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Legal issues

This comment was originally left on Talk:Innocent until proven guilty Thayvian (talk) 00:03, March 23, 2014 (UTC)

The article really needs to discuss and link to resources about some of the legal issues that may come with calling out people's behavior. A possible retaliation by an abuser is to file a defamation lawsuit, which, regardless of truth or provability, will often cause real pain to victims both financially (winning doesn't necessarily recoup the thousands of dollars in legal fees and losing in some jurisdictions also carries jail terms in addition to costly financial damages) and from the psychological stress of having to relive their trauma in the face of victim blaming and invasive questioning from the opposing side (only in this case, there is the explicit rather than implicit assumption the victim is lying).

The risk isn't that high since most abusers also can't afford to file charges and wouldn't want to risk the lawsuit leading into an actual criminal investigation, but one that knows the evidence, court biases, and/or lack of financial ability for the victim to defend themselves are in their favor could very well end up winning regardless of the facts.

This is not to say that people shouldn't feel empowered to speak out against their abusers and warn others away from them, but they should understand and be prepared for the risks that come with publicly speaking on these topics. To pretend there isn't would be a great disservice to people that have already been greatly hurt by another person's actions. 96.47.226.22 18:05, March 22, 2014 (UTC) (Tor IP)

This is true. My major comment would be to watch out for US-centricity, or even Western-centricity, in providing legal links, or to at least warn for it. For example, the truth isn't actually a defence against libel or slander suits in many countries (there's a public interest test too, or more). (Nor, for that matter, is Innocent until proven guilty a principle in all criminal legal systems.) Thayvian (talk) 00:03, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
As an update to this discussion, see SLAPP Thayvian (talk) 09:30, March 30, 2015 (UTC)

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