Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Editorial's suggestion to compensate rape-murder victim's family would establish a dangerous precedent -- it would give women incentive to cry rape

An editorial (see it here) correctly applauds Canada's decision to compensate wrongly convicted man Steven Truscott, as we reported here yesterday -- see story here.

But then, inexplicably, it calls for the family of the murdered and raped girl also to be compensated. It reasons that since Truscott is being compensated, so should the girl's family.

Exactly what one has to do with the other is never explained. Mr. Truscott was victimized by the state. As terrible as it is to let a criminal escape justice, it is far worse to allow the apparatus of the state to be used to punish an innocent man. The girl, in contrast, suffered harm at the hands of an unknown individual, not the state. If the individual were known, and if he had sufficient assets, the girl's family would be entitled to a substantial judgment from him. But the state did not victimize her. To start down the path of insisting that the state compensate victims of rape and other crimes perpetrated by private citizens would establish a dangerous precedent -- for innocent men. It would give women even greater incentive to falsely cry rape. We recently blogged about one such proposal in India here, and it bears repeating:

Perhaps the most frightening idea ever: India contemplates giving false accusers monetary incentive to lie

Radical feminists who disingenuously insist that women don't lie about rape premise their assertion on the fact that women have no incentive to lie about being sexually assaulted.

As shown repeatedly on this Web site, that assertion is without any basis in fact. Let's be candid: that assertion is a lie.

As the frequent reports of false accusations show, women lie about rape for any number of reasons, the most common being to provide an alibi or to cover up an illicit sexual relationship from a parent, husband or boyfriend.

People of both genders lie about everything under the sun for all manner of reasons, good, bad and indifferent -- except, according to some radical feminists, when it comes to rape. In that singular instance, mirabile dictu, one gender essentially is incapable of telling a lie while the other is comprised of pathological liars. The very discussion of rape becomes a sort of truth serum for women, they would have us believe, which forces anyone not possessing a Y-chromosome to utter incontrovertible fact. Is this in any sense plausible to a fair-minded person? The question scarcely survives its statement.

In any event, a proposal in India would provide actual monetary incentive for women to lie about rape. According to Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury, the proposal under consideration is this: Women who claim to be rape victims will get Rs.200,000 as a "relief and rehabilitation package." That works out to close to $4,700 -- a tremendous sum of money in a poor, largely rural country.

The proposal establishes a sliding scale that pays women more at each step of the accusatory process: "As per the recommendation, a rape victim will get an initial amount of Rs.20,000 on the basis of the medical report. This will be followed by Rs.70,000 for treatment and rehabilitation. The remaining amount would be given when the victim gives her statement in court."

Thus, the government would remove any incentive for a liar to recant a false claim as time goes by -- the money will prove too attractive.

To get the cash, all a woman need do is go to the police station and claim she's been raped: "Any victim who comes to the police station and lodges a First Information Report is to get monetary relief."

Oh, and a magistrate would be able "to rule out any false claims." Yeah, right.

It would be impossible to chronicle all the problems with this inane and morally bankrupt proposal. The main problem is that it gives even women who otherwise wouldn't lie about rape a huge financial incentive to sacrifice an innocent male for cash. That is nothing short of horrifying.

The family of a man who is murdered, and that loses its sole source of financial support, is not afforded a relief package, but a woman who prances into the police station and lies that she's been raped is given a veritable fortune by Indian standards. Do not the people of India recognize the problem here?

And what of the innumerable falsely accused men sold out for the government's bribe money? Many will lose their jobs, their loved ones, their liberty, their sanity, and some will end up killing themselves. It's happening now, and this latest proposal likely will insure that false claims reach epidemic proportions. What is their relief package? They get none, of course. They are nothing but collateral damage in a culture that regards the victimization of falsely accused men as insignificant compared to the victimization of real rape victims -- even if the men suffer far greater loss. That is the reality.

And that is why we need to keep beating the drum and insisting that false claims be part of the public discourse about rape.