Very little research has been undertaken when it comes to people making false allegations that they have or are victims of a crime outside of Munchausen Syndrome, which touches on it, but only in the context of garnering attention by faking illness and anecdotal references to false allegations of sexual abuse etc. There is however, within ICD and DSM collective references and research into this type of behaviour under various diagnostic criteria for severe personality disorders and psychiatric illnesses.
- In the wake of the social media explosion, the allegations of being a victim of something has become increasingly more common, with report after report being made to law enforcement agencies that the ‘victim’ is being further abused online. It is a very public and extreme form of attention seeking. There are no circumstances I can think of, in the real world, in which anyone could stand on a crowded street telling everyone that they were being targeted by unknown people on a daily basis, that they were ‘victims’ of multiple crimes without mental health experts being bought in. Yet in the virtual world, perceived attacks (which sometimes are nothing more than a challenge as to the veracity of what that person is stating) it goes on day in day out, unchallenged by the criminal justice system, who seem to be unable to grasp what is really happening. Failing to understand that they are feeding the distorted Pysche by acting, without understanding that this just exacerbates the behaviours, on the evidence that these people present. Evidence, that we, the public, can all see, evidence that actually does not stand up to any scrutiny. The ‘victims’ having baited their targets repeatedly until they react, using the reaction as proof of harassment, having deleted what caused the reaction from their own timelines. It ain’t rocket science!
False victimisation syndrome is nothing new, it just has a label now. It is however becoming increasingly more common. As society continues to break down and people lead ever more insular lives, the mentally ill or vindictive, take to the virtual world to do nothing more than create as much drama as possible. The big one being to target individuals they don’t like, or who question their statements of ‘truth’. This in turn has a two fold effect, one they get sympathy and attention, two they can get the ultimate fix of having that person arrested or charged. A real buzz for the ‘victim’ junkies. Ultimately though, genuinely victimising innocent people.
I see extreme examples of it every day. Allegations of online abuse that when checked, do not stand up to any scrutiny. Some do not exist at all. Yet they continue to make ever more fantastic claims of ‘group stalking’ etc, this particular allegation is made when more than one person challenges what it is the ‘victim’ is saying. They cannot accept that individuals as individuals are within their rights and intellect to ask for the evidence of the ever fanciful allegations that are made. No, it has to be that it is a conspiracy. If that is not indicative of a personality disorder I do not know what is.
The common theme running through all of this is the extreme narcissism. A condition widely recognised now in the forensic psychology field. The ‘victims’ believing that they are so supremely important that they MUST be listened to and believed over and above anybody else. The clues are on their timelines or bios, grandiosity is abundant, they post up photos and details of accolades they have received, they talk incessantly about how they ‘are doing this for all the other victims’. They retweet the tweets in which the groupies (and that is what they are, these hangers on, who do not personally know the ‘victim’ but tell them how great they are, how brave, how fearless etc) and respond in self deprecating tones, to underplay their narcissism. Part of the severe personality disorder that they actually have, manipulative, preening under the attention.
I say this with some degree of certainty. I have friends who work in this field, they are professionals. From psychiatrists specialising in Munchausen to psychologists and academics who study extreme behaviours extensively. However, as of yet, no psychiatrist/psychologist can write a report based on tweets alone, they have to engage with the person for them to comment publicly, or they could find themselves up before a disciplinary body. They do however talk to me after I alert them to various accounts and ask for an opinion. The CJS needs to evolve with the times. Munchausen by Internet is here and it is here to stay.
The most worrying part of all of this is the the fact that some of them have made a career out of being the ‘victim’. They have garnered media attention with their lurid and fantastic stories of their ‘victimhood’ others have been, at some point, genuine victims of abuse, who have gone on to use that to further their own agendas, believing that a conviction in an earlier case commands that they are then to be believed at all times, no matter what they say. Sadly, in some cases, it is the very abuse they suffered as a child, in which they were left for years without proper support and intervention, that creates the monster in later life. It is self perpetuating. Their image of their own misguided belief of self importance (grandiosity) preventing them from ever understanding that in the world of law, “I want” doesn’t always “get”.
Fact, child abuse causes immense harm not just to the child, but to society in general when some of the abused go onto to wreak havoc on society.
What is now happening on social media is unprecedented. The narcissists in their determination to be ‘top dog’ will do anything to achieve their goals. Targeting the more vulnerable ‘campaigners’. Favourite terrorist tactic is to call others ‘paedophiles’ or ‘paedophile supporters’ and then running to the police when, quite understandably, those that are targeted with such appalling labels, react to that. I personally can not think of anything more offensive to a genuine victim of child abuse than being called a child sex offender, outside of the danger associated with labelling people with a name that evokes extreme reaction in others, who are equally unstable.
Finally, but most importantly, the police really need to get a grip on this. They need to understand the complexity of the situation. Evaluate, with the help of MH experts, the fakers and shakers in the field of child abuse. Stop taking the word of the ‘high profile’ campaigners, the media whores, the psychiatrically ill, the vindictive over the ordinary person. Start being more objective. Look at all the evidence and when it is a false allegation, against anyone, prosecute them. Otherwise there are going to be ever more genuine victims of those that insist they are the real victims, when in reality, they are the predators, ensuring that they are not knocked off the pedestal that they believe is their rightful place in this world.
Declaration. I am not a trained professional. All posts are my own take on the situation, supported by research and personal experience and input from professionals. If I have offended any genuine victim of child abuse, I apologise, that is not my intention.