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To Whom We Trust
Naim Naqvi | 04 Feb 2014

Presenting the findings of parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and non-government organization in the British Parliament the Victorian MP Georgie Crozier said,“We have called our report Betrayal of Trust. Children were betrayed by trusted figures in organizations of high standing and suffered unimaginable harm. Parents of these children experienced a betrayal beyond comprehension.

And the community was betrayed by the failure of organizations to protect children in their care.” It is sad if an organization exploits the children. It is even saddest if the exploiting entity happens to be as close as the adopted father.

In an open letter published recently in a New York Times blog, Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen's adopted daughtermadeallegations that the director sexually assaulted her when she was seven.Dylan Farrow alleges she was led to a "dim, closet-like attic" and instructed to lie on her stomach and play with her brother's train set while Allen sexually assaulted her. Other abusive behavior, skillfully hidden from her mother, and continuing for years, was also alleged. Farrow's letter alleges sexual abuse by Allen, in particular at the family's holiday home in 1992, during which time he was fighting his former partner Mia Farrow for custody of their two adopted children, Dylan and Moses, as well as their biological, son Ronan. She is now 28 years old, known as Malone Farrow. The couple, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, was together for 12 years before they split.  Farrow has blamed Hollywood for exacerbating her torment by "turning a blind eye". In the letter, Farrow explains her motivation in speaking up as guilt over her fears Allen could abuse others, and disgust at what she sees as the film industry's defence of a "predator".  That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls … Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse."

As expected, the allegations have been denied by Allen. In his response, the renowned director has called these allegations as an unconscionable and gruesomely damaging manipulation of innocent children for vindictive and self-serving motives. On Sunday, Leslee Dart, a publicist for Allen, said, “Mr Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon. In the meantime, it is essential that your coverage make the following facts clear.”  There is no credible evidence of molestation. Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. She had likely been coached by her mother, Mia Farrow. No charges were ever filed. It is interesting to know that following an investigation in 1993, for the allegation of the kind no charges were brought. Cate Blanchett, the acclaimed actress commented cynically – “It's obviously been a long and painful situation for the family and I hope they find some resolution and peace.”

At the time of the incident the prosecutor had revealed that he lacked evidence to prosecute but suspected abuse occurred. After the publication of Dylan Farrow's letter, the legal authorities feel that the statute of limitations on the accusations had expired many years before. Wooden Allen was awarded the Cecil B DeMille Golden Globe for lifetime achievement in January and Farrow twitted :"Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?"