Tuesday, March 10, 2009

False Rape Charges Dropped In New Zealand

From Stuff NZ:

33-year-old Christchurch woman is considering her options after police dropped an allegation that she made a false complaint of being gang raped. [...]

The woman then pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful possession of a knife, which she had been found with at the Christchurch Central Police Station a month after allegedly being gang raped by a group of teens at Christchurch's Corsair Bay. She said she had been carrying the knife over fears for her safety in view of the earlier incident and Judge Somerville convicted and discharged her without penalty.

Defence counsel Michael Starling said the woman still maintained that she had been gang raped and had never changed her story or withdrawn the original statement that she made to police.

She had been charged that on November 16 she made a false written statement to police that an offence of rape had been committed. [...]
It's important to note that after she filed her report of gang rape the investigation led to four teens being charged with stealing items from her home. They either pleaded guilty or were convicted since they were sentenced as first-time offenders. This supports her claim of rape and it supports the validity of her fears for her safety which could lead her to being classified as having a "fragile mental state."

Apparently this woman was charged because of that "fragile mental state," which is a very dangerous basis for charging someone with filing a false police report. Being afraid or even being outright paranoid after gang rape is normal and and is in no way evidence that the gang rape never happened. Yet many people cling to this stereotype.

Some who believe this stereotype will also use a "calm mental state" as evidence that a different report of rape is false. These types of stereotypes can narrow the mental states of "real" rape victims down to almost nothing so that only severe and visible physical injuries or death override the rape denial stereotypes. This stereotype-based approach allows investigators and others to disregard specific evidence.

A large percentage of the general public who buy into these stereotypes likely took the charges against this woman to be proof that she lied. While these people would refer to those charged with rape as alleged rapists, they most likely referred to this woman as being a false accuser.

Those who did so in this case and other cases where those who report rape are charged or are simply characterized as false accusers despite a lack of charges violate the very principles they claim to hold dear.

If they don't uphold their own stated principles when it comes to those who report having been raped then that raises the issue that those principles are cited only for the purpose of getting to a desired outcome. Rape denial.


Bookmark and Share
posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:33 AM   0 comments links to this post


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home