Friday, July 23, 2010

Sexual assault counselors are treated as unbiased sources, even when they claim only three out of 'thousands' of rape claims are false

The sexual grievance industry has managed to convince news outlets in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand -- and I am sure pretty much everywhere else, too -- that its representative are unbiased and objective when it comes to rape.  Generally, they are not. They are "victims'" advocates whose livelihoods depend on convincing enough people that rape is a very serious problem. The following news story illustrates the dangers in believing unconditionally the purported factual assertions of such an advocate.

The Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine is in the news in connection with a false rape claim.  Before we discuss that news story, let's furnish a little backgrounds on SARSSM.  Here is its Web site -- http://www.sarsonline.org/ -- don't trust what I'm about to tell you, check it out for yourself.  Among many, many other things, SARSSM asserts the following: "Consent is only possible when there is equal power."  (What on earth does that mean?  Since President Obama is widely considered the most powerful person on earth, is he committing rape every time he has sex with his wife? SARSSM has a handout on consent that would be hilarious if it were not so frightening -- judge for yourself, here.)  "If someone gives you alcohol or drugs so they can have sex with you, that is a crime."  (I am aware of no such crime.  Are you? Loosening inhibitions with alcohol has been a mating practice for longer than anyone can remember.  The "crime" aspect can occur only after a certain level of intoxication.) Among actions that mean "no" is "Looking down." (Maybe the woman dropped something?) "1 in 4 college women will be raped during their collegiate career." (Disproved over and over and over, yet repeated with the repitition of the jungle tom-tom.)  "Factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% - 1 out of 16 - of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 15 out of 16 will walk free." (The implication is that every reported rape  and every unreported rape -- determined from who-knows-what -- was an actual rape.  The absurdity of that assertion is self-evident.)

In sum, SARSSM is a worthy representative of the sexual grievance industry, which hardly ever met a rape claim it disbelieved.  Now let's discuss the news story that features SARSSM.

On Wednesday of this week, it was reported that a 22-year-old woman -- and yes, I am going to name her -- Maryanne Morin -- was charged with filing a false report after she recanted her story about five men assaulting her on the popular running trail.  The chief of police of police noted that "she was emotionally distraught" but correctly added: "There's no reason, I don't care what. There's no justifiable reason for her to make up a horrific incident like this."

Then the news report is padded with "information" obtained from a SARSSM representative, without challenge. "Falsifying an incident such as this could have a negative effect on sexual assault victims and those who help them, experts said." 

Oh, gee, they forgot to mention that falsifying an incident like this could have an extremely negative effect on men and boys victimized by the lie. You know, having their lives destroyed and all that. But that's not even alluded to.

It goes on: "'It's frustrating. We do a lot to disperse the myths amid sexual assault. One of them being, that women cry rape, so we've worked hard to dispel that,' sexual assault response services worker Cyndi Amato said."

I'm sorry: it's a "myth" that women "cry rape"?  That's not a myth. And it's not a myth that too many women falsely cry rape.

"At the response center, advocates provide crisis counseling and help victims file police reports."  Note that they only help "victims."  So they don't help women who falsely accuse men and boys of rape? Somehow that surprises me.

"[O]ne false incident could discourage victims from speaking up in the future."  Newsflash: if there were only one false incident, that wouldn't discourage anyone from doing anything. The fact is, there are countless false rape claims.  While it can't be seriously be disputed that the frequency of false rape claims lowers the credibility of rape claimants, the extent to which legitimate victims are put-off from reporting by false claims has never been demonstrated, and it cannot be said with any assurance that any are put-off.  One thing is for certain: false rape claims are not stopping false accusers from reporting, seemingly with increasing frequency.

Ms. Amato, the SARSSM representative quoted in the story, said: "I think it discourages people because somebody made a false report. 'When I go file, is that what they think I'm doing, too?' And I guess the message is, 'No, people will believe you.'"

Ms. Amato seems not concerned at all that believing a rape claim necessarily involves believing that the man or boy she accuses is a rapist, without any due process.

The story continues: "Both the police department and Sexual Assault Response Services of Maine said it's very rare someone would falsify a report." (The police actually believe that?  Seriously?  That does not comport with the beliefs of other police officers we've reported here.) 

But here's the kicker:

"Amato said she's helped process thousands of sexual assault cases and has only encountered three that were made up."

Do the math on that. Susan Brownmiller's two percent canard was famously debunked. See, e.g., The Truth Behind Legal Dominance Feminism's 'Two Percent False Rape Claim' Figure, where Edward Greer painstakingly traced the two percent claim to its baseless origin, and "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 landmark study of the Duke Lacrosse non-rape case, where 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" of 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."

Yet this SARSSM representative says she's helped "thousands" -- presumably meaning at least 2,000 -- sexual assault victims and has only encountered three false claims.

Let that sink in: the assertion that two out of 100 was shown to be baseless, but a mainstream news outlet parrots, without challenge, the assertion that, in the experience of a sexual assault counselor involving at least 2,000 claims, only three were false.

How does Ms. Amato know that only three were false?  Seriously?  Did she evaluate all the evidence?  Did she question the alleged rapists in any of these claims to get their side of the story?  Or does she invariably follow her own advice to purported rape victims: "People will believe you"?

The fact that advocate organizations like SARSSM are cited as unbiased, impartial experts on rape with regularity by news outlets is troubling. These are advocate organizations whose livelihood depends on rape being perceived as a serious problem. I suspect that the news outlets don't even realize -- and worse, they don't care -- that they are being fed a diet of "information" that does not comport with respected, objectively verifiable sources. 

The actual news story is after the jump:

Police, Community Stunned At False Rape Report

Experts Say Case Makes Situation Harder For Real Victims

PORTLAND, Maine -- Portland police still don't know why a 22-year-old woman made false allegations about a sexual assault at Back Cove.

Maryanne Morin, 22, of Portland, was charged with filing a false report, after she recanted her story about five men assaulting her on the popular running trail.

Morin recanting her story caused concern and even anger throughout the community.

Investigators still aren't releasing details about Morin, but said what she did was a waste of department resources and taxpayers money.

"She was emotionally distraught," Portland Police Chief James Craig said.

During an in-depth interview with police, investigators said Morin confessed she made up the story.

"There's no reason, I don't care what. There's no justifiable reason for her to make up a horrific incident like this," Craig said.

Falsifying an incident such as this could have a negative effect on sexual assault victims and those who help them, experts said.

"It's frustrating. We do a lot to disperse the myths amid sexual assault. One of them being, that women cry rape, so we've worked hard to dispel that," sexual assault response services worker Cyndi Amato said.

At the response center, advocates provide crisis counseling and help victims file police reports.

They said one false incident could discourage victims from speaking up in the future.

"I think it discourages people because somebody made a false report. 'When I go file, is that what they think I'm doing, too?' And I guess the message is, 'No, people will believe you,'" Amato said.

Both the police department and Sexual Assault Response Services of Maine said it's very rare someone would falsify a report.

In fact, Amato said she's helped process thousands of sexual assault cases and has only encountered three that were made up.

Link: http://www.wmtw.com/news/24344325/detail.html#COMMENTTOP