North Texas Daily

False allegations aren’t always false

False allegations aren’t always false

False allegations aren’t always false
August 06
11:19 2020

If you ask any person on the street their worst fear, the usual answers you’ll get are heights, planes and death. For a lot of women, their biggest fear is being sexually assaulted. And for some men, especially on social media, their biggest fear is to be falsely accused of committing acts of sexual violence against a woman. Although the likelihood of being falsely accused is shockingly low, whenever a victim bravely steps into the limelight to speak out against their abuser, someone will inevitably claim it’s a lie. Because to some, being falsely accused of sexual violence is worse than being the actual victim of sexual violence.

Whenever a victim decides to come forward with their story, there’s always a large wave of acceptance and belief. This kind of response is to be expected, true or not, most would want to believe and support the victim of sexual violence and be wrong than to side with the accused perpetrator of said crime. That said, there’s always someone on social media or on TV with a desire and need to claim that a victim is lying about their story.

Amidst the powerful #MeToo movement, there has been a barrage of accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful men. Most notably, when Dr. Christine Blasley Ford claimed that the then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh groped her at a college party decades ago. During her hearings, President Trump decided to let the world know not of the bravery of Dr. Ford to speak up, but of the dangers of false accusations. “You could be somebody that was perfect your entire life, and somebody could accuse you of something . . . and you’re automatically guilty,” Trump said. And Trump knows all too well what it’s like to be accused of sexual misconduct.

Donald Trump Jr. even went so far as to say he was more afraid of his sons being accused of rape than his actual daughters being victims of sexual violence.

Statistically and realistically, however, men should have no reason to be afraid. And no reason to argue “whatabouisms” with sexual assault survivors on social media. An estimated two to eight percent of sexual assaults or rapes are falsely reported, with this number only affecting reported rapes (an average 250,000 rapes occur each year in the US, but many more go unreported). Therefore, the amount of false reports in comparison to the total number of sexual assaults and rapes is likely closer to .002 to .008 percent, so overwhelmingly, it is more likely that a person alleging sexual assault or rape is telling the truth than making a false accusation.

If you still don’t believe me and are still afraid of being falsely accused, may I suggest this handy reading material to help you avoid catching a case.

You could always argue that women who deceitfully and intentionally fabricate claims of sexual violence against a man should receive jail time. But to do that as if it was a new age revolutionary idea in society in the mentions of a #MeToo tweet kind of makes it a moot point. You could also argue it’s even worse for women if the police truly believe they’re lying.

It’s hard to re-collet 100 percent of what happened during your traumatic sexual assault, but to some, if there’s even a small inconsistency, you’re not a victim anymore — you’re a snake in the grass out to hurt an innocent person’s reputation.

If a victim decides to push forward beyond social media to pursue an investigation or legal action, any previous trauma is constantly being re-lived and can cause further mental turmoil. Those investigations are often dropped or there isn’t enough evidence, leading to the abuser being labeled as “innocent” when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of those “false” accusations people love to bring up don’t tend to take into account that the victim may have been threatened, scared or otherwise just decided to drop the case or no longer participate in the investigation. It could mean the court found a lack of evidence — especially in he-said-she-said cases which tend to favor the rapist anyway. A non-guilty verdict or an incomplete investigation does not mean there was fabrication.

The bottom line is that accusations aren’t always false, if ever, and there are a lot of factors as to why many women don’t speak up in the first place. Some women see their experiences as a normal part of everyday life – something that they have they simply have to deal with. Others worry about the repercussions if they do report incidents. This includes the potential impact on their professional standing, their ability to get work, their relationships and their personal reputation. Worst of all — the fear of not being believed in the first place.

If you’re an advocate for helping the falsely accused, hey man, good for you, fight that fight. However, if the only time you ever decide to speak up in the first place is when a victim speaks out, then honestly, you need to shut the hell up.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

About Author

Chance Townsend

Chance Townsend

Related Articles

1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Portland
    Jonathan Portland January 08, 12:03

    True, most accusations are not false. But for those that are, even if not prosecuted, the consequences can be life destroying.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad