False Accusations

Posted in Uncategorised

falseaccusations"Believe the victim" mantra and the frequency of false allegations

College campus decision-makers are instructed to ensure “victims of sexual violence are believed and that they’re seen as credible,”[1] but to be “very, very cautious in accepting a man’s claim that he has been wrongly accused of abuse or violence.”[2] Policies that advise adjudicators to “believe the victim” are intended to minimize victim re-traumatization and encourage reporting of sexual offenses.[3]

According to the victims’ rights campaign Start by Believing, “[w]e should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says” because “the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.”[4] This message glibly minimizes the impact of false accusations, while conveniently ignoring the fact that false accusations can lead to erroneous findings of guilt: 

The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might defriend him on Facebook… But false accusations are exceedingly rare, and errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.[5]


The notion that false allegations are exceedingly rare is based on the often repeated estimate that “only 2% of reported rapes are false,” a ubiquitous claim based upon a virtual “house of cards,” and immortalized in feminist Susan Brownmiller’s 1976 book, Against Our Will.[6] Since its publication, every authority espousing the 2% claim has either relied on Brownmiller’s book for the claim, or relied on it indirectly by citing a source which relied on the book, or by citing yet a third source relying on the second source which relied on Brownmiller’s book, ad infinitum.[7]

As it turns out, scholarly detective work revealed that Brownmiller’s 2% claim was based on her own “interpretation of some data” referenced in a 1974 speech by a local New York judge, who based his comments on one New York City police department unit’s estimate[8] -- hardly an adequate sample or statistically significant estimate. Most reputable studies have estimated the actual rate of false reports to be at least 9 percent and probably closer to 50 percent.[9]

The consequence of implementing believe the victim protocols is not only that the accuser is presumed to be truthful and his/her recollections accurate, but also that the accused student is no longer entitled to be presumed innocent.[10] Unfortunately for unjustly accused students, our political leaders continue to equivocate on the likelihood of false allegations:

In the rush to accomplish American social policy objectives, policy-makers and the public are wary to embrace the issue of false allegations of sexual assault, even discuss it. At the heart of the issue--despite the fact that false allegations concern primarily consequences for men--the female vote is crucially at stake on both sides of the political aisle and as a result disproportionately and incongruously shapes how the issue is publicly discussed.[11]


Notwithstanding the divergent estimates, it should be obvious that the prevalence of false criminal allegations is not necessarily analogous to allegations of sexual misconduct by college students; it is very likely that the prevalence of false allegations of sexual misconduct on campuses has risen in recent years, not only due to expanded definitions of sexual assault and the absence of cross examination and sworn testimony, but also because disincentives for making false allegations of sexual violence, such as shame and fear of repercussions, which precluded many false criminal allegations in the past, are no longer a significant factor on college campuses. That trauma, shame and fear, which historically deterred victims from reporting to law enforcement, has, on today’s campuses, been replaced by an almost exalted victim status, allowing accusers to be showered with attention, media recognition and even invited to the State of the Union Address.[12]

_______________________________

[1]  Hirsch, Zach, “Campus sexual assault in the North County; What its like to be the accused,” North County Public Radio, January 7, 2015, http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/27118/20150107/campus-sexual-assault-in-the-north-country-what-it-s-like-to-be-the-accused.

[2]  Young, Cathy, “Harvard Liberals Hate New Campus Sex Laws,” The Daily Beast, October 19, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/19/harvard-liberals-hate-new-campus-sex-laws.html.

[3]  MacDonald,Heather, “TheCampusRapeMyth.”CityJournal,Winter2008, (‘“believeunconditionally”insexual-assaultcharges’”) http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_campus_rape.html.

[4]  Start by Believing is a public awareness campaign designed by End Violence Against Women International to change the way the public “responds to rape and sexual assault in our communities.” http://www.startbybelieving.org.

[5]  Ibid.

[6]  Brownmiller, Susan, Against our will: Men, Women, and Rape (1976), New York: Bantam Books.

[7]  Greer, Edward, “The Truth behind Legal Dominance Feminism's Two Percent False Rape Claim Figure,” Loyola Law Review, Vol. 33: 947, 955-56 (2000), http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/llr/vol33/iss3/3.

[8]  Ibid.

[9]  At least three reputable studies have found the false accusation rate to be as high as 40-50%: Gross, Bruce, PhD, JD, MBA, “False Rape Allegations: An Assault on Justice,” The Forensic Examiner, Spring 2009, http://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/, reprinted at http://www.cotwa.info/p/false-rape-allegations-assault-on.html; Taylor, Stuart Jr. and Johnson, KC, Until Proven Innocent, Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, 2010,http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/books/review/Rosen-t.html?_r=0; MacDonald,Heather, “TheCampusRapeMyth.”CityJournal,Winter2008, (‘“believeunconditionally”insexual-assaultcharges’”) http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_campus_rape.html; Taylor, Jonathan, “10 Reasons False Rape Accusations are Common,” A Voice for Male Students, July 22, 2014, http://www.avoiceformalestudents.com/avfms-mega-post-10-reasons-false-rape-accusations-are-common/.

[10]  Kaminer, Wendy, ‘“Believe The Victim”? Maybe — But Protect The Rights Of The Accused, Too,’ WBUR Boston, February 4, 2014, http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2014/02/04/campus-sexual-assault-wendy-kaminer.

[11]  Erwin, John, “Missing The Mark; False Allegations in the U.S. Government,” p. 8, AmericanAnalyst, August 8, 2014, https://www.scribd.com/doc/236235147/False-Allegations-in-the-U-S-Government.

[12]  Soave, Robby, “Student Accused of Rape by ‘Mattress Girl’ Sues Columbia U., Publishes Dozens of Damning Texts,” reason.com, April 24, 2015, http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/24/student-accused-of-rape-by-mattress-girl.

Online Support Group

Posted in Uncategorised

online support group
Our online support group is devoted to helping members dealing with Domestic Violence. This group was created at the request of several individuals who emailed SAFE asking for a support group. We ask that opinions expressed in our group are done civilly and respectfully. No personal or gender based attacks on members of the group. We encourage members to post news articles, reasearch, studies, and any information that might be useful to those in the group.

We are actively pursuing the idea of face to face support groups in the future, but in the meantime -- we hope that our online support group will serve the needs of our members.



To join the support group, go to:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/7967669438/

Forum Rules

Posted in Uncategorised

FORUM GUIDELINES (Please take a moment to read the below rules before posting)

Registration to the Safe4All.org Forum is free!  While participating in the Forum all of the "Rules" must be observed to ensure the Forum remains a friendly and enjoyable place to visit.  Each person who writes a message in the Safe4All.org Forum is responsible for what they write.  Safe4All.org does not assume responsibility, legal or otherwise, for what is written in the Forum areas.  The administrators of Safe4All.org will attempt to catch all of the rule-breaking postings.  It is impossible for us to review all messages.  If we miss one we would appreciate being notified.  If you would like to report a rule-breaking posting, or have any questions or comments regarding the Forum rules, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you for helping to make the Safe4All.org Forum a nice place to visit!

Please read the below rules, if you agree to the terms --- select a topic, and start posting!

FORUM RULES:

Please note that: Your postings to this public forum will become public.  The following are the rules that govern use of the Safe4All.org website.  By using the Forum, you agree to be bound by these rules and to follow all applicable laws and regulations governing the website.  Safe4All.org reserves the right to change these rules at any time.  It is your responsibility to remain informed of current Safe4All.org rules and policies.  Additionally, Safe4All.org reserves the right to remove, edit, move, or close any thread for any reason.  Safe4All.org is not liable or responsible for any content provided by its users.

Prohibited Content:

  • Below is a partial list of the types of Content which is prohibited on the Safe4All.org website.  Content that:
  • Is or could be offensive to minors and the online community.
  • Promotes hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual. (These types of postings will be removed and the users account disabled).
  • Solicites "mass mailing", "junk mail", or "spamming" our members in any manner. (Users are not prohibited to solicit business through this forum without permission).
  • Promotes information that users know is false or misleading.
  • Promotes illegal activities or conduct which can be seen as threatening, defamatory, obscene, or libelous.
  • Links to sites or images that display pornographic or sexually explicit material of any kind.
  • Encourages illegal intent.
  • Contains ads or other form of advertising. (These types of postings will be removed).
  • Is attacking or slanderous towards MensEnews.org or our staff and/or management in any form, may result in immediate suspension of your account.
  • Provides material that exploits people under the age of 18 in any manner, or solicits personal information from anyone under 18.
  • Promotes an illegal or unauthorized copy of another person's work.
  • Engages in commercial activities and/or sales such as (contests, advertising, sweepstakes.etc.) without prior written consent from MensEnews.org.
  • Contains restricted or password only access pages, or hidden pages or images (those not linked to or from another accessible page).

DISCLAIMER:

Contributions to this forum by users do not necessarily represent the view or opinions of Safe4ALL.org.  Advice, opinions, suggestions, and other information by participants in this discussion Forum are those of the author.  If users rely on these opinions, suggestions, advice, and information --you do so at your own risk.  Participants in the forums are always encouraged to seek professional advice for their own individual situations.  You should not rely solely on advice, opinions, suggestions given in the discussion Forums.

Users can be held liable for any illegal or prohibited "user content" they provide to the website or to other users -- to include defamatory or offensive materials. All content on this website is the property of Safe4All.org.  By using this forum, you agree to hold Safe4All.org, its affiliates, officers, and employees, harmless from any loss or liability that may arise out of your use of the website.

Online Support

RESOURCES
FORUM
BLOG