Myths about false accusation

Myths about false accusation

Myths: “Lots of women cry rape when they regret sex.”

“Women accuse celebrities and athletes of rape all the time for money and attention.”

“The definition of ‘rape’ is so loose these days – women can claim anything is rape and get away with it.”

“They didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute, so she was probably lying.”

“If she was really raped she would have called the police.”

Only about 2% of all rape and related sex charges are determined to be false, the same percentage as for other felonies (FBI). So while they do happen, and they are very problematic when they do, people claim that allegations are false far more frequently than they are and far more frequently than for other crimes.  Put another way, we are much more likely to disbelieve a woman if she says she was raped than if she says she was robbed, but for no good reason.

On a related note, only about 40% of rapes are ever reported to the police, and this is partly because victims know that if their claim becomes public, their every behavior will be scrutinized, they will be shamed for their sexual history, and they will be labeled as lunatic, psychotic, paranoid, and manipulative.  Just because someone does not report their crime does not mean it did not happen.  Furthermore, only one in two claims lead to prosecution, so if the DA decides not to prosecute, that says nothing about whether or not it happened.  (http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates)