When a person is accused of a crime, the situation surrounding the accusation is almost always complicated and complex. The idea that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty may still be written into many laws, but the public has a tendency to try and “convict” accused individuals even without having all of the facts. And although the justice systems of each nation are hopefully set up to prevent this type of activity, false accusations can be devastating on a person’s life, health, well-being and freedom.
Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and other forms of abuse represent millions of accusations against people who have been later proven not guilty. And each time a false accusation is made, it takes resources away from being able to convict those who truly have committed crimes. National Falsely Accused Day is here to bring awareness to the many different failings of the justice systems that allows many innocent people to be accused of – and often convicted for – crimes they did not commit.
History of National Falsely Accused Day
National Falsely Accused Day was initially founded in 2020 by Lyn Crabtree, after she became falsely accused along with her husband. Since then, a grassroots movement of folks called Fighting for the Falsely Accused, working in collaboration with Lyn, spread awareness of the day throughout the United Kingdom; first in Liverpool, Manchester and London and then — with the introduction of International Falsely Accused Day — spreading out into Europe and all over the globe. The purpose behind the day is to raise awareness for those people, particularly men, who have been accused of a crime they did not commit.
This day is scheduled to be celebrated each year on the anniversary of the birth of former school teacher and BBC radio broadcaster, Simon Warr. From 2012–2014, Warr was falsely accused of historical childhood abuse related to his years teaching and eventually, through an arduous trial, was found not guilty of this crime. Warr eventually wrote a book on his ordeal and spoke up about ways historical childhood abuse should be handled.
Each year on this day, National Falsely Accused Day acts as a time for people who have been falsely accused, along with their friends and family, to organize peaceful protests regarding the problem of false accusations and wrongful convictions. Public gatherings and protests, often along with speeches, are held in various cities around the UK and other countries such as Ireland, Australia, Argentina, Poland and the United States.
How to Observe National Falsely Accused Day
Show some appreciation and care for those who are in difficult circumstances by getting involved with and supporting National Falsely Accused Day. Consider Some of these ideas for joining in on the activities of the day.
Join a National Falsely Accused Day Event
Friends, family members, and supporters of those who have been falsely accused, as well as those persons who have experienced false allegations themselves, may be interested in joining in on one of the local gatherings, events
and protests that are scheduled to take place on National Falsely Accused Day.
Leading up to the day, the website for the event may provide lists of opportunities in various places throughout the UK and possibly in other places around the globe. Some of these events might include a silent vigil or a candlelight vigil that aims to be a peaceful but meaningful protest in honor and support of innocent people.
Support a Charitable Organization
Those who are interested in getting more involved in making sure that justice is served and people who are falsely accused are not punished may be interested in helping out or getting involved through a charity or non-profit organization. National Falsely Accused Day partners with a number of different groups who offer resources and support to those who may be falsely accused or convicted of a crime. Get connected with a non-profit locally, or consider volunteering or making a donation to one of these that is associated with the day:
- F.A.C.T. UK. This organization supports victims of unfounded allegations of abuse, providing online resources as well as a helpline for people to call and get more information.
- The Innocence Project. This organization operates in the United States as part of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement and works to correct and prevent wrongful conviction and imprisonment of people who are innocent.
- The Exoneration Project. This group of attorneys provides free legal services to fight for those who have been wrongfully convicted.
- The Defendant. This UK organization provides help and support to those who are in need of assistance for navigating the justice system, promoting the theory that all people are “innocent until proven guilty”.
Contact a Government Representative
In observance of National Falsely Accused Day, some people might feel compelled to act by speaking up for the rights of the innocent. This could mean writing a letter to a government representative, like a Member of Parliament (MP) in the UK, a Senator or Representative in the US, or some other government agent. The website for the day offers free access to templates that have been created with the specific purpose of making a statement. Another option might be to advocate for innocent but falsely accused persons by signing a petition on their behalf.
Share About National Falsely Accused Day
One excellent way for people with free speech to use their voice is to have conversations about National Falsely Accused Day. This could be something as small as making a post on social media, starting a conversation with a coworker at the office, or joining in on a peaceful protest rally. Make a difference on this important day by using that voice for a good cause.
The impact of false accusations have a ripple effect not only on the individual but also on their family members, friends and the larger community. National Falsely Accused Day is a vital time to pay more attention and raise awareness about the support that may be available to those affected. This might include legal assistance, counseling, access to coping strategies and more. Check out the resources at FACT UK for more information.