Things to know about false sexual assaults
An overview of sexual assault false reporting
Recently, much mention has been voiced (mostly by men) of false accusations of sexual assaults. These false allegations have created a very scary situation for men. In the context of the false accusation of rape, some high-profile cases can be remembered. For instance, the former football player and the Duke lacrosse players whose alleged victim admitted later that she wasn’t raped.
The comments that exude concerns about people accused of false sexual assaults can trigger a misperception, casting survivors of sexual attacks as liars out for revenge, and attackers as victims.
However, the reality is, there’s no evidence that cases of false accusation of rape dramatically exceed those associated with other crimes. In fact, authors of a 2010 US study argue that over the last twenty years, only two to ten percent of rape accusations are proven to be false. Other studies also come up with similar figures. According to the FBI, the number of unfounded rapes – those declared to be false after investigation – stands at eight percent.
A useful article in Quartz reveals that in the early 2000s, out of the 216 cases which were classified as sexual assault false reporting, only six resulted in an arrest. The study doesn’t support the idea a lot of men are going to prison because of false accusations of rape. In addition, according to official figures, the number of sexual assaults and rapes that are never prosecuted or reported far outweighs the actual number of men declared guilty of rape due to fake accusations.
Reports of false sexual assaults can be very dangerous for the true victims of sexual assault. Misconceptions about fake reporting promote incidents of underreporting, a very widespread and real phenomenon.
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Kay, Katty. “The truth about false assault accusations by women.” BBC, September 18, 2018. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45565684
MOON, EMILY. “FALSE REPORTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT ARE RARE. BUT WHY IS THEE SO LITTLE RELIABLE DATA ABOUT THEM.” Pacific Standard, Updated October 7, 2018. https://psmag.com/news/false-reports-of-sexual-assault-are-rare-but-why-is-there-so-little-reliable-data-about-them