This is by far the biggest derailer. This myth of frequent false accusations runs so very deep in our culture that I can’t even begin to explain it all here. Due to both the gross under-reporting of sexual violence as well as the police dismissing and humiliating so many people who do report, statistical analysis of false reports are already skewed in favor of the rapist. Additionally, even though the amount of rapes are down to a mere 600/day (one every two minutes) as opposed to the 1800/day of twenty years ago, it’s still far, far too many rapes every day for the media to cover or care. It’s commonplace to the media. Not news because it’s so very frequent.
A false accusation, on the other hand, especially when it’s a juicy story about a celebrity or athlete, is very newsworthy, in part because it happens so. very. rarely.
Truth is, rape has no higher rate of false accusations than any other crime. In fact, it’s lower.
I’ve written a long post called “Falsely Accused” on Caught in the Cogs which took me over 8 hours of research and many, many tears. Reliable estimates range from 1.5% to 8%, with the 1.5% being closer to accurate, as you’ll see in the article below. The most recent study done in the UK shows a mere 0.7%!
Rant Against the Random has an even better run down of statistics and explanations of why “false accusations” isn’t a problem, especially compared to the number of rape/sexual assault victims every day. This is a must MUST read. “Why I Won’t Publish Your Comments About False Rape Accusations” & this: “Why I Won’t Respond to Your Tweets About False Accusations.”
Additionally, please read “I am a False Rape Allegation Statistic,” by a survivor who chronicles how the cops made her act out her rape (with one of them playing the rapist) as well as bully her into recanting her story despite her rape being very stereotypical, indeed, with loads of physical evidence and injury. Yep. I kid you not. She’s by far not the only one. It happens more times that you’d like to think. Here’s another one. This time, not only did the cops make her recant but the rapist went on to rape many other women. He was one of the 3% finally caught and prosecuted, and now the woman is suing the cops for not believing her. Good for her.
Another excellent resource is this report. Please, please read.
Please, take the time to read this in full and stop spouting “false accusations.”
AGAIN, we’re not talking about jail or legal ramifications here. We’re talking about questioning the accused and seeing how they responds instead of questioning the victim. We’re talking about social consequences and accountability, not jail time. Not arrest.
Listen to the victim. Believe her.*