Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lying about rape

To those who say "a woman would never lie about being raped", allow me to share with you the response by my wife's college roommate, who at the time (maybe 15 years ago) was in the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office. When I said this to her, she replied:
Oh please. Rape is the MOST lied about crime. Think about it: does anybody ever lie about being mugged, having their home burglarized, their car stolen, whereas there are a lot of reasons why a woman might lie about being raped. I had one case where, after we investigated, it turned out that she was a prostitute and was using a rape claim to try to resolve a dispute with her customer about how much he owed her. In the case of another woman, her parents found out she'd had sex and they were super conservative so, to get out of being punished, she made up a rape story. Or another woman who made up the story because she was angry that they guy hadn't called her afterward.
Let me be clear: I think a woman completely fabricating stories like these is extremely rare. But far more common no doubt are situations in which I think a reasonable person would say belongs in a gray area: both people are drunk, horny and like each other, they go up to his or her room and start making out, things get hot and heavy, and they have sex. Did he pressure her? Did he force her? Did she say no? Who knows? There are almost never any witnesses. What is a prosecutor or a university supposed to do with this?

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