False Reports Of Sexual Assault

93% of victims know their attacker. 59% were acquaintances. 34% were family members. Only 7% were strangers. While false reports seem to happen all the time on crime procedurals on television and in the fevered imagination of many folks, the truth is that only between 2% - 8% of reports turn out to be false. These numbers are statistically in line with all other falsely reported crimes. Of those false reports, almost none of the allegations end in any jail time. Since 1989 only 52 (that’s right. Five. Two. Fifty-two. ) cases have ultimately ended with men being exonerated due to being falsely accused. During that same period, approximately 800 people have been exonerated for murder. Furthermore, the chances that subject of the false report will ever even learn that he was a suspect are even slimmer because most of the false reports are handled before it even gets that far. So the specter of all of these crazed women just waiting to ruin the lives of countless men only exists in a completely false narrative.

As a side note: at least half of false assault complaints are lodged by someone other than the victim. Meaning that a scared girl has lied to her parents to keep from getting into trouble/because she’s pregnant, or the lie is being used to cover infidelity. and the parent/significant other is the one who lodges the complaint. Another statistically significant group who false reports does so in the hope of receiving needed medical care and/or psychiatric treatment. The vast majority of both of these types of false reports have no interest in pursuing charges once the lie has achieved the goal - ie: not getting in trouble or receiving the needed treatment. Here are a few things false accusers share: prior real sexual abuse, a history of other false accusations (other than sexual), drug abuse, criminal history, etc. Sadly enough, the kind of people who are more likely to become false accusers are also the exact same people that are the frequent targets of predation - the young, the scared, the vulnerable, the mentally unstable, those with criminal and/or drug history. Something else interesting to note: almost no - and I mean NONE, as in statistically zero - false accusations involve an ambiguous or ‘he said, she said’ scenario. They almost always involve some kind of aggravating circumstances (knives, guns, gangs, multiple men, bad physical injuries) because the people who false report are desperate to be believed. That’s why when a woman says she’s been held down and raped by seven men on a bed of broken glass at a party - a la the UVA accuser - skepticism is natural and understandable.

However, if a woman says she went on a date with a guy and while she was up for some consensual kissing but that she didn’t want to have sex and told the guy so but he held her down and forced her. . . well, you can pretty much believe it is true not because we are hating men and women never lie but because her story is exactly like the thousands and thousands and thousands of other date rapes that happen every year and nothing at all like the scenarios of the relatively few false reports. The truth is, false reports do not affect the lives of the vast majority of boys/men in any significant way. And when I say vast majority; I mean 99. 9%. The same cannot be said for survivors of sexual assault. The rate for that so far outstrips the rate of false accusation that it is laughable that the former is, even for a moment, considered more important or more likely than the later. Seriously, please take a seat. In fact, according to the graphic below, take ALL of the seats. Because 99. 4% of perpetrators walk free.

15 April 2020
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