June 21, 2024

Lucy Letby: Why Are Her Friends Defending Her?

“Part of the process [with moral partiality] is to refuse to accept that they may have done something terrible, unless the evidence is overwhelming,” says Dunbar, who has written a book called Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships. “We set the bar for conviction MUCH higher – it’s ‘why should I take your word for it when I hardly know you, when my trusted friend says they didn’t do it. ’”

In Lucy’s case, the evidence against her really is overwhelming. But she told her closest friends not to attend the trial, which means they haven’t seen it all first hand. It could explain why they’re sticking so closely to the narrative of their “trusted friend”.

“I grew up with Lucy and not a single thing that I’ve ever seen or witnessed of Lucy would let me for a moment believe she is capable of the thing’s she’s accused of,” Dawn adamantly told the BBC. “It is the most out of character accusation that you could ever put against Lucy. Think of your most kind, gentle, soft friend and think that they’re being accused of harming babies. ”

To Claire Cohen, author of BFF? The Truth About Female Friendship, this is an extreme example of what can happen when women believe the myths that they are taught about female friendships. «From the youngest age, whether at school or in popular culture, we are sold the ‘girl code’ narrative: that unquestioning loyalty counts above all else and you must always have one another’s backs, no matter what.

“By adulthood we might know, logically, that this isn’t true – but it can be hard to shake off the idea that being a ‘good’ friend means sticking by your pals, through thick and thin. We even joke about it, telling friends that they’re the person we’d call if we had to bury a body. Although, fortunately, most of us will never have to face the sort of horrific scenario that Lucy’ friends have. ”

It can be hard to shake off the idea that being a ‘good’ friend means sticking by your pals, through thick and thin.

She also points out that these are Lucy’s school friends, who have known her from those early teen years where the ‘girl code myth’ is at its strongest. “It can be hard at the best of times to accept that those old friends, one’s we’ve known for decades, have changed or moved on,” she says. “We prefer to keep them in boxes, not least because it means we don’t have to view our own memories – perhaps, of a more innocent time – through a different lens. ”

If Lucy’s friends accept her crimes, then it means completely changing how they see their “most kind, gentle, soft, friend” – and instead of having to face the fact that the person they’ve known for over two decades is going to spend the rest of her life in prison for murdering, and trying to murder, innocent young babies. But it would also mean having to let go of the idea of being a “good friend”, and it’s clear that for now, Lucy Letby’s friends just aren’t ready to do that.

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