During SAAM a plethora of different and often oppositional opinions show up on social media. I was pursuing Pinterest looking for infographics to share and came across this.
The above statement is one of the most ignorant statements I have ever seen in regards to rape and sexual assault accusations. For one it perpetuates rape culture by instilling the fear of being imprisoned if you can’t bring forth enough evidence to get a conviction. For two, it neglects the fact that women already ARE imprisoned for making false accusations about any number of crimes, but especially rape and sexual assault. This isn’t just a little slap on the wrist either. Going to court and making false accusations against someone is a FELONY. In fact, many women who are found to have made false accusations receive a far more harsh sentence than the man whom has been falsely accused in the first place!
As someone who has survived rape and sexual abuse, I don’t disagree with the statement itself. I disagree with how it is so often used to discredit victims who come forward, or to intimidate someone into keeping their silence. Only 3% of men accused of rape will see any sort of jail time as a result. 3%. Even if the majority of accusations were false (which they are NOT) next to nothing is done about it.
When I finally went to the police about my rape I had one hell of a time fighting through the process of interrogation, terrified that my rapist would be able to manipulate the justice system to his favor. I almost got myself detained for literally fighting back against the detective as he was trying to vet my claim. In the end of it all, I was vindicated and cleared of making any sort of false accusations. I mean obviously, I’m not in jail, but the road required to get there from filing the report to verified that I wasn’t bringing forth false accusations was brutal and extremely mentally taxing.
So why, what reasonable logic, is there for making false claims when genuine victims are ignored or forgotten? Certainly there are cases where women can and do unfortunately take advantage of the system, but when they do they are quickly caught and swiftly punished. It’s not a game.