Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another college newspaper repeats the canard that false rape claims are rare

It never ends.  Here's yet another college newspaper that falls for the myth that false rape claims are virutally non-existent.  It says this: "Though some may believe that women only file rape charges out of regret, guilt, or spite, the FBI reports that false reporting of rape accounts is only about 3%."

My comment:

This is incorrect and requires correction. I founded the world's leading site dedicated to giving voice to, and raising awareness about, the falsely accused, The False Rape Society, and it is an urban myth that only two or three percent of rape claims are false. False rape claims are a significant problem.

By way of clarification, the last time the FBI reported on unfounded rape claims was 1996 (it never reported on "false" claims per se), and it found that 15% of all claims were "unfounded." See Dr. Bruce Gross, False Rape Allegations: An Assault on Justice, Annals of the American Psychotherapy Associaton, Dec. 22, 2008. This percentage, by the way, reflected only the claims that the FBI knew were unfounded; the FBI did not suggest that the other 85 percent were actual rapes. Rape claims do not lend themselves to that kind of certainty. Only fiften percent of all such claims result in conviction, so for the vast majority of claims, no one can assert with certainty how many are false.

Every impartial, objective study shows false rape claims are a significant problem. As reported by "False Rape Allegations" by Eugene Kanin, Archives of Sexual Behavior Feb 1994 v23 n1 p81(12), Professor Kanin’s landmark study of a mid-size Midwestern city over the course of nine years found that 41 percent of all rape claims were false. Kanin also studied the police records of two unnamed large state universities and found that in three years, 50 percent of the 64 rapes reported to campus police were determined to be false.” See also, E. Greer, The Truth Behind Legal Dominance Feminism's 'Two Percent False Rape Claim' Figure, 33 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 947, a scholarly law review article that traced the two percent false rape canard to its unreliable source.

In addition, a landmark Air Force study in 1985 studied 556 rape allegations. It found that 27% of the accusers recanted, and an independent evaluation revealed a false accusation rate of 60%. McDowell, Charles P., Ph.D. “False Allegations.” Forensic Science Digest, (publication of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations), Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 1985), p. 64.

See also, "Until Proven Innocent," the widely praised (praised even by the New York Times, which the book skewers -- as well as almost every other major U.S. news source) and painstaking study of the Duke Lacrosse non-rape case. Authors Stuart Taylor and Professor K.C. Johnson explain that the exact number of false claims is elusive but "[t]he standard assertion by feminists that only 2 percent" or sexual assault claims "are false, which traces to Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book 'Against Our Will,' is without empirical foundation and belied by a wealth of empirical data. These data suggest that at least 9 percent and probably closer to half" of all sexual assault claims "are false . . . ." (Page 374.)

In short, every objective study ever conducted on the prevalence of false rape claims reveals that they are a significant problem. By any measure, denigrating the experience of the wrongly accused by dismissing their victimization as a myth or as unworthy of our discussion, much less our protection, is not merely dishonest but morally grotesque.

Pierce Harlan