LOUISE O'NEILL: I often wonder why people find it so difficult to believe how prevalent sexual violence is

This week, I watched Leaving Neverland, the documentary about James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who allege that when they were children they were sexually molested by Michael Jackson.

The film is four hours long and contains deeply disturbing and specific details of sexual abuse; the similarities of the men’s stories, of how they and their families were groomed, are chilling.

When my boyfriend and I finished watching the documentary, I said to him that surely no-one would be able to watch Leaving Neverland and doubt that Robson and Safechuck were telling the truth. In response, he held up his phone and showed me some of the comments under the #LeavingNeverland on Twitter.

These ranged from sceptical to sadistic. I assumed these were all hardcore Jackson fanatics (side note: I can’t imagine ever loving someone’s music or books or movies so much that I would ignore allegations of child rape in order to continue enjoying their work), but the next day, when I mentioned to an acquaintance that I had watched the documentary and found it harrowing, they shrugged and said they thought it seemed “a little far-fetched”.

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