Wednesday, March 25, 2009

False Rape Accusations Hurt Rape Victims Too

I was reading this article about a man whose false rape accusation got him evicted, banned from his college's campus, and lost him his source of income and student loans. His photo was distributed in local media and posted campus-wide. The woman, even though after investigation it became obvious that she had fabricated the entire event to fool her mother, received no punishment, and so the man is suing her for $30,000.

These are the things that I see wrong with this situation:

1) This woman abused a system in place to help victims, thereby damaging the reputation of other legitimate victims who might need to use those services and face skepticism because of women like her.
2) There are no checks and balances in this system to keep such a thing from happening. As soon as the accusation went out, this man lost everything. He was guilty until proven innocent, which is (in theory) not how the legal system works in this country. Keeping someone in jail until innocence is reaffirmed is one thing; losing him his future is another.
3) This woman was probably terrified by society and what have you to have her mother find out she had had sex. While that is an unfair pressure that is often put on women, this woman thought it would somehow be "better" to have been raped than to have had consensual sex. That is so unbelievably demeaning to people who have actually felt violated by sex, it boggles the mind.

At least the man is fighting back.

I hope for a future in which sex is less stigmatized, so people in this woman's position feel neither the need to cry "rape!" to justify sex nor the need to stay silent about it. But I also hope for a future in which obviously rape accusations like this that are punishable. Slander is not okay.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for a discussion of false rape accusations untainted by distrust of women, like so many other articles out there.