Monday, May 29, 2006

False Allegation Worse Than Rape?

Wes Raine:

Rape is a truly terrible act. There is not much worse than rape, but this article details something that might be. An unnamed fifteen year old girl reported to police that a Connecticut cab driver tried to rape her but she escaped.
This man's acknowledgement that rape is a terrible act is undermined by the facts of the false rape case (that might be worse than rape) as reported by WFSB:

"The reason she ran off was she didn't want to pay the cab fare," Moscato said. "But on the other side, here's an officer and you see someone running, screaming. We have to act quickly, because (what if) we have someone who is a predator out there?"
The incident happened on May 8 and the charges were dropped on Tuesday May 23. Despite the rhetoric being tossed out by those who think most accused rapists are the real victims, this case highlights that law enforcement doesn't blindly take the accuser's word as fact.

As someone who has been raped (more than once) and falsely accused of a crime (only one time) both were highly stressful, but being raped was the far greater violation. People who try to put false allegations (including all allegations where the person charged claimed it was consensual and which couldn't be proved or disproved) on the same level as acknowledged rapes are in fact trying to minimize the crime of rape.

In a comment on my post about the women's Duke lacrosse team's plan to wear bracelets that say innocent, crossposted on Alas, Nyk writes:

I’m sorry, but being a woman [rape victim] does not give you a special right not to face peer pressure. If you have to stand up for what’s right, you have to do it, man or woman, and if you don’t do it, you are personally at fault for that. Not anyone else. You. This is a lesson I learned in a very difficult way, but in the end, it is still true. Those who desire a perfectly "fair" world are destined for unhappiness, because life is not fair even at its best, let alone at its worst.
What I find so interesting about this comment is:

1) Women rape victims are at fault if they crumple when besieged by pressure from their peers, with no distinction between true peer pressure and illegal attempts to subvert justice. It assumes that rape is not traumatic enough to interfere with resisting whatever your peers throw at you. Any weakness is the victim's fault and not a consequence of the trauma of rape.

2) I've seen no similar commands directed at those who say they have been falsely accused of rape. None of the personal responsibility crowd is telling them that they should stop expecting life to be "fair" and that if they can't handle being seen as possible rapists, it's their own fault. Those who refuse to believe certain rape charges instead paint the alleged rapists as tragic heroes victimized by unfair justice systems and evil women. They've looked into these men's hearts and know they would never commit rape. Any evidence against them must be false.

3) It is extremely pessimistic. It also ignores the fact that only the most privileged always expect to get what's perfectly fair. I've found that those who have been spoiled with "perfect fairness" have the most trouble when they end up on the wrong side of the fairness/unfairness scale. And if they can't have perfect fairness, nobody else should expect fairness, not even rape victims.

Many of those who support alleged rapists skip "not fair" or "peer pressure" and go right to "witch hunt" or "lynch mob." Since both of those latter phrases describe actions where people get murdered, alleged rapists are to be seen as potentially greater victims than women who are raped.

I guess it's my problem that I don't accept this unquestionable truth.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:14 AM   1 comments links to this post


At May 29, 2006 10:56 AM, Blogger Sly Civilian said...

Ugh...that quote is really gross.

There's just no sense of solidarity in that, any realization that we, we all, desperately need people to stand with us when we're hurt, in pain.


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