Polimicks

Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

For the Guys. False Rape Accusations: Discuss

asked me if I’d be willing to host a discussion amongst the guys on their take on the “Epidemic” of false rape accusations that gets trotted out every time I, or any other woman, starts to talk about rape.

Yes, I know, I’m not so good at reining in the bias about this topic.

So, I’ll be turning this over to the guys. I will not edit. I will not delete unless the venom and name-calling get out of hand. I will let the guys have this discussion, and urge the girls to let them have it as well. If you fear it will be too triggering, don’t read it.

This post is ALL about the comments, so it’s in their hands.

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13 comments on “For the Guys. False Rape Accusations: Discuss

  1. zabieru
    October 28, 2008

    I’ve got three posts to make on this topic. Here’s the first, on the difference between false social accusations and false legal accusations.
    I hear a lot of talk about false accusations. And it often goes like this:
    Well-Meaning Dude: What about false accusations? I don’t want to harsh on rape victims because I am a good person but accused perpetrators have rights too.
    Someone Else: Yeah, that almost never happens. (cue statistics)
    WMD: Sure it does. I’ve seen it.
    Here’s what I think is happening: That guy has heard someone say “I was raped” or “That guy? No. I never want to see him again. He… Well, he… (cue hesitant talking-around sexual assault).”* And then later he has discovered that this almost certainly didn’t happen.
    *If I sound unsympathetic, it’s because I am. I feel very strongly about protecting and supporting victims of violence, especially and above all sexual violence, and when someone manipulates those feelings it makes me angry and disgusted.
    Someone Else hears him say “false accusation” and thinks he means a legal accusation, a police report, et cetera. WMD thinks “well, I suppose social accusations are more common than legal ones, but smoke and fire and all that.” So he doesn’t explicitly say “I don’t mean legal accusations” because he was originally talking about social accusations but what he has to say fits legal accusations too, as far as he knows. He’s right, actually. If we were talking about burglary or something, he’d be on track. There’s something he doesn’t know, though, about social accusations in relation to legal accusations, specifically about sexual violence.
    So. Social accusations are pretty common. I’ve been privy to at least one in my time. And I say “at least” because that’s the one where I’m dead certain it didn’t happen like she said. There are a couple of others where I’m 75% or 95% sure, but I don’t really know and so it could be true.
    Legal accusations are very, very rare.
    Very rare.
    Someone else can give the statistics, but even true accusations are rare compared to unreported rapes, and false accusations are less than 10% of accusations, so for every false legal accusation, you should figure on nine true ones and around a hundred rapists going unpunished.
    I’ve heard someone claim they made a report to the police, but that wasn’t true. I don’t really know what to say about that: She made a false social accusation, as part of which she claimed to have made a legal accusation which in fact she never made.
    But because of that I’m disinclined to trust anecdotal stories about legal accusations. Please, if you know someone who has been arrested, or has done the arresting, in a case where you have some kind of evidence that no sexual assault took place, tell us about it. But unless you have evidence (rather than hearsay) that a police report was made, take that with a grain of salt.

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    • morinon
      October 28, 2008

      See, that’s about my PoV. There’s also the fact that someone socially accused of raping someone else becomes a pariah EVEN WHEN it’s shown they couldn’t have done it, in some cases.
      I have, in the past, been the WMD.

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      • zabieru
        October 28, 2008

        But you see that none of that has anything at all to do with our criminal justice system or the experiences of actual or supposed rape victims in dealing with the criminal justice system, right?
        I mean, there’s reasons why someone would think that they were related, but they’d actually be incorrect in that supposition.

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    • rae_beta
      October 28, 2008

      The times I’ve seen entirely false social accusations come up, they were all the product of gossip–none were the result of someone knowingly and directly making a false claim. I know it happens, but I suspect that in most cases involving social accusations, they’re as much the work of concerned and/or misinterpreting friends as of the alleged victims.

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      • zabieru
        October 28, 2008

        Ooohh… I think you’re right, that’s the most common case, but I’ve also heard specific first-party allegations and I think that’s more common than you’re giving credit for. And I think there’s a reason why I’ve been the third party to those and you haven’t. That’s my next post, but I just scrubbed a draft I didn’t like, so it might be a while.

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      • rae_beta
        October 28, 2008

        Gender, I’d guess, is a fair lot of it, as is anticipated reaction–I’d imagine that if you’re making a deliberate false accusation, you’re way more likely to go to a) a man (which I’m guessing you are, just from the context of this thread), and b) someone who isn’t trained as a victim advocate. Anyone who knew me well enough to come to me about an assault would know that my first responses would be based around their safety and available resources rather than social revenge, which seems like the obvious motive for deliberately making a false accusation (I’d further distinguish deliberate false accusations from, say, describing something from inaccurate memories, especially when the latter are fueled by drugs and/or alcohol and/or hypnotherapy / repressed memory “therapy”).
        I didn’t mean to downplay–or reflect at all on–the relative prevalence of first-party allegations, which was why I specified that I was speaking from experience rather than statistics or even anecdotal evidence. Consider any missing credit given. =)

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  2. lisatheriveter
    October 28, 2008

    When I was about 10 years old, I was part of a false accusation of rape (in fact, of sexual assault of a minor, as the accuser was also about 10 years old). I have no idea how I feel about this incident, but I offer it as a subject of discussion.
    One afternoon I was chatting on the phone with a schoolmate when she told me she was at that very moment being sexually assaulted by her father. I quizzed her a bit on what was going on and told her to leave or call the police (she said she could not do either). The whole thing sounded fishy even to my young ears – what kind of rapist lets you sit there on the phone describing what is happening to you? – but my father had trained me well. I hung up with my friend, called the police department and had them patch me through to my dad, and told him everything. He immediately got the cops and CPS on the case.
    As it turned out, I was right in my feeling that this was fishy. My friend was not being abused, neither at the time nor at any time previously. CPS and her parents got her into therapy and dealt with whatever problems had prompted the accusation.
    My memory is a little fuzzy on the details, but I don’t think I ever really had any more contact with my friend. My parents praised me for my quick thinking and good reactions, and I feel like I did the right thing. I took my friend seriously and sent the best help I could think of. I cannot imagine what prompted her to make such a claim, but I hope that she eventually got the help she needed and went on to have a better life.
    So there you go. There’s one documented instance of a false accusation. Mind you, it started out as a social accusation, and only became a legal accusation because a witness (me) reported it to the police. It is possible that because my father was involved (I had shared with him my doubts in the initial call) that there was never actually a police report of sexual assault filed – this was a very small town and it was not unheard of for CPS to get involved without a formal police report.The police documented my statement, but I gave it at home to my dad, who served both as cop taking the statement and parent supervising a child’s interaction with the police. I think we just recorded my statement – it was pretty informal.

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  3. falserapeguy
    October 30, 2008

    I suspect mine is the only Web site devoted exclusively to false rape claims. http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/ Let me suggest something that should not be controversial: rape and false rape claims are apples and kiwis. Persons who try to minimize the seriousness of rape by changing the subject to false rape claims are at the very least insensitive. By the same token, when someone who wants to discuss false rape claims in a serious manner, it is not appropriate to change the subject to “underreporting” of actual rape or the “fact” that only two percent of rape claims are false in an attempt to minimize my points. Men and boys have been sent away to prison for years on the basis of false and wrongful rape claims. They’ve been beaten and killed, they’ve lost their wives, girlfriends and businesses. It is possible, and not intellectually dishonest, to support victims of both crimes and to discuss ways of eradicating both without “selling out” victims of either. One who attempts to discuss false rape claims in a serious manner, divorced from attempts to minimize the seriousness of rape, should not be treated as a misogynist or rape “denialist.” False rape claims do grave damage to actual rape victims and pretending they don’t exist or that they are a “myth” only lessens the credibility of the speaker.
    And there is, after all, an objective truth out there — elusive as the numbers are, and discussion of it shouldn’t be verboten. Sadly, most people who discuss these issues are uninformed and are repeating a political spin when they posit outrageous numbers. In “Until Proven Innocent,” the widely praised (praised even by the New York Times, which the book skewers) and painstaking study of the Duke Lacrosse case, Stuart Taylor and Professor KC Johnson summarized all of the major studies dealing with false claims of sexual assault and explained that the exact number of false claims is elusive but “[t]he standard assertion by feminists that only 2 percent” or sexual assault claims “are false, which traces to Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book “Against Our Will,” is without empirical foundation and belied by a wealth of empirical data. These data suggest that at least 9 percent and probably closer to half” of all sexual assault claims “are false . . . .” (Page 374.)
    Now that’s a hell of a lot more honest than the vast majority of persons who write about this issue. Many leftwing legal scholars repeat the two percent claim but — and I’m going to say this because it’s factual — that number has been thoroughly debunked. Here’s a serious study tracing the two percent number to it’s origins — and proving it’s not at all reliable — not in the least: http://llr.lls.edu/volumes/v33-issue3/greer.pdf Many MRAs insist it’s 90 percent, which is also absurd on its face. In addition, FBI statistics show that false reporting of sexual assault is fourfold greater than the average for all crimes. The Politics of Sexuality, Barry M. Dank, Editor in Chief, Vol. 3 at 36, n. 8.
    There are some important points worthy of discussion. I want to discuss it because I’ve seen the lives of men and boys ruined by false claims, and I think we should consider allowing them to retain their anonymity (just as rape accusers are anonymous) until they are charged at least. Rape claims are capable of destroying lives and reputations more than any other crime — a mere claim that a kid raped a young woman shouldn’t be sufficient to have his name splashed all over the newspaper for the world to titilate to his humiliation — or worse, have him beaten, spat on and killed (all these things have happened — check my Web site). And I want the sentences to be tougher for false accusers who don’t recant early in order to deter other false accusers. If a false accuser sends a man or boy to jail for several years and her lie is only discovered later, why should she be immune from prosecution because the statute of limitations has expired? That has happened because the statute of limitations is typically very short for this crime. But we can’t discuss these issues when every time they are brought up, we are accused of hating women, or our concerns are met with a dismissive reference to underreporting of actual rapes.

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    • polimicks
      October 30, 2008

      Actually, the figure I usually cite is the 8% for unfounded rape accusations given by the FBI in their 1997 report on crime statistics. There’s a link in the first “Rape Myth” post, and in the comments on a later post someone else posted several links about how that data was interpreted.
      The actual Myth I was debunking on this one is that women lie about rape all the time.
      I’ll have to read that article by Taylor and Johnson, because “at least 9% and probably closer to half” is one hell of a leap.
      I’ve never denied that false accusations happen, I do deny that they happen all the time.

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      • falserapeguy
        October 31, 2008

        polimicks
        And I agree false claims don’t happen all the time. Are you familiar with Professor Kanin’s study? He is otherwise a feminist hero but his is the only serious study ever done of this phenomenon — in his study he found 41% of rape claims not just false but actually recanted. And yes, nine to closer to 50% is a big gap — but that just shows the author’s honesty. All due respect but when you say 8% — you have no idea. No one is able to pinpoint it with that degree of precision. THAT is why “Until Proven Innocent” gets it right. The point is, it is not uncommon. So why must we insist on minimizing it instead of examining how to reduce such false claims, and how to HELP the victims of false claims.
        That last part — helping the victims of false claims — is something that self-proclaimed feminists routinely dismiss by insisting “hey, it’s not a real problem.” With all due respect.

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      • falserapeguy
        October 31, 2008

        Re: polimicks
        P.S. Respectfully, the alleged “myth” that everyone thinks women always lie about rape is a straw man used by feminists to raise awareness about rape and to minimize false rape claims. No reasonable person believes that all women lie about rape in this day and age. Perhaps at one time in the past, not today. In fact, the opposite is far closer to the truth about what people believe. How to test it? Any time a woman claims she was raped, even the news media implicitly believes her — and the guy’s name is splashed all over the newspaper for world to titilate to his humiliation. Check out my Web site and see the harm that is inflicted on men and boys on the basis of a claim that turns out to be false. They’ve been beaten and killed (honestly — killed), they’ve lost their wives, girlfriends and businesses because of false rape claims — all because the accuser is automatically believed, and the guy’s reputation is pretty much destroyed. Some guys are forced to move away (even when it’s proven the claim was false).
        Yet to raise awareness about rape, feminists keep trotting out this manufacturered “myth” that everyone thinks all women lie about rape. It is a myth that people actually believe THAT.

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      • polimicks
        October 31, 2008

        Re: polimicks
        I’ll check out Kanin, but you do realize that an awful lot of recanting happens because women (and men) are afraid of who they are accusing, or the accused friends and family… Or just don’t want to go through the trial and all the horrible crap that goes with it.
        It really isn’t as simple as “Oh, she recanted, it obviously isn’t true.”

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      • falserapeguy
        October 31, 2008

        Re: polimicks
        Prof. Kanin specifically considered the recanting issue and determined it was not a problem. And check my Web site — recantations almost always occur in the face of overwhelming evidence (no, not lie detector evidence) that a lie has been told. But virtually NO false rape claims are classified as “false” without it, so the odds are good that there are many more false claims than recantations. A recantation is generally the inevitable confession after the accuser’s story has completely fallen apart.
        This is not directed at you because you seem open-minded, but isn’t it amusing that feminists claim women don’t lie about rape — EXCEPT when it comes to recanting. And what of the obvious corollary: Men accused of rape who claim the woman made a false report invariably lie, and men accused of rape who confess to it invariably are telling the truth.
        Did you get that? Any time someone speaks in a manner intended to send a male to prison for a rape accusation, they are telling the truth. Any time someone speaks in a manner intended to keep a male out of prison for an alleged rape, that is a lie.

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2008 by in Uncategorized.

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