Saturday, July 5, 2008

Quote of the day: Campus sexual assault counselors are told to believe rape claims unconditionally

An excerpt from Heather MacDonald's landmark The Campus Rape Myth. Ms. MacDonald explodes the myth that there is a rape epidemic on college campuses. But this chilling fact underlies much of the hysteria. So eager are sexual assault counselors to find rape oozing from every pore, they insist that every claim must be believed unconditionally:

The scarcity of reported sexual assaults means that the women who do report them must be treated like rare treasures. New York University’s Wellness Exchange counsels people to “believe unconditionally” in sexual-assault charges because “only 2 percent of reported rapes are false reports” (a ubiquitous claim that dates from radical feminist Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 tract Against Our Will). As Stuart Taylor and K. C. Johnson point out in their book Until Proven Innocent, however, the rate of false reports is at least 9 percent and probably closer to 50 percent. Just how powerful is the “believe unconditionally” credo? David Lisak, a University of Massachusetts psychology professor who lectures constantly on the antirape college circuit, acknowledged to a hall of Rutgers students this November that the 'Duke case,' in which a black stripper falsely accused three white Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006, 'has raised the issue of false allegations.' But Lisak didn’t want to talk about the Duke case, he said. 'I don’t know what happened at Duke. No one knows.' Actually, we do know what happened at Duke: the prosecutor ignored clearly exculpatory evidence and alibis that cleared the defendants, and was later disbarred for his misconduct. But to the campus rape industry, a lying plaintiff remains a victim of the patriarchy, and the accused remain forever under suspicion.