Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A whirl around the world of false rape: Update on anonymity; a great article by a woman who says men have much to fear from false rape claims; and a poor sport prosecutor

*Cameron discusses anonymity. PRIME MINISTER QUESTIONS JUNE 9: 

Caroline Flint: May I ask the Prime Minister why he believes that defendants in rape cases are more deserving of anonymity than those accused of murder, domestic violence or sexual abuse of children?

The Prime Minister: I know that the right hon. Lady cares very deeply about this issue—the key issue of getting the conviction rate for rapists up—as do I. I know that she gave a good speech on the subject in an Adjournment debate. What I would say is that none of us should ignore the fact that somehow there is a problem with this. We know that a lot of people are falsely accused, whose careers and lives can be blighted—[Interruption.] Opposition Members shake their heads, but in some cases people have committed suicide. One of the proofs is that when the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman), now leader of the Labour party, was in office, she commissioned a report into this issue by Baroness Stern, which found that 8 to 10% of reported rape cases could result in false allegations. Baroness Stern, who looked into the issue, said that defendant anonymity was often raised and that a  “full examination of the issues would be helpful to the debate”.

What we are promising is to bring proposals forward so that they can be debated. Let us not ignore the fact that there is a problem, because there is one, and let us see if we can work together to find the right outcome. See here. (Emphasis added.)

*Accused of rape and innocent - why does it happen? by Claire Tully

Picture this:

You are on a night out with your friends. Your eyes meet those of a girl across the room. She smiles. You smile back. She holds your gaze long enough for you to feel confident to make a move.

So you strike up a conversation; offer to buy her a drink. She accepts. She stays in your company for the rest of the night, laughing and chatting. Whenever you get yourself a drink you offer her one. And she accepts.

When the club closes, you invite her back to yours. She says OK. When you get there you offer her another drink. She takes it. You kiss her and she kisses you back. You lift up her dress and she helps you take it off. And then you both have sex.

It all sounds pretty much like a run-of-the-mill one night stand. Boy meets girl, boy has sex with girl and girl goes home. Two consenting adults satisfied they both got what they wanted from the experience, not much else to report.

But what if that’s not how she says it was? What if the next person to come knocking at your door is in uniform and asking questions about rape?

Men are more at risk from false rape accusations than people dare speak about. In fact it has been estimated anything between 10 and 40% of rape accusations in the U.S. are made up – a figure that has understandably outraged rape support services as much as it has men’s issues activists. And the difficulties in nailing down an exact figure only emphasise the difficulty in detecting a good lie.

Rape is always wrong, but so too is lying about it. So what is it that makes some women lie about something so utterly devastating?

Interestingly those who have been caught out or received a sudden attack of consciousness gave the following as their main reasons for lying about a rape: (a) revenge or spite (against an individual or men in general) (b) to get away with something else (affairs or pregnancy) and (c) to get attention or sympathy.

A lot to lose

Now maybe I’m completely devoid of all feministic urges but my take on this reads as if you are female and a guy doesn’t fancy you or you screw up or are just a general fruit cake then you always have the option of bringing him down with you. Except well, he’s a lot more to lose.

The apparent lack of conscience by these women is enough to make ones balls shrivel. Mine would, if I had any.

Once a man has been accused of a rape he has no right to public anonymity - that’s a privilege that belongs to the victim, even if it is only alleged. And this is regardless of what personal damage the falsely accused may suffer or that young men have committed suicide over false accusations.

Rape is regarded second only to paedophilic abuse as one of the most vile and humanely sick acts a person can commit that does not involve killing. It is also overwhelmingly men who are proved to be the perpetrators. Physically stronger and viewed as the more sexually aggressive sex, just being a man goes against you.

The women who cry rape play a dangerous game and one where everyone loses.

So if you thought STDs were all you had to be wary about on one night stands, you might want to think again. Better safe than sorry.

*Talk about a poor sport: a San Rafael man accused of rape was acuitted by a jury after taking the stand and testifying on his own behalf.  Listen to what the prosecutor, Tom Brown, said about the man taking the stand to testify:  "Good for him for taking the stand and telling us a bunch of lies," Brown said.  I wonder if the acquitted man can sue Brown.  After all, Brown's comment was not made in connection with the prosecution of a case.