Wednesday, February 2, 2011

31 percent of all sexual assault claims in Ottawa 'never happened' (and likely a lot more)

See here.  Over a four-year period from 2003-2007, 31 per cent of sexual assault claims that Ottawa Police investigated were dismissed as unfounded — which, in this case, means "never happened," as opposed to "unsubstantiated," which means there isn't enough evidence to follow the case. 

It is well to note that of all the "unsubstantiated" claims (whatever that percentage might be), likely included are a fair number of sexual assault claims that "never happened," but no one can say for sure what that number is. 

And beyond that, for sexual assault claims that aren't "unsubstantiated" but where the evidence is disputed, unquestionably a fair number of those "never happened," either, but no one can say for sure what number that is.

So we know that 31% percent of all sexual assault claims "never happened," but the actual number of sexual assault claims that "never happened" is likely a lot higher.

But let's only talk about what we know.

My educated guess is that of all the rape claims made, a percentage much smaller than 31% can definitively be called "actual sexual assaults."  Maybe 15 or 20 percent. So, if we limit our discussion about the prevalence of false sexual assault claims to those claims we know were either sexual assaults or false sexual assault claims, then likely the vast majority are false claims.

Armed with this information, what do you think the objective journalist who wrote the news story did?  He, or she, went out and dug up a lawyer named Blair Crew to discuss the 31 percent. 

Who is Blair Crew?

"During his Masters’ studies at Cornell , Blair’s research topics included the application of constitutional limitations to private security providers, and issues relating to the representation of sexual assault survivors in the criminal justice process. Blair’s primary research interests focus on pro-feminist perspectives on criminal law."

Sigh.  So, what did Blair Crew say about the 31 percent?  (Can you guess?)

"The fact that [sexual assault] has got a rate that is ten times higher than any other crime suggests that perhaps there are not as many unfounded cases as perhaps the Ottawa police think there are," Crew told CBC's Ottawa Morning.

And perhaps you're a dead wrong feminist not worth responding to, perhaps.

Thanks for the link to Bill.