Do Women Lie About Rape?

Do women lie about rape?

That’s an easy question for feminists and allies to answer–in the vast majority of cases, absolutely not–but it’s one that gets asked every time a rape accusation is made public. Take the case of Ben Roethlisberger. Back in 2009, the star Steelers quarterback was accused of rape by a Lake Tahoe casino hostess. She filed a civil suit for assault, sexual assault and battery, false imprisonment, false pretenses, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She did not press criminal charges, though, which Roethlisberger’s lawyers claimed was evidence that the accusations were false.

However, even judges have said that rape survivors are sometimes better off not reporting to police because the stress of a criminal trial can add even more trauma after a sexual assault. And her hesitation is certainly understandable in this case: When she reported the crime to a casino security guard, he scoffed, “Most girls would feel lucky to get to have sex with someone like Ben Roethlisberger.” Is it possible that a judge and jury might say the same thing?

Almost immediately following reports of the suit, TMZ released alleged photos of the survivor without text. The photos, predictably, were met with comments like this one: “This is a bunch of trumped up bullshit from a gold digging @#$?”

Then, just a few days after the photos were released, the gossip rags dug into the survivor’s mental health history, reporting on her post-assault depression, insomnia and anxiety–and calling her “nutty” rather than recognizing the possible signs of sexual trauma. On blogs and news sites, almost without variation, fans defended their football hero and reporters danced gingerly around the issue.

The assumption hung heavily in the air: She had to be lying. Why would a rich (or, in other cases, married/famous/charitable/kind) man rape a so-called “nobody”?

But later that year, another young woman accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault. This time, the public seemed more sympathetic to the survivor, recognizing a possible pattern in the star’s behavior. But does it have to take multiple accusations against one person before victims are believed? It certainly shouldn’t.

The automatic assumption in cases involving famous or beloved men (like Roethlisberger, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or director Roman Polanski) is that women lie about rape to get huge sums of money after having consensual sex. But these assumptions aren’t only present in cases involving wealthy men–they happen all the time.

In the 1980’s, the Philadelphia police department had one of the highest recorded rates of “unfounded” (i.e. falsely reported) rapes in the country. The FBI, which gathers those statistics, rarely reviews case files or investigation reports to determine whether or not police are counting crimes accurately. But in this case, the federal agency made a rare request and asked the city’s police department to explain why, in 1984, 52 percent of rape reports had been dismissed as “unfounded.”

The police department’s reply was brash, at best. It described circumstances that would lead to a rape report being labeled “unfounded,” including:

  • The victim reports while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (although studies have shown that in 55 percent of rape cases, alcohol or drugs are involved; in acquaintance rape cases, that number is sometimes as high as 80 to 90 percent).
  • Young women report rape to cover up truancy, pregnancy, lost money or sexual precocity.
  • Adult women report rape to cover up infidelity, indiscretion, lateness or pregnancy.
  • A rape is reported so that the survivor can obtain an abortion or the morning-after pill free of charge.
  • Women report rape to “obtain revenge” on a man who has “done her wrong,” or to make her partner “feel guilty” after a “lover’s quarrel.”
  • Girls lie about rape all the time, for reasons “known only to [themselves].”

Shockingly, the Philly police department’s list of reasons that rape cases would be classified as false also includes instances in which the victim has a history of mental illness and reports a rape by a celebrity. In the case of Roethlisberger’s first accuser, her mental health records and his fame would have been grounds enough to dismiss her case.

So what’s the answer? Do women lie about rape? According to Joanne Archambault, a former sex crimes unit supervisor, the answer is fairly simple: “[False reports] are not a problem. They happen, but they’re not a problem.” Research has shown that only roughly 2 to 8 percent of rape reports are untrue, (for car thefts, another felony offense, that number is about 10 percent [pdf].) Two to 8 percent is a pretty small number to justify the climate of fear around false rape reports.

Experts say the only way to ensure this heinous crime is properly investigated and prosecuted is for law enforcement to move beyond the notion that women lie about rape. Archambault says rape victims often display the characteristics that police (and society) consider to be “red flags” for false reports (like being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the rape), but just because a woman was under the influence doesn’t mean she wasn’t raped.

In the new issue of Ms. we highlight a major factor contributing to the belief that women lie about rape: The FBI’s narrow and outmoded definition of “forcible” rape. Subscribe today to get the issue in your mailbox, and visit Ms. and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s No More Excuses! campaign headquarters to find out how you can help change the FBI’s archaic definition and ensure that all rapes count.

Photo of Ben Roethlisberger from Flickr user denverjeffrey licensed under Creative Commons.


  1. Went to the Rape is Rape page [] and tried clicking on the “Take Action” links, but received error messages.

    Rape is RAPE and NO MEANS NO. I’m sick of living in a rape culture.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks for letting us know! The links are fixed now, so please go back and take action!

      • Thanks Stephanie, I did take action a while ago and will be using this campaign for my "call to action" speech tonight in my speech class. Thank you Ms. Magazine and the FMF for covering this!

        • Jack01011 says:

          Do feminists hate men? Dislike them? Not like them? kind of like? Or love them? I’m a guy and have never heard feminists make positive comments to the male population. Why is this? Why is the first comment I see to this article which is poorly cited and gives ambiguous information, from someone advertising for a feminist website? Do feminists support this article? Or just that website?

          I hate rape, but I hate liars more. Why does it seem like feminists are so quick to jump on a figurative rape bandwagon? I could be wrong, but the author here chooses to over look the report info which states that the first cause for “unfounded” rape reports are reported WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE of drugs or alcohol , but then proceeds to say that most cases of rape are PREFORMED while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I hope everyone else sees the distinction here and hopefully too will the author. Reporting rape while intoxicated is much less credible than one reporting it sober, whether or not substances were involved during the rape is irrelevant if the alleged victim was intoxicated while issuing a report. Someone below said in their women studies class they learned 1/3 women raped report it. Wrong, the World Health Organization holds that1/3 women are raped (internationally) and a mere fraction of raped women report it because most are ashamed or embarrassed. Those who lie about rape make these women more afraid of not being taken seriously.

          It’s not a women’s fault for being raped, it is not what they wear how they act or look. Yet it is a women’s or man’s responsibility, young or old to say no-to resist in some way. Otherwise there is no coersion, and no proof.

          Just because a celebrity is involved doesn’t mean that they are innocent, but the same can and should be said contrariwise. Don’t sand bag men ladies, it’s not your style, if a men gets defensive on the side of another man because there are questions about the facts, don’t fight him ( don’t fight us ) look at the facts yourself. People lie about a lot of things, even rape. Discuss the details so justice and the truth can prevail. Dont make it a gender war. I love women but not angry women.

          • I am a woman, a feminist, a rape survivor, a mother, a wife. I do not hate men. I think most men are great. I am married to one of the most astoundingly wonderful examples of a true man to ever grace the face of the earth. I have always had more male friends than female; all of them are amazing human beings. This world cannot thrive without the active cooperation and respect of all genders and sexes.
            The reason you see a link to a feminist website in a comment is that this, right here, is a feminist website.
            In regards to your comments about intoxication and reporting: what on earth are you trying to say? The statistics about the number of assaults in which the victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol are there to illustrate the fact that of course many of these women will be under the influence at the time of the report. Time is against you in these circumstances. Are you trying to suggest that a woman wait until she is sober before reporting? That she let evidence degrade or be lost? How seriously do you expect a woman to be taken when she walks into her local precinct and says “I was raped about 8 hours ago, but I thought I should sober up before telling you so you would believe me”? Immediacy in reporting is vital. Of course, in cases where a victim finds herself in the hospital being treated for her injuries, she doesn’t have the luxury of deciding when her report will sound best.

          • Know I’m a few years late, but just had to leave this here…you hate liars more than rapists Jack01? More, really? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the puerile idiocy of that statement.

          • StillStanding says:

            Here’s why: Because GHB is ubiquitous in today’s rape cases, meaning she is often drugged by her rapist. Then he gets to paint her as intoxicated, without mentioning he drugged her, with the untraceable rape drug. Make sense now?

    • 140,000 men and boys and some 60,000 girls and woman are raped every year by both men and woman. The reason for the higher rate among men and boys is due to the very high rate of rape in prisons. The 20% of woman will be raped on campus is terrible lie which has left younge men affraid of being falsly accused( UVA, Duke Lacross, Miami football team, etc.. )and girls wrongly thinking all men are potential rapists! The FBI statistics show that girls are more safe on campus( .03% of woman on campus are raped, not 20%)from any type of crime than anywhere else on earth (FBI). Heres a taste of some real issues: 7 out of 10 homeless are men, 8out of 10 workplace deaths are men, 4 out of five suicides are men, woman under 40 now earn more than men (mostly due to affirmative action programs at universities to lower standards in favour of girls ). Men die 10 years younger than woman ( mostly due to more hours spent at more dangerouse jobs). I could continue on but, this is where when confronted with information contrary to your beliefs, you become even more steadfast in those false beliefs. You simply must use reason, not emotion based on false pretences to stear your path. 25% of NA woman are now on antidepressants. I can’t imagine why! Feminism?

    • So false reports are not a problem. Why is it acceptable to file false reports regardless of what percentage of reports are false (I am not including reports where there is not enough evidence or a conviction is not reached). False reports are a problem whether it is ten percent of automobile thefts, or 8 or 20 or 90 percent of rapes just like it is a problem if accusations are just dismissed with no valid reason. I do not know how many claims of rape or automobile theft are truly false, but I do know that any taint of sexual assault can ruin a man’s career, marriage, cause him to lose access to his kids even if it is false. If as the author states this is not a problem, then it means it is acceptable to file false police reports. How would those of you who support this feel if you were the victim of a false report and lost your job? What if you were falsely accused of stalking by an ex boyfriend or his new girlfriend?

  2. I have worked a bunch of jobs in my life. I have learned that my fellow men are really really afraid of false rape allegations. The older men justified their racism as well as their fears with Tawana Brawley where the truth is almost impossible to find.

    Men that I’ve worked with from environmental consulting to line cooking, would not listen to reason as to how common rape is compared to false rape allegations. No amount of explaining that it is really completely easy not to rape someone, (I hear a lot of fuzzy explanations about alcohol) makes them feel secure. I’ve actually heard a guy at a college party say, “After she has another beer, I got to hurry up and get drunk so I can fuck her.” Under the (self-protective) belief that if they are both drunk, he cannot be held responsible for her “bad decision making.”

    I don’t know you womenfolk deal with this shit all the time.

  3. Also, claims of rape when the woman was under the influence of something seem to be discounted because she was "asking for it" or her claims are at least minimized because of, like Dudley said, "her bad decision making."

    Yes, rapes can still happen and still matter if the woman is drunk, but, more to the point, rape is rape. It's never okay. Women don't imagine rape when they're drunk. Drinking doesn't turn them into liars and defamers. Men should not be dissolved of responsibility if he and/or his victim were under the influence.

    • “”Yes, rapes can still happen and still matter if the woman is drunk””
      I completely agree. But is it safe to say
      “Yes, rapes can still happen and still matter if the MAN is drunk”?

  4. We don't live in a "Rape Culture". We live a culture where a few screwed up people give the rest a bad name. Do the vast majority of women lie about rape? No. But the few who do make it harder for legit cases to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, there are women who enjoy the victim spotlight just a little too much. Women who crave attention. Thankfully, they are the not the vast majority, but they do exist. We all know someone like this.

    • Yeah, and? I know cis-men and transgendered men and women who crave attention. I'm pretty sure it's a human desire– but it doesn't drive most of us to lie about horrific acts.

      If you don't think we live in a rape culture, it's clear to me that you don't understand the definition. Think about the way rapes are covered by the media– it's always "She's Lying until Proven Otherwise." Things like how the woman was dressed or whether or not she's ever had sex before are considered just things to bring up in a rape case– as though having consented to sex even once means having consented to sex always with anyone. Most men don't worry about what they wear to a Night Out in case they get raped in and accused of being "slutty" for how he dresses. We live in a culture that teaches women it's THEIR responsibility to keep from getting raped, not the rapists to keep him/herself from raping.

      Read and learn, the best definition of a rape culture I've read to date:

      • “She’s Lying until Proven Otherwise.”

        Damn, that’s a really pessimistic way to look at innocent until proven guilty.

        • do is guilty until proven innocent! me and my partner are currently going through hell with a false accusation. He shouldn’t have stopped her partner ? from roughing her up in a club which is a really shit thing to say but its like good guy getting punished for getting involved

    • No, the women who lie do not make it harder for victims of rape. Rapists who lie do. The men who go on the stand and lie about raping someone, screaming that THEY are the victims, are the reason it is so hard for women. That and the rape culture you deny.

      It is interesting that when a woman or girl is raped, everyone says “She asked for it”, or asks “what was she wearing?”, but when a boy or man is raped NO ONE asks what he was wearing or says “He asked for it”.

      That is rape culture – telling men that as long as they rape women, they can expect their victim to be blamed.

      By the way, blame the victim much? Avoid holding the rapists responsible often?

      • JoeSchmo says:

        I have literally never, ever, heard someone say, “what was she wearing?” Never in my life. I don’t know anyone who has heard that. That is some shit they said in high school to teach us what is wrong with rape… but there is nobody who thinks, or says that. lol

      • Common sense says:

        To say that women who lie don’t make it harder for victims to come forward is absolute bollocks. Victims will less likely come forward if there’s a fear of being yet another one of these lying women. Surely you can see the sense in that. It’s not exactly rocket science is it?

    • StillStanding says:

      You are coming off as the reason we describe rape culture. Rape is hell. Testifying and being cross examined by a rape sympathizer in a room full of strangers, is double hell on hell. Now I am dying to know how many rape defense lawyers are also rapists. They tear apart victims with glee, even when they were also beaten, and obviously raped.

  5. Just change the law that ALL names are kept confidential until the FACTS ARE CONFIRMED!!!! I hope the Duke players win their case……

  6. I'm commenting here as a guest to preserve the privacy of those involved, but I wanted to share my story with you.

    One of my favorite uncles (and my brother's godfather) has the biggest heart I've ever known. We called him Hagrid, because he's big and gruff like the half-giant from Harry Potter, but he's also lovable and gentle-natured. Every one of us kids loved him, but he never had kids. He married later in life, and his wife wasn't exactly a kid-person. So when his wife's relative's daughter left custody with her aunt because her aunt was addicted to crack and abusive, he took her in to live with them.

    When she first came to live with him, she was incredibly antisocial, but soon she was gaining a more healthy weight, getting more color in her face, and calling my uncle 'dad'. It really was like he'd gained a daughter. Then they started having problems. He told my mom about issues he was having with his daughter, and my mom tried to explain to him that she was just a teenager and acting out is what teenagers do.

    Then she had a blow-up. They had her taken to the psych ward for help, and while she was there, she accused my uncle of molesting her and raping her every day since he adopted her. This girl has RAD, an emotional disorder that is known for causing people to make false accusations to gain power. Every piece of evidence, everything she has claimed, has been looked into and proven to be untrue. Some of the things she claimed are physically impossible for my uncle to do. Her own diary has a suspicious entry that suggests she was planning to do something bad to my uncle, shortly before she made the claim. The same entry says that my uncle didn't do anything bad and she didn't dislike him, she just wanted to go live with her other relatives (the ones that abused her before.)

    It's been a year this week since she accused him. He's been under house arrest; once they revoked his bond and he was in jail for three days, and the jail nurse nearly killed him by giving him the wrong dosage of medicine. When he was released from jail, the doctor said that a few more hours would have killed him. His neighbors have turned sour toward him, and there are days when he calls my mother in tears.

    The charge is false. I have no doubt in my mind that the case will be thrown out. But the worst part of it isn't even the way that it's permanently destroyed my uncle's life, or the way that it completely broke his heart, or the way that it has taken $50,000 SO FAR from a couple that is completely dependent on disability pay to live. The worst part is that this is one more false rape accusation that will further cement the idea into peoples' minds that false accusations are commonplace.

    • I really understand this happening "Guest". Even IF the incidences of false report are small, these are terrible things to be falsely accused of. And this happened to my son by a child of 8 yrs. old in Baltimore. I am a 70 yr. old, long-time feminist. It was an unbelievable shock to me when this happened to my mentally ill son who was ill-equipped to fight back. He would have made a terrible witness in court (appearance and thinking) so he took a plea. But, his life has been a nightmare because of this. Finally, the girl grew up and recanted. But the cost in dollars and emotionally/psychologically has been extreme. Before this happened, Ken never had more than a traffic ticket. The child came from the family from hell in a very bad neighborhood. My son was like a lamb among wolves. He was extremely naive and trusting. Why did this child lie? She was jealous of the relationship Ken had with her older sister. The Innocence Project has taken his case but this is after so many years…and even if someone is innocent, and there's a recant, it is not an easy thing to undo a plea.
      I worked in child abuse work for four years. I saw young people lie about sex abuse. Usually it was a teen. And it was a small number. But if you or a loved one is among those who it happens to, esp. if a young child does it, with the hysteria about child abductions in the U.S. and the sex offender laws, this, as it turns out, is the EASIEST crime to falsely accuse someone of. I strongly believe that MOST girls and women tell the truth about rape or sex crimes. But, there is a sub group who can and do lie and the damage they cause is something that we need to care about as well.
      The sex offender laws are so bad now because of the hysteria over a few rare but horrific cases that now MOST on the registry are NOT dangerous, especially not to pre-pubescent children. The bloated registry doesn't, per our own Dept. of Justice stats protect children one whit more and one of their own recent studies showed that the level 3's were less dangerous than the level ones. The best proof that the Adam Walsh act and ones that followed are ineffective is the Garrido case. See: myths vs.facts
      It doesn't help women who are harmed by men to go after men who aren't dangerous with a broad brush and ruin their lives. Sex offenses come in degrees. The biggest group now on the registry are young people themselves for sexting and downloading porn. Most of what is called "child" porn is a sexy 14 or 15 yr. old and the crime was "virtual" not real. Is there no difference? Also, some don't realize that even if a man is trying to be careful what he downloads, it can come "bundled" so that younger people can be mixed in…The stings that are being done to catch these men are not distinguishing between who is a danger and who is not…so the registry grows and grows. See the documentary by Sean Penn "Witch Hunt" and "Convicted"… Read "False Justice" by Jim and Nancy Petro as well as Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions 2009by Dr. Richard Wright (Editor)
      We all want to protect children but overkill with a bloated and very public registry, ruining many men's lives who are no danger at all to a child doesn't help protect women or children any better. Lots of men on the registry are married, have girlfriends, have children. Their lives are being impacted by their loss of work, having to move, being targets of vigilantes. In many cases, the children of these men have been bullied very badly. The most recent horror cases were the young man in Maine who was in a Romeo-Juliet
      relationship and he was murdered, then the old man in Florida who was beaten to death and it was later discovered he wasn't even on the registry. It was a case of mistaken identity. The drama-driven media, i.e. Fox, the unscrupulous poltiicians and overly zealous prosecutors and a public roused like a mob to hate and not see distinctions all combine to ruin lives of people who should pay for their crime but not become part of American's most popular witch hunt. also see: Reform Sex Offender

    • bonnie zinn says:

      I feel for your familly my son was falsely accused and hung himself,
      now a dear friend is being chg with the same and both thier stories was based on the women not needing them any more.

  7. Susanna Iris Astarte says:

    Yes, we DO live in a rape culture. Anyone who believes otherwise is delusional. And I knew that about 92% of women who report a rape are telling the truth.

    • We also live in a culture that makes it OK to bash and marginalize men. When women are the rapist the media treats it as "I wish I had the teacher when I was 13.." , but if it's a male teacher and a 13 year old girl they want him castrated, which is another problem some states have castration for sex offenders, what about women sex offenders?
      FYI Japan has a worse "rape culture" than the USA but has way lower rape states..

      • Christina says:

        I don’t see a bashing or marginalizing of men. I see a lot of men getting defensive about situations of rape and abuse, and that shouldn’t be the case. The fact that men get defensive on these issues, shows a lack of empathy for women. Issues of rape and abuse are real issues that exist in reality. Why do you think men are being marginalized every time this reality is being recognized?

        • Jack01011 says:

          I plan on writing a separate comment here after I read more of these comments. However you both (John and Christina) raise interesting points. I believe there is a strong percentage of women who for one reason or another choose to belittle Men via general statements. Christina, you say u don’t see a marginalization of men, yet you generalize that men (being vague and general-and somewhat prejudicial) lack a sence of empathy for women by being defensive about certain rape allegations. Do you not see hypocracy in your statement? Are you not getting defensive Christina in your comments? I am, in that too often some women (not all; note my unambiguity and not generalizing) attack men for not taking rape seriously. I agree there are some men who are this way: it’s crude and stupifying. However do women not get defensive about men making accusations that women lie about rape? I believe it’s crucial for our society, if we are to make any progress (which I also believe is what we all truly want) is to realize that there are those who are raped – and that this is horrible – and there are those who lie about rape for various reasons (attention, because they have mental disorders, to cover up std contraction, become pregnant, etc, etc) rape is a significant phenomenon in our society and won we should all combat, yet the opponent lays on both side of the fence, so let’s not point fingered okay. Feminist or Masculinist (not sure if that’s a word but I wonder what scrutiny a man would get from feminists if it were lol- a stupid joke) we are all human and we all deserve love, so love one another and don’t abuse the process. No does mean no, but failing to answer shouldn’t difinitively mean grape.

          • Jack01011 says:

            *rape not grape

          • And who should be more defensive? Those who are raped 98% of the time, or those who do the raping 99% of the time?

            Men like you who minimize the rape of women – which happens in unbelievable numbers – and try to suggest our outrage is really hatred of men, are simply misogynists and hypocrites.
            If it was women raping men at that rate, killing them at the rate men kill women, abusing them etc, you would NEVER STOP SCREAMING ABOUT IT.

            But if we even discuss what happens to us, men like you show up to tell us that we don’t get to do that without being accused of hating men.

            You even claim that when a man doesn’t get an answer on “do you want to have sex” and goes on to force the woman, he hasn’t actually raped her.

            By the way, doing this and then suggesting that “we all deserve love” is truly breathtaking.

          • @ Jack So you are saying if a woman doesn’t say no it’s okay?…I’ve met women who were gang raped, were held down, beaten, and were drugged to the point they looked dead and of course couldn’t speak and say no! *hello they have video of the girl raped in Ohio who was so passed out the men raping her commented on it!* Some girls had a knife or gun to their head while being raped. But your right she wanted it, because she didn’t say no. I didn’t realize saying no would stop a group of men, or a man with a gun. Your damn right I’m getting defensive! Also I’ve known men who have been raped and molested, I don’t think it’s okay! You and other men think women think it’s okay because we are only talking about women here…Hello the article is about women! Also the people who say it’s okay because the teacher was hot have been men *At least the ones I know*, I’ve met many women who think it’s wrong, and prayed that it never happens to their sons! Lastly they truly don’t know how many women lie about being raped, because over 500,000 rape kits have never been tested and over 2/3rds of women never report being raped. I’ve had many male friends but only 2 have been molested, but I’ve had 10 girlsfriends who’ve had been raped, only 1 reported it, however last minute she decided not to press charges because she thought people wouldn’t believe her and thought it was her fault, that her freinds left her at a party alone and 5 men attacked, beat, and raped her. Also I’m not saying we should tar and father the men accused, however I think it’s horrible that people automatically say it’s the woman’s fault, that is wrong. I’ve seen to many women’s life’s distroyed, and if a woman does lie about it, she is horrible and wants attention, but I’m not going to talk bad about either until I know the truth on both sides! However that’s what this article is about only 0.02 to 0.08 women lie, and people said she was a lying whore. Then another women says he raped her too then they start to shut up and believe her. They should’ve shut up in the first place and at least given her the respect of listening before judging her!

  8. We live in a culture that victimizes victims. We blame those who accuse instead of stepping back and asking "is there something to this?" We as a culture do this entirely too often when "celebrity" is involved. I look at this sickness critically (as a rape and incest and molestation survivor –all too common) and see that we are a culture that accepts violence and the degradation of women and girls as the norm. We have normalized the assault against females and then turned our backs on them. ALL of us.

    I remember the Kobe Bryant trial. The girl was 19, a teenager. I remember discussing this case with young women in my office. They blamed the victim. Accused her of gold digging. Saying things like "she's an adult, she knew what she was getting into."

    My response was, "1. She's a teenager. What part of 19 made her 30. She's not an adult, NINE-TEEN. Got it? He knew better. AND he's married. There are two victims here; 2. In what world is is okay for a male celebrity to have his way, violent or not with a teenage GIRL? Or for that matter ANY woman? And why is it the woman's fault?

    They couldn't answer. Instead they got mad. I said, "Think about it."

    Slavoj Zizek discusses this normalization violence in his book "Violence." It is a must read for anyone wishing to change the way we "accept" rape culture. I'd also suggest reading anything that Derrick Jensen writes about gender violence and rape. It's time we change the way we look at ourselves, the way we speak about ourselves and perhaps change the way we view victims of gender violence.

    • Jack01011 says:

      I actually researched the Kobe case. I suggest you do as well before making such claims. You’ll find intersting points; such as she didn’t report rape nor mention anything to her fellow employees, the next day she told her mom, who then told her shed been raped and then they filed a report. When the young lady went for a rape kit she went in with another mans semen on her underwear. She told a close high school friend of hers she felt a certain chemistry with Kobe Bryant, and he’d been such a nice guy, never had she made any accusations of force btw and there was no evidence of any such thing. Finally she, while at the home of the same friend whom shed confided in about her intimate feelings with the multimillionaire, felt distraut that his wife stood by his side ( this is my opinion following: sounds like she’s jealous his wife believes in him and that she wasn’t successful in breaking his marriage, although they are now divorced, only my opinion there ) so yeah there’s the facts. Sure she’s not 30 and as experienced as most 30 year old, though to say that is actually some what ignorant because who’s to say she isn’t? After all another mans semen was on her tape kit underwear. Rape is a serious problem but those who lie about make it so much harder for those real victims to come forward. I would think most women would understand that and advocate appropriately.

      On another note, any women who ops for $ instead of a trial will likely feel more “whorish” (for lack of a better and as effective, if not more so, word – so excuse my terminology). I’m a male, but if I were ever raped (god forbid ) I would want to see the perp prosecuted, famous or not.

  9. constance kosuda says:

    so folks, rather than just yak on about this – how about a list of feminist attorneys who are dedicated to making changes in this arena – available to all victims on day one of the trauma?

    the Reno waitress was treated predictably in Nevada, a State which has no regard for human rights anyway –

    time for talking is over – let’s get some action!!!

  10. Hi,
    Sane women don't lie about rape. I'm a feminist, strongly support women & err on the side of the person reporting the crime. Last year, a friend of my boyfriend was routinely beaten up, emotionally abused & apologized to by his girlfriend. She was easily 60 pounds lighter (at 110 lbs & 5'3) & a foot shorter. Eventually, she "made up", took him on a road trip out of state, had crzy sex, called the police & had him booked for rape. He was in federal prison for 2 weeks, despite his protests, no physical evidence & loads of evidence against her for false charges. He got out, but I saw first hand crazy people lie about this shit, and they do it to wreck people's lives.

    • AmberDawning says:

      Define crazy. I have a severe anxiety disorder. Does that mean that I falsely accuse men of rape? Does that mean that if I am raped that my case should be quickly dismissed because I am treated for anxiety and depression? Where do you think a lot of womyn get "crazy" from anyway? Some might say that womyn are "crazy" on their periods. If you're ever raped, I hope the cops question you about your period cycle.

      By the way, how do you know this girl wasn't raped? Were you there? Or do you just like to gossip?

      • You know says:

        Don’t make this about you and your anxiety disorder. She stated that the man was routinely beaten up and emotionally abused by his girlfriend and you get mad because she used the word crazy. It sounds like she considers violent and abusive people crazy. If you did this to your boyfriend/girlfriend then she probably would consider you crazy as well. It’s funny how you wish an unspeakable and terrible thing upon the poster for being too harsh to the woman you don’t even know. I think your post is awful but I hope you never get raped and never have to deal with condescending men that make inappropriate remarks about your cycle.

    • Meanwhile, in reality, most false rape accounts are made by somebody other than the alleged victim and involve the largely mythical "stranger in the bushes" scenario.

    • I had just learned that 95 % rape trails end in an acquittal. Also no proof or evidence is required for the police to make an arrest ?

  11. Oops, didn't mean that as a reply to Emily's comment! I agree No means No, regardless of the gender, age, or physical appearance of someone. And just as important, Yes means Yes!

    • AmberDawning says:

      That's a good book 🙂 "Yes means Yes!"

    • snowisfun says:

      Rape cases must be judged individually. With consent, it's possible for a woman or man to say no to 1 act but agree to another. It's possible to say yes & then change mind & say no incl. during sex act. It's also possible for a woman or man to initially say 'no they don't want to have sex' but 2 minutes later voluntarily change mind & decide that they do want to have sex with 'on 2nd thoughts let's do it.' In fact with anything, it's possible to change mind from yes to no & from no to yes. Finally sometimes innocents are accused of rape.

      • Jack01011 says:

        I agree. More legislation should advocate for the freedom and responsibility for judges and counsel to interpret each cases separately and individually. Rape is a complex issue and passing concluded laws only makes it more so. Currently in some parts of Canada there is legislation that women “victims” don’t have to have corroboration for their testimony: thus making it very easy for them to lie, if they wished to do so about any or all details of the specific case. Don’t let that happen here in the US, we don’t live in a perfect world but we also don’t live in a “RAPE SOCIETY” as some on this commentary have stated. Advocate for discussion and interpretation, that is the key.

        Everyone and every situation is different and cases should be judged accordingly.

  12. The more we stand up against rapists & false rape accusations – those fools should be locked up – the better for everyone!

  13. The problem with dismissing rape cases for the reasons stated (mental illness, under the influence of drugs, etc.) are the same reasons the rapists select their victims. Anyone with half a brain knows that rapists are absoulatly terrified of women who come across as sober, confident peopel who won't take any crap. I would love to also see a civil suit filed against rapists to cover violations of the Americans With Disabilties Act. It may not be as interesting, but it would wear the bastards down financially to be forced to pay for their victims' therapy, medical bills and the rest.

    • Jack01011 says:

      Think your stretching your claim a bit. Perhaps some rapists look for certain attributes similar to what your saying, but definitley not all rapists are disinclined to raping a self empowered/righteous woman. Look into the facts at WHO (the World Health Organization) and see rape as means for masculination. Some men tape those perceived as support to attain a similar feeling or betterment.

      • Jack01011 says:

        *”some men rape those perceived as superior”

        Sorry I’m doing this on my iPhone so the autocorrect messes my text up sometimes.

  14. Virginia Mariposa says:

    Some women don't even realize they've been raped. I said NO and tried to fight off someone I had slept with years ago unsuccessfully; he got his way because he was stronger. When I told my psychiatrist about it, he asked me if I'd slept with him before. After I said yes he changed the subject. Most men are not rapists, of course, but many more women need to come forward and get listened to when they do.

    • Even if you're married unconsensual sex is rape. People need to be aware of that. If you force yourself on someone else even if you think you're entitled because of the shared past, you are committing rape. If you think there was a yes, but now's the person is unconscious, that's rape if you continue. If there's a yes and then a no, that's a no, and you should stop and leave because it will be difficult for everyone.

      The only thing is that that a Rapist doesn't care. All they care about is power/sex/control/domination.
      Sometimes it's not even about sex, it's just domination/control.

      If you're a decent person, you stop and wait for a better occasion. You don't keep going hoping for a better outcome.

      I'm really sorry that happened, and that no one took you seriously. I'd get a new therapist if I were you.

  15. John Doe says:

    To me the question isn't even valid, of course woman can lie about rape. It's just not covered by the mainstream media when they do.

    • AmberDawning says:

      Isn't it always covered? Even when a womyn is telling the truth, it seems to be covered in the mainstream media as though she is lying.

      • It has been said that those interviewing her (raped men are laughed at unless they’ve had the absolute total shit beat out of them and have a bloody asshole) should treat her as telling the truth – she might be. Only the defense attorney should treat her testimony and evidence with suspicion. Only if it is learned that she is lying should those who are in a helping position switch to dealing with her as having falsely accused the defendant.
        “Unsubstantiated” doesn’t mean “falsified.” It just means that the evidence and testimony doesn’t support prosecution. Her testimony alone isn’t enough to prosecute on.

  16. I've been an activist feminist since the 70's. I worked in child protective services for four years and specialized in sex abuse cases. I saw cases where esp. teens made false accusations. This may not happen often but it is a nightmare when it does.
    I wrote on this blog earlier about what happened to my mentally ill son in Baltimore and included a link to show how the girl recanted and the nightmare this caused him and our family. I'm working with feminist groups but also with groups trying to educate the public about the outrageous sex offender laws.
    For some reason, whoever makes the decisions about what gets to be on these comments decided not to put my comments on. I'm 70 years old, a long time Ms.subscriber, a feminist who hates the violence against women but there is another side to this issue. America is a black and white country and black and white thinking is not honest or fair. I hope whoever declined to put my writing on here will reconsider.

  17. if 10 men have raped 10 women, only 1 woman reports t to the police. if men are 10 times as likely to rape
    as women are to make false claims of rape, ONE genuinely raped woman reports it, ONE false accuser
    reports it. 50% of rape claims are then FALSE!

    • AmberDawning says:

      Where did you get those statistics? In my Womyn's Studies course at Columbia, I heard that 1 in 3 women who have been raped report it; and I've never heard that men are 10 times as likely to rape as women are to make false claims to rape. Your statements are defamatory to women. Defamation is illegal. Luckily for you, the courts aren't female friendly.

      • There is so much wrong with your statement here that I don’t know where to begin.

      • RoyStone says:

        If only one in three women who are raped report it, how do they know about the other two who don't? Another un-informed guess? Where did you get the idea that "courts aren't female friendly"? From your Misandrist Studies course at Colombia? Seems you are ignorant about Defamation too!

      • It's not stats. I think he was saying that the stats of false reporting are largely unreliable to test for legitimate cases. Because so much of rape goes unreported.

  18. I don’t understand why we can with all certainty declare that women never lie about rape.

    Unfortunately, our ideas of the meaning of rape are completely distorted. Many women cannot even grasp that what happened to them is called Rape. They would call it everything but that.

    Everywhere I go, it is still acceptable to crack rape jokes or to say: when a girl says no she actually means yes. We still nod in agreement that it wasn’t rape because she wore skimpy clothes, got drunk or flirted with every tom, dick and harry…

    My point is that many women have not grasped the seriousness of rape and what it means to be a rape victim. So, why would it be hard to make it up?

    Unfortunately, all it takes is to prove one woman wrong. If one woman’s claim of rape is proven wrong, regardless if rape did happen or not, then that claim is much stronger than 50 definite rape claims.

    • The “2%” figure for false rape claims comes from several Feminist books and papers that all source back to Susan Brownmiller. She gave no source in her book but when questioned by a bona fide research scholar she provided a copy of a mimeographed copy of a lecture outline that contained the “2%” figure. Upon further sleuthing it finally ended with a police department rape section. Turns out it was a wild guess.
      Genuine (“legitimate” or “real”) rapes are not offset by sending innocent, or at least not guilty, defendants to prison. Or fouling up their lives. Any more than a man beat up by a woman somehow makes up for a woman equally beat up by a man.

      • Robbie, that is unequivocally not true. The FBI, the British Home Office—every reputable study has duplicated the 2-to-8% figure, in every country. You might want to either NOT report MRA lies as fact or actually read the books you claim to be citing. At location 6834 of the Kindle version of this book, Brownmiller references the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

  19. I'm sorry to say this but yes, some women lie about getting raped. Some weeks ago, in my country, a taxi cab driver was arrested because he had raped a passenger, days later, we all knew (because she said so) that this man and the alleged victim were dating, and like he was breaking up with her, she accused him of rape.

    Yes, some women do. But that's not the rule, some people, including jugdes and prosecutors thinks we all do, that's why they meddle in our sex life and our bedrooms, because we looked for it.

  20. The Julian Assange case is a perfect example of women lying about rape without any mental disorders thrown in. This is pure spite(they wanted to get back at him) and possible monies involved from the US government to smear Assange. So yes women do lie about rape, sane and insane alike

    • He fucked them without their consent. That's rape.

      • Actually, he is not accused of rape. So you are both wrong. He is accused of sexual misconduct. It is a law that does not exist in the United States so is hardly relevant. The fact is, both women said the sex was consensual but that him not using a condom despite being repeatedly asked is not.

        People need to learn to be more specific with their language, or else just stop talking. Spouting misinformation like this is incredibly damaging to everyone.

        • Actually, the condom was an issue with one of the women.

          In the other case, Assange began having sex with one of the women while she was asleep and therefore, unable to consent. That automatically makes it rape. Sleeping people cannot consent.

        • Derek, yes there is a law in my state of Colorado for sexual misconduct. Fondling and touching without consent are also recognized as crimes in Colorado and are called "Unlawful Sexual Contact". This can involve touching of the genitals, buttocks, anus, or breasts, whether it is under or on top of clothing. An unwanted sexual contact can be intrusive, violating and degrading. I
          t is common to think that acts that involve penetration are the "most serious", but often people feel violated, degraded and frightened by less invasive forms of unwanted sexual contact.
          According to Colorado law, consent means " cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act". That means that permission is given freely and with cooperation for the activity, and that the person giving consent fully understands the nature of the act. Having a current or previous relationship with the perpetrator does not automatically equal consent. Giving in to an act out of fear is SUBMISSION, NOT CONSENT. The fear may have been generated by intimidation or isolation, verbal, or non verbal threats, physical violence, or a weapon.
          Even if the victim didn't fight back or say "no", it is still sexual assault. Feeling like they have to "give in" to be physically or emotionally safe is not the same as consent. If they didn't freely say "yes" then they did not consent. Nonconsensual sexual activity is sexual assault. Thought you might want to know this.

          • It the “victim” didn’t fight back or say no, then they cooperated.

          • Tom, at 9:49, is totally WRONG. Rape does not have to be forcible or by the threat of violence to be rape. It is when sexual penetration takes place without the permission, not merely acquiescence, of the object of the sexual approach.
            If a woman drives her date out into the wilderness and demands sex from him (or her) or she will dump him out with the cougars and bears, she is attempting rape. If he cooperates under such duress, she has committed rape. She does not have to threaten force against him.
            He, of course, will not complain to the authorities as he does not want to be ridiculed and threatened with arrest for wasting police computer solitaire and doughnut-eating time.

    • That case is not a good example at all.

  21. Here come the apologists. Right on cue. Do y'all do this search hourly?

    Yes women lie about rape all the time; They deny they were ever raped.

  22. 49 BLACK MAN says:


  23. Dominique says:

    Your title is… well, there’s no other word for it but asinine. And inflammatory. I love Ms. Magazine but you are flogging a dead horse. Anyone who reads this blog knows most women don’t lie about their sexual assaults, even if a tiny number does. “Does the media habitually report rape victims as liars?” would be a much better, original and informative title, along with actual statistics of the number of headlines attributing doubt and blame to declared victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault. It would take more work but it would be more enlightening.

    • Jack01011 says:

      I haven’t seen a comment yet where anyone has said most or all women lie about rape. Even the title asks if women lie about it, which has been proven yes they do. Not all the time, not a lot (compared to factual real rape cases, which are tragic). Can’t we just all agree sometimes there will be a girl who will have lied, for what ever reason?

      Now why don’t we all put our minds together to think of prevention methods for rape and liars?

  24. charles owen jones says:

    If women don’t lie about rape, where was the feminist outrage against Bill Clinton when multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct?

  25. billy williams says:

    why do you call her a survivor when he hasn’t been convicted of anything?-if she is a survivor then he(Big Ben)must be a rapist but that hasn’t been proven so how can you call her that-i don’t know what the truth is so i won’t have an opinion because unlike you i don’t prejudge by gender.

  26. billy williams says:

    and how can you say that false reports are not a problem?-even if it is 2%well that is 2%two many.-also it is actually known 2 be much higher,Eugene Kanin studied the number of false reports and puts it at over 41 percent of rape claims being false.the FBI only said claims which were proved 2 be false or unfounded but what about claims that were not proven which could still be false(just like rapes that happened but were unproven)-if only 50%of rape claims end in conviction that means that the other 50% could be false,so im sure that some of the claims were real but you can’t say that only 2 to 8% were false or unfounded because if a rape claim doesn’t end in conviction that means it would be unfounded hence 50%of rape claims are unfounded and according 2 the kanin report nearly 42%of claims were proven false based on a woman admitting it or her story not adding up and that’s just proven false i am sure there are many more which simply weren’t proven but were still false.

    • Just to correct for misinformation, the study “billy williams” cites can in no way be taken as definitive. It involves a small sample, used problematic criteria for determining falsity, and has been called into question, publicly, by other scholars in the field. (See Dr. David Lisak’s comments in the 2007 Sexual Assault Report.) Of course false claims are problematic when they happen, but the instances where out-and-out lying are involved, as opposed to instances where interpretations may differ, are pretty few and far between. They *do* matter when they happen. But then again, so does rape.

      • billy williams says:

        It was not a small sample, it did NOT use problematic criteria for determining falsity, And the criticism & calling into question of the study is without basic.
        False reports are not rare, they happen all the time.

    • billy williams says:

      Forgot to add this. A rape claim that doesn’t end in conviction is unfounded unless there is proof it wasn’t of course.

    • billy williams says:

      Sorry, the first part about 2% too many was made in reply to what Joanne Archambault said. That’s what i was thinking of when i made that comment.

  27. Great read, this is exciting stuff! Sanford Schuck

  28. honestly, I feel like public perception is usually on the side of the victim up until something else comes up. The instinct is to assume the woman is telling the truth (Kobe, Strauss-Kahn, the duke lacrosse case . . .). When I was 15 a girl I had kissed twice (and who I honestly really liked and wanted to date at the time, she would have been my second girlfriend) got very upset when she found out I went to the movies with a group of people, some of whom were girls. It was a little too much to handle so I kind of cut off contact with her (chalk that up to being 15). Her reaction was to tell a group of her friends I raped her. I thank god every day that one of those girls told counselor and she admitted she made the whole thing up. If she’d kept up the lie, even if the truth eventually came out, it would have ruined my life. Pretending any percentage of false rape claims is a non-issue ignores the kind of life long stigma such claims have.

    • billy williams says:

      Thank You!-Ms magazine should apologize 4 saying this-I’m sorry that you were falsely accused & good that it came out as false early.

  29. I have one heck of a story that shows Fale rape cases are all too common, we had 2

    rape reports at my college in one year and were both false, (and it was a small college)

    One girl was having sex in her friends room on her friends bed when her friends

    walked in on it..(her room mate was sleeping so they used the empty room)… the

    girl was embarrised and lied about him forcing her,she said she was raped, BUT, we

    saw her come up to him and kiss him outside, and they both went inside the dorm

    together…… the girls all got real mad at that guy for 2 days,,, untill the

    girl told her friends she lied and was embarrasied.

    that guy was my friend…… i hooked up with the Fale rape accuser 2 weeks before

    that,,,, or,,, to be more correct, she hooked up with me. (she asked me to kiss

    her on the check, when i did she turned it into a make out)


    Another rape story in my college, again it involves a friend from my dorm, and a

    girl i knew from the girl dorm (she hooked up with me also by the way)

    one day i went to burker King with my friends…… when we came back, the Cops

    were EVERYWERE…… the whole school was lit up in red and blue lights.

    My a guy from my Dorm was talking to the cops…… as we walked to him all the

    cops started leaveing…… turns out some girl we knew accused him of rape……

    but the false rape accuser’s room mate came to his aid with information to clear

    him. (that honest girl was banging my buddy and i knew her faily well also, she is

    a honest person)

    it turns out that the girls was cheating on her boyfriend, people found out she

    cheated on him and she freaked out and called the cops and accused him of rape!

    and yet that same girl was talking to her room mate about how they had sex, and

    how she cheated on her boyfriend, and i know that guy didnt rape her, most guys

    cant even get hard in a situation like that

    and this guy was too much of a “nice guy” (pays for girls dinners and takes all

    there crap)

    this guy was a bit too “respect women” to have raped a girl…… and his trust

    cost him.


    that same girl walked up to me and made out with me about 3 weeks after that. We

    were in a room party, 45 minuts after the party she walks up to me as i am talking

    to a friend and kiss’s me, and walks away…….. i was like wtf?


    2 rape cases in one college year, Both false, i knew both guys, i knew both girls,

    i hooked up with both girls my self.

    I dont trust girls….. i feel bad for girls that are raped, and im sure the

    majority tell the truth ( 70% ill assume ) i still have a hard time trusting

    girls, considerding my experiances with them, as well as there natural faults.


    I think women are in denial about just how commen False rape cases are, women have

    a tendency to over react, lose emotional controle, cry, freak out, panic, not be

    logical…. most people would disagree, but i also feel its in a girls nature to

    lie when it comes to interactions with men.

    men do this too, but its more commen in women, its just in there nature.

    Women are higly insecure about sex, they also have spent there lives getting

    special treatment and learning they can exploit there special treatment to there

    advanatge,(like in school girls used to hit boys and say “girls cant hit boys but

    boys cant hit girls)


    Women are the sexist gender, the ones that want special treatment and eqaulity…

    i just dont trust them….we cant trust them untull they earn it

    most girls tell the truth about rape.. the majority…. but far too many lie… far

    too many lie

    • That a rape prosecution failed to obtain a conviction doesn’t make the complaint “unfounded.” All it does is make the defendant “NOT GUILTY.”
      “Unfounded” is “the testimony and evidence are insufficient to take the accused to trial.” Charges, if filed, are dismissed. If jailed, the accused is released. If bonded out, bail is released. A small note may be published on the back page of the local paper, though the accusation and arrest, with his photo looking all disheveled like he had been interrupted raping her (when in reality he was rousted out of bed by cops at 4 am) were reported on the front page months ago.

  30. TraVondia Perry says:

    RAPE is a very sensitive issue. I was assulted once and just because I didnt go to the police immediately the officers had many ??? marks in the air. It is true that many victims don’t wont to go to trail if there is no physical evidence only hear say. I really don’t care if it was true or not at this point , but if the accusations were right then he needs to be punished , it not the accuser needs to be put in Jail. women that lie makes it hard on real victims that didn’t have courage to go to officials right when the incident occured.Me on the other hand freedom is very important and I don’t understand why in person in their right mind would accuse an individual of such a heinous crime.

  31. I feel the female plight, I do, but how many wrongful convictions per justified convictions is acceptable? Personally I would kill someone if they raped my sister, mother, or daughter, but I was also falsely accused of rape my freshman year (in college) and I think she may honestly believe what she said. She claimed to be drunk and to have been dragged into my room when in fact she texted me that she was going to come and…. And brought alcohol with her opening the door on her own. She was sober until the end. It was definitely a bad situation and the end of our friends with benefits… But she chose to sleep with me and lied and told me she was pregnant after. I then found out she was lying, she said sorry, I said go kill yourself ( I didn’t mean literally) she tried, failed and that was the end… She dropped out. She never tried to put me in jail, but she told her friends and I believe she believes it happened. I can’t help but wonder if this happens more then we think… Or maybe I just had crap luck.

    • anastasiakeeley says:

      And at what point in this story were you wrongfully convicted of rape?

    • “told me she was pregnant after. I then found out she was lying,”

      Hard to know what she believes, but she’s not a reliable trustable person. That’s slimy. In a good system, an investigation, not doubting her, not blaming you, but just investigating for facts — would quickly uncover her pattern of falsehoods.

      Meanwhile, when a woman says, he was in maybe, or close to it & changes a detail that trauma will do that with — that’s used as a flag of a liar.

      Sounds like we need education for those investigating. Education on what is & isn’t a flag of a perpetrator, and what is and isn’t the flag of a perptrator in the form of false accuser.

      Sadly, someone like that most likely was sexual molested or some form of neglect from parents that she could be fooled into her own invented scenario. Especially if she tried to kill herself afterward. Doesn’t excuse doing anything harmful to others though.

      Meanwhile, like most rape victims, looking at how to filter people can reduce problems in one’s life. If she was a friend, there should have been clues she wasn’t trustworthy. Or not very stable person. If there were, then sex is a bad idea. We don’t teach enough of that kind of thinking it through for guys & sex at that age either. They can get into situations that are harmful to them too. So you raise a good point.

      Meanwhile though when I’ve heard stories about how she’s not right, then you get into the details, very often at some point the guy didn’t recognize or look for the “no”. The woman was frozen, not consenting, and she was raped. Even though he didn’t perceived that he had.

      If we get better at teaching everyone what is and isn’t rape, and what risks like this sexual interactions pose… we’d make it better for everyone involved.

      • These “flags” may be helpful to investigators who deal with one rape complaint after another, but they are not reliable for the individual. Some legitimate/genuine/for real rape victims recant when threatened with prosecution for bulls**t reasons like “wasting police time and resources,” or have second thoughts about being grilled and having her life sifted through a fine screen, the rape experience required to be repeated over and over.

  32. Edward Nunes says:

    The problem with false allegations of rape, spousal abuse, and other crimes is that a female accuser is never sentenced to jail. She gets anonymity while he gets blamed. Isn’t this sexual sadism?

  33. Experienced crime victim advocates, learn to tell the difference between lying & truthful reports. Once you’ve seen the genuine victim pattern over & over, the false pattern stands out. I haven’t seen anyone point this out.

    That it’s possible to get pretty good at telling (when the case is still fresh.) Same way judges get decent at telling who’s lying in their courtroom, & who’s not. Heck, own a rental property with a crummy payer. The instance they have a legimate reason, and not a made up (or misused) excuse for being late — wow, their voice is different. You can tell instantly. Rape victims show patterns. So do rapists. It may not be fool proof, but for the overwhelming number of cases, anyone with good experience, can tell that it’s legit, or in the rarer case, that it’s a setup.

    So question is why so often, is the media & sometimes the police system set up to question the victim as though she’s lying?

    Someone else’s suggestion was right on target — withhold ALL names, perp & victim, and ALL details, until the investigation is complete. Let someone with experience use their judgement before, either the victim or the accused are tried in the media…. by media journalists without access to enough info or experience to judge themselves.

    On the case needing to be fresh – for cases many years old, the emotional tell-tales can get old & harder to spot accurately, and the liar get better at it (be it rapist or false accuser.)

    Remember too MEN can get raped! It doesn’t always look exactly the same. It does happen. Not as often, but that’s even harder to get good support for.

  34. Yes, women lie about being raped for a variety of reasons. It’s an awful thing. Unfortunately, none of us know the percentage rape accusations that are false.

    False rape accusations make it more difficult for real victims of rape to come forward and be believed.

    It’s like the story – The Boy Who Cried Wolf. If the police and our society get accustomed to the idea that sometimes a rape claim isn’t real…..then when a real victim comes forward they’re going to havea much tougher time.

    Imagine if a poor, young, black woman was raped today by a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke. Imagine her coming forward today – calling the police and telling her story. Can you imagine what difficult time she’d have getting anyone to believe her….a lot of people would think, “here we go again”.

    The false accuser at Duke wasn’t prosecuted…neither was the one at Hofstra – who had it not been for the invention of the smartphone video – those boys lives would have been forever ruined.

    We need to punish rapists….but we also need to punish the false accusers of rape. They not only are destroying someone’s life with a lie – but they’re also making it more difficult for future rape victims and unfortunately easier for actual rapists.

  35. How about not taking cases to court when there is no evidence. If it is “he said, she said” then it has no place in court.

  36. We do not live in a rape culture. That kind of loaded victimizing label is not only untrue, it’s not helpful or meaningful. We live in a world where the vas majority of people are good people, that do not commit rape. A small fraction of people do commit rapes, and an even smaller fraction of people lie about these rapes. None of that makes this a rape culture. Rape in Western cultures isn’t protected or an honor violation like it is in Muslim cultures, it’s reviled and disgusting. So much so that the mere allegation of rape will ruin someone’s life. If we lived in a rape culture, there would be no social backlash against and accused rapist, and yet there is.

    What we sometimes forget is that in western societies, we place the burden of proof, legally, on the accuser, for all crimes. When viewed through a microscope, such as rape alllegations, this appears to be attacking the victim. In a way, it is, but that’s true for all crimes. The plaintiff always has the burden of proof, and the defendant is supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Psychologically this is very hard on a victim of abuse, and something we must all be sympathetic too. But this does not mean rape is condoned. the reverse, treating the accused as guilty until proven innocent, which would seem to be more palitable when the accusse is “known” to be guilty is a far worse world to live in. Too often this has resulted in innocent people being found guilt for crimes they did not commit. Just look at the Duke lacrosse hoax.

  37. morriss says:

    “[False reports] are not a problem. They happen, but they’re not a problem.” Yeah, for whom? Not for the accuser, since we don’t prosecute them. But it is a rather large problem for those accused! Google phrases like “I lied and said I was raped” to see that girls do lie for attention. They end up destroying lives utterly with no fear of prosecution.

  38. Misanthrope says:

    “Research has shown that only roughly 2 to 8 percent of rape reports are untrue” Everything else has a link, but the actual linchpin of your argument is completely absent. What research, by whom? Also comparing it to car theft is an obvious strawman. Those people are reporting their car being stolen, usually for profit, not accusing and naming an individual as the thief. It would be far more accurate to compare to false reports of assault or attempted murder, violent crimes with an identifiable perpetrator.
    Even if that was all true (it’s not), you brush off 8%? That means one in ten men in jail for rape could be doing 20 years for absolutely nothing. Innocent until proven guilty, or pointed at by a woman. There’s justice for you.

  39. Well my brother was accused of rape and he didnt even do it. He was with her for 6 years and when he finally moved out her house, got him 2 jobs and found somewhere else to go, thats when she accused him of rape. The week she reported it my brother was not even staying there. She lied and said that he raped her daughter but the 6 years they had been together when they had a little arguement she would call my mom and try to sort it out. But when she accused him she waited until he went to work and had the police arrest him at his job, for the sole purpose of making him look bad. To make it worse, he was not staying with her, but she took him lunch before she had him arrested! Thats dirty. Then we find out that my older brother is in jail by him calling us crying. And to make it worse, she is an unfit mother and has a severe drinking problem. Before this happened, like a year ago he called home saying she cut him on his arm and put him out of the house. He came to stay with us for 3 days but when she called back home to talk to us she told my brother that she was in rehab which was a total lie. But my brother loved her so much that he gave her a second chance. But what i dont get is if you claimed that my brother had raped your child, and you been together for 6 years, dont you think if you thought he did that why would you beg him to come back? Its because she used my brother just to watch her daughter. My brother never touched her. Her daughter is 9 but she can lie very well. Thats the reason she is a unfit mother because she is using her daughter as a advantage to get my brother convicted. She took my brothers income tax check, which eveb though he moved out he did not have a permanent home so he was staying with friends. So the check came to her house because thats were he was before he finally moved out. My brother told me it was supposed to be 800 dollars but she had him put in jail for “rape” takes his check and cashed it. Then she magically comes up with a lawyer. But left my brother to suffer. He is jail right now on suicide watch because of her. This is his first offense, because he never had trouble with the law. But i may never see my brother because of her. But we are currently getting money to bail him out. My brother is so scared in there. He told us he didnt do it and he moved out a week before she cried rape so to speak. But we are going to get a lawyer for my brother and give her what she deserves. But my heart goes out to the women that truly get raped. But to those women who do it just to be vile and cruel, you are the ones that make those women who were violated look bad. Some women do lie about rape if they think they can get away with it.

    • I get why you are angry at this girl, however I would calm down and listen to both sides. Because if your brother did rape her you are going to make you and your family look like you are pro-rape. Her daughter could’ve just told her when he was gone because she felt like he couldn’t hurt her anymore. The only reason, she didn’t know about him hurting her daughter probably was because she has a drinking problem. Sometimes the police arrest during a public place so they don’t run I doubt she has control over what the police do…Also she may have met him with a wire so the police could get info. There is an easy way to see if your brother raped her daughter, and it’s to see if she is a virgin or not, and trust me they checked if she was before they arrested your brother.

  40. **Because if your brother did rape her you are going to make you and your family look like you are pro-rape…not really pro-rape, more like denial…

  41. What if both parties were drunk during the sex and both vaguely remember parts. How can it be ok to say that you were raped because you barely remember while this man is now looked at as a rapist and he doesnt remember how this happened either? Any takers?

  42. Forgiveness says:

    Having been falsely accused of rape, I can tell you it is a damn stressful thing to walk through. I have been searching articles like this one in the attempt to make sense out of the insane situation in which I have found myself. The police referred the complaint to the city prosecutors office, who have declined to prosecute, but I still have to show up and pay for an attorney in a civil case. The accuser has lied about every aspect of her accusation, but she will get away with it. She has certainly punished me for the crime of walking away from her. I haven’t been able to sleep for a year. All I can do is pray for the strength to forgive.

  43. I am truly sorry for anyone who has been falsely accused of rape…but it’s not as big of a problem as people make it out to be and it is not a good reason to make everyone else’s true stories invalid. Girls are cowed into dropping charges, saying it was all a lie, and many don’t even get that far. I personally do not understand why a woman would endure a rape kit (they are highly uncomfortable) to lie. In a culture full of victim blaming, I will always believe the victim until proven otherwise. We cannot move forward as a society until we accept that we shouldn’t treat people reporting rape as liars. Assuming we’re lying makes it so difficult for us to step forward in the first place, perpetuating the horrors.
    Really, I’m going to be very frank and very mean about this: I don’t care if you lost your job, got a ruined reputation, and had to pay for it, you didn’t have someone violating you in the worst possible ways. I know it’s mean, and it’s not what you want to hear, but I believe the accuser because for the most part, the rest of the world is stacked against them.

    • I hope that if you’re ever falsely accused of a crime, you will be shown the same level of compassion that you’re showing for people falsely accused of rape.

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