear of a false accusation being made. I take what I see as sensible precautions in my practice. I see minors with a responsible adult present and their consent as well as the young person’s. I don’t see those I don’t know for a first appointment in my own home but only at the clinic where I practice.

In contrast, I am wary of clients asking for sexual services. (To date this has only been men and at the telephone call/text enquiry stage and so easily headed off.) Women are even more likely to experience this which is why many will only see other women or men on a referral basis only if they don’t know them.

It is time that we all looked at this subject bearing in mind the reality rather than reacting to a man who has nineteen accusations of sexual misconduct against him!