One of the things I like doing is reading news from various countries. Not only does it broaden my general knowledge about the country, but also allows me to see how similar or different each place is. Well today I was browsing around the U.K.’s Daily Mail website and came across a story that really makes me mad!
In any civilised society, rape is seen as one of the worst crimes possible. Society treats it so seriously that usually people convicted of rape are expected to spend a large amount of time behind bars. Rape is not just a physical act, but also the emotional and psychological issues which follow the woman (and in some cases men) around for the rest of their lives.
That said, the scenario I read today has been reported on repeatedly over the past several months and it sickens me almost as much as rape does itself. In this case a woman was drunk and wanted to get rid of him, so she made up a story of being raped by two men while she was walking home from a pub.
Now here is the part that pisses me off!
This woman gave the police the descriptions of two men she had seen at the nightclub. After looking at surveilance video of the club, the two men were arrested and dragged off to the local station to be questioned. It was only FIVE months later that they were told that they were cleared and this was only after the woman finally admitted that she had lied.
So due to this woman crying rape and lying, two innocent people’s lives were ruined by the allegations. But this is not the only thing…
For the past 35 years the victim of a rape case is not allowed to be publicly identified, however anyone merely ACCUSED of the crime CAN and IS named in the media. Often this media automatically gives them the label of ‘guilty’ – even if the case hasn’t even got to court!
Many people have argued that the names of the defendants should only be made public on conviction. I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment, after all is not a person assumed to be innocent until PROVEN guilty? This precept is the cornerstone of most democracies and civilised societies, so why is this allowed?
I am sure that you have heard the phrase ‘There can’t be smoke without fire’ or similar. Well this is the case with these defendants. Just the allegation of rape is enough to destroy their reputations and public lives. Also, very often the public are not made aware that the defendant has been found to be innocent, so they keep on thinking the worst. This thinking often lasts a lifetime, unless the person moves to a new city and attempts to get a new life.
Then to rub salt into the wounds, even though the defendant is found to be totally innocent, the case is still kept on record. These records are made available to potential employers through criminal bureau checks. So even though innocent, just the allegation of rape will still hang over them!
The UK is considering changing the law to allow anonymity to the accused until after they have been found guilty. Feminists and campaigners have protested that the anonymity offer will hinder justice as publicising their names allows other potential victims to come forward.
Personally I think that this is a very weak argument and typical of the feminist agenda (more of that in a later post!). As one famous feminist, Wendy Kaminer, stated “it is a primary article of faith among many feminists that women don’t lie about rape, ever; they lack the dishonesty gene.” (Kaminer, W. (1993, October). Feminism’s identity crisis. The Atlantic Monthly, p. 67.)
English jurist William Blackstone famously wrote: “”Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” To my mind, being named BEFORE being found guilty is making that person suffer. There have also recently been a number of high profile cases where a person was found guilty and sentenced for rape, only later to have DNA definitively prove that they were innocent.Sixty-three percent of the more than 200 DNA exonerations in the US involve false rape allegations. But this is a slightly different issue I guess.
This increase of woman crying rape to get what they want MUST stop. And it appears on both sides of the pond. Does anyone still remember the Duke Lacrosse rape case? A study by women’s advocates discovered that up to one in four claims of rape is false.
Lying about being raped dimishes the seriousness of a proper rape case. It also scews the statistics for successful convictions in rape cases. A U.S. Air Force study, “The False Rape Allegation in the Military Community (1983) investigated 556 cases of alleged rape, and found a 60% rate of false accusations.
This makes it that much harder for women who have actually been raped to be believed due to a perception of low conviction rates.
The problem is compounded because in many cases the woman actually gets away with a mere slap on the wrist. In the case above the woman got 18 months in prison, but what is that compared to the 5 to 10 YEARS that the innocent man would have received if he had been found guilty.
So how do we deal with this? Actually the answer is pretty easy:
Women who are found to have made a false sexual assault complaint should receive the same jail sentence as the male victim would have received if he had been convicted.
In fact I feel that this same solution can be extended to ANYONE who is proven to make a false criminal accusation about another person. That is justice and hopefully a severe punishment will make people think twice before falsely accusing and ruining an innocent persons life and will allow the law to deal with those who really have suffered at the hands of real rapists.