Women have anonymously shared their darkest secrets in an explosive online thread.
Hundreds of Mumsnet users confessed to fraud, affairs and criminal acts after one woman asked if anyone had a secret that would 'ruin their life' if it came to light. Many of the women taking part had never told anyone about their actions, but using pseudonyms they were able to share details of their dark pasts.
The thread rapidly went viral with women confessing to drugs, prostitution and fraud in several anonymous posts, but it was sexual infidelity that quickly became the overriding theme of the thread. Dozens of women confessing to paternity fraud, by having an affair and lying to their husband or partner that they were the father of the child they subsequently fell pregnant with. Many seemingly bragged about what they had done. And whilst the women seem to gloat about getting away with it, not a single one appeared to show any remorse; not to the man who they'd duped, or the child who they'd lied to.
These cases were not misattributed paternity, these were deliberate deception, with the man the unwitting victim. paternity fraud, although rarely reported in the mainstream media, is a huge problem with thousands of men unknowingly fall victim to every year. One study suggesting that some three million people in the UK today may be unaware that they are not the biological father to one or more of their children. Another study calculates it may be that 250,000 children under the age of 16 right now believe the person they call dad is not their real father. For obvious reasons, paternity fraud – or paternal discrepancy as healthcare professionals refer to it – is hard to track. The best British review was regarded as being published in the journal Epidemiol Community Health ten years ago. Looking at all other good studies, it said the median average was a rate of four per cent. So one father in every 25 is labouring under a serious misapprehension.
This is a real social injustice that destroys thousands of lives a year. A number of US States are in the process of passing laws that criminalise women who perpetrate this act, whilst in the UK, the likes of the BBC, Channel4 and the Labour Party actively promote the idea that men are always the 'evil' doers, claiming an 'epidemic' of domestic violence, a 'rape culture' on every campus, and painting women as being the victims of an imagined Victorian style Patriarchy. A glance at Mumsnet on any given day, shows that the reality is very different.