Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible play in 1953. Since then, the tragic stories of John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Giles Corey and other innocent people who were killed because of accusations of witchcraft have been performed on numerous stages, adapted into films and, even more recently, compared to the current string of sexual allegations against rich, famous or otherwise powerful men.
On Nov. 15, The Washington Post reported that Kayla Moore, the wife of Roy Moore, Alabama’s Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat, said the accusations of sexual assault against her husband are a witch hunt. Simply put, she argues the witnesses against Moore are giving false testimonies of abuse in order to harm her husband’s career.
Moore is one of the growing numbers of politicians, businessmen and celebrities who have been accused of sexual misconduct against women. And while I applaud these women for coming forward and speaking out about the abuse done to them, I find myself hoping more than ever that Moore’s wife, is wrong about this all being one giant witch hunt.
To be clear, I do not think these claims are false. Quite the opposite. I hope that any and all who are guilty of violating another should be held accountable, because any person, whether they be woman, man or child, should be given a chance at justice, not dismissed and cast aside.
But if we want to actually see justice for those who have been sexually violated, then no accusation should be dismissed. But more importantly, there cannot be any more false accusations.
Imagine the courage these women would need to speak out against these men with political and monetary power. They would be inviting criticisms, threats and acts of intimidation from these men and their supporters, let alone the shame they would feel for openly admitting before a society with a history of victim-blaming that they have been violated.
Now imagine what would happen if even one of these accusations was discovered to be false. What if one of these women, having a personal political agenda or for any other reason, decided to fabricate an account of assault?
Consider what happens even at BYU-Idaho when local news reports that a student was sexually assaulted, but then the police announce that said student lied. Some may still argue that the student may have been pressured to change the story, but for others, they begin to say, “Oh, they changed their mind after the deed was done,” or “They only said that for attention.”
Doubts that were already on their minds were validated, making them even less likely to believe claims in the future. Making it all the harder for the rest of those who try to come forward in the future to be believed.
Because even if it were only to be one false case out of 100, that one could invalidate the remaining 99 legitimate cases.
How tragic it is when the tearful screams for justice fall upon ears deafened by disbelief. And how much more so, when those ears have grown deaf because of the vain yelps of liars.
Do not allow the ears of justice to grow deaf. Do not drown out the real victims’ chance at justice with lies.
Because if this happens, then all the work and effort that has gone into this campaign will be swept aside as it is declared to be nothing more than another witch hunt.