opinion

'The woman who framed her husband': Why this story shouldn't be front page news today.

A cruel woman.

A calculating woman.

A woman who concocted a malicious plan to frame her husband.

This is the story appearing on a number of Australian news sites today, after a man named Faisal told his story on Monday night’s episode of A Current AffairSpeaking to the program, he said he was initially smitten with Asmae, who he met on a Muslim dating site. Proposing to her in her home country of Morocco, Faisal thought he was coming home with a life partner, but as the marriage progressed, he began to find her greedy and materialistic.

Faisal estimates that in paying for high-end clothing, shoes, holidays, functions, fine dining and travel, he spent around $200,000 on his wife.

Eight months into the marriage, Faisal contacted a lawyer about the possibility of divorce. He believes that Asmae somehow saw the email, and was distressed about how a divorce could affect her Australian residency. So she lashed out at him.

Watch Faisal’s story on A Current Affair. Post continues after video.

Video via Channel 9

In April this year, he returned home to a trashed apartment, with furniture toppled over, broken glass and damage to the walls. “I entered and she said to me that ‘you think you are smart and you’re talking to lawyers about me, now see what I do to you’,” he told A Current Affair. “And she just ran.”

Asmae went to police, accusing her husband of assaulting her. Faisal was arrested, charged and held overnight, at which point Asmae returned to the couple’s apartment, and allegedly stole a number of Faisal’s belongings.

After months of trying to prove his innocence, CCTV footage was discovered which showed Asmae in the lift of the couple’s apartment building, giving herself two uppercuts to the face.

Now, Faisal wants his former partner charged and held accountable for the false allegations.

“I got used and abused over and over again,” he told A Current Affair. “Mentally, financially, emotionally, you name it, I’m the victim.

And for Faisal, that might very well be the case.

Faisal and Asmae. Image via A Current Affair.

It’s important to acknowledge that a false accusation of any crime – but perhaps particularly a crime involving domestic or sexual violence – is incredibly damaging. It can be financially, emotionally and psychologically devastating for the individual accused. For a person who makes a false accusation, the fabrication of evidence, as well as perjury, are both serious criminal offences, and can result in jail time.

ADVERTISEMENT

But for the men and women who live in Faisal’s home state of NSW, this story – of false reporting, of ‘framing’ – is exceedingly rare. It’s estimated that rates of false reporting of domestic violence are low (roughly 4 per cent) and in line with false reporting for other crimes.

The numbers that are far more jarring are those that come from victims of domestic violence who are telling the truth. The more than 20 people who have been stabbed, strangled, set alight or bashed to death in NSW this year. The more than 60 Australian women who have died as a result of domestic or family violence in 2018 alone. The average of 400 people in NSW who call the police with domestic violence-related calls every single day. The increased number of women who will die at the hands of a partner in December – a spike that’s been documented for over 20 years.

But we don’t tell all these stories. We can’t possibly. There are simply too many. There are only so many times we can hear the sad story of a woman whose life was taken at the hands of a person who claimed to love her.

So instead, in the news, we report the anomaly. We talk about the vindictive woman who framed her husband for domestic violence, when really she was the one who punched herself. We watch the footage of her in a lift, and listen to the heartbroken words of her husband, an innocent man whose life has been damaged by these accusations.

This dishonest woman might exist – in fact, lots and lots of dishonest people exist – but there are thousands more victims for whom the stigma of reporting domestic violence, and not being believed, means they’ll never come forward.

When we see the front page story about a man falsely accused of rape, or framed for domestic violence, we’re allowed to feel sympathy for him. But we need to remember that his story is the exception, not the rule, and often the rule – in this case, countless honest victims – fades into obscurity.

Because when something is normal, it doesn’t make the news.

And that’s the saddest part.

We have FIVE $100 gift vouchers up for grabs. Take our survey now for your chance to win.

 

MMSurvey

 

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???