I Am a False Rape Allegation Statistic

Commenter EEB wrote this in the comments on one of Jason’s posts. With her permission, I am reprinting it here as a guest post because more people need to know that this can and does happen.

OK. In all of these discussions the past few days, on various blogs and various inter-related topics, I’ve been thinking about saying this. I never felt it was quite the right place, or time. But I think now is the right time. This might be egotistical, and I’m sorry, but I feel it needs to be said.

[Putting a big TRIGGER WARNING for graphic description of rape & aftermath, victim blaming.]

I was raped three years ago. Almost exactly: the beginning of August 2010. It was a violent, stranger rape, as I was walking home from work. I honestly had no fear about calling the police. My dad’s a cop. I was in shock, mostly, but certainly not thinking that making a report was going to be worse than what had just happened to me. Plus, there was so much physical evidence–deep tissue bruising on my arms, burns on my labia, tearing that went from my vagina to my anus–it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be believed.

Two male detectives arrived at my house. I stammered out a request for a female detective; it was denied. (I learned later that they violated procedure by not accommodating the request.) They made me go through what happened. I was in excruciating pain and dripping blood but they didn’t want to take me to the hospital just then, and said the hospital “wasn’t ready” anyway. So I described the rape. Then they asked if I was taking any drugs. Well, just my medication. I thought it was strange that they literally spent more time asking about my mental health history and the types of medication I took, instead of the rape, but at the time, again, I was in shock, and not thinking much.

Long story short: I submitted to an invasive physical exam, described the rape more times than I can count. They didn’t wait for my rape counselor, that I requested, another thing I found was actually against the law. (But when she arrived, she kicked major ass. And really helped me through the process; I don’t know what I would have done without her. A rape kit is extremely invasive, and I was already in terrible pain, but she was able to get me through it.) The black light (to look for fluid/blood/etc) was broken, so I tried to approximate where he had kissed me, licked me, so the nurse giving the exam could swab those areas. (This will be important later.)

Oh, aside: the hospital wouldn’t provide Emergency Contraception, although I did get a few pills to keep from getting STDs. Not AIDS, however–I was told the procedure was to only provide AIDS prevention if you already know the rapist has AIDS, which seems a little hinky, as it’s not exactly a question I could ask during the rape). The detective, who drove me to the hospital, refused to stop at a pharmacy on the way home, so I could get Plan B for myself. He said he “didn’t feel comfortable” with that and I should “wait for my parents” even though I was 24 and alone at home. Guess 24 is too young to make the decision to try and prevent becoming pregnant with my rapist’s baby!

Over the next few months, I submitted to multiple, horrific “interviews” that really felt like “interrogations” as time went on. I was also dealing with a serious medical condition at the time (I almost died; my intestines ruptured, but was almost certainly not a result of the rape, just bad timing). But I still believed in the system. I still didn’t want the man who raped me on the streets. I did everything they requested, answered every invasive question (the were really focused on my mental health history!), even got on the ground and acted out the rape for them, with the head detective on top of me acting out the part of the rapist. Not only was I absolutely hysterical by the time we were done, I’m positive that aggravated my PTSD for a long time after.

And after all that, I was called in for an “interview” to discuss “a new lead in your case”. They didn’t let my rape counselor in the room–again, against the law, I found out later! For about an hour (I think; my sense of time was not that great) they were no longer even pretending to be supportive. They accused me over and over of making it up. They had very flimsy “evidence” (which I won’t go into because it’s both complicated and ridiculous) but mostly it was their “instinct”.

Because I have a mental illness. Because I was hospitalized after attempting suicide. Because I “claimed” I had been sexually assaulted in the past. Because I was crazy, and he was sure I was just looking for attention. He had a bipolar ex-wife, you see, and she made his life a living hell. He told me how he understood mentally ill women, and how we need to create drama. How we’re liars, and we crave attention.

And over and over they accused me of lying. Alone in this tiny room with two large, angry men, I was doing everything I could to keep from having a panic attack. I couldn’t respond to what they were saying; again, I think I was in shock. And they threatened me with jail time, with a felony on my record, destroying my family, public humiliation (he threatened to call the papers–something he did anyway, because, quote, “the community needs to know there was no threat to public safety”). They said I would be charged with a false report, with terrorizing the public (there was a public awareness campaign initially after my attack, though I didn’t have anything to do with it. After the rape, I did everything I could to maintain anonymity, and only told two people–beyond my family and the cops–hat I was attacked. But…I did it for attention, which was why I didn’t tell anyone? I’m just sneaky like that, I guess!). Accusations, threats, anger, pounding the table, over and over and over.

The detective looked at me. His whole demeanor changed; he tried to seem kind, avuncular. “Tell me you made the whole thing up. This whole thing will disappear. Nothing will happen to you. You can leave, if you just tell me you made it up. Tell me you made it up and you’re sorry for lying, and I’ll let you leave.” I tried to hold out–but I didn’t last long. Honestly, at that point, all I wanted in the entire world was just to get out of that room. There are very few things I wouldn’t have done, if I could only leave. So I looked at him and lied. I said, “I made the whole thing up. I’m sorry.”

To his credit, the detective was true to his word. (I now realize he could have been lying, and since I wasn’t under arrest or being interrogated–technically, I could have left any time, even though I didn’t know that–my words could have been used in court.*) That was all. He let me leave. Well. He made me give him a hug before leaving, but I was allowed to go. A very pissed off rape counselor and my very broken looking father were in the hallway just outside.

(At the time, I thought the rape counselor hated me, thought I was a liar like everyone else. She didn’t; she was pissed at the detectives, but I didn’t know that until I ran into her two years later at an event. But at the time, I thought she wouldn’t want anything to do with me, and so I lost the one person who was really helping me recover.)

So understand: I am a “false rape allegation” statistic. When they wrote their reports, sent the numbers off to the justice department to compile the information, I am down as a liar, a false allegation, even though no charges were ever filed against me. (Don’t know if that’s because they didn’t think they could make a case against me, or because they didn’t want to put a cop’s daughter on trial.) And you know what? I am not the only person. It is horrifying, the number of women that I have met in support groups and activist meetups who experienced very similar things. They too, are false allegation statistics. We were all raped.

So just keep that in mind, when you quote the 6-8% “false allegation” statistic. I know we have to rely on the only information we have, and I use the statistic in conversations, as well. But I always remember that number is certainly not an accurate representation. (Maybe it should always come with an asterisk?)

Please, remember my story when you see “false rape” statistics. Remember my friend, who admitted to a false report charge in order to keep her veteran benefits after being discharged (her rapist’s good friend and direct superior handled the case; a discharge was inevitable.) Remember the middle-aged woman I met, still traumatized, who, as a teenager, recanted her story when her rapist (and stepfather) threatened to kill her family. And the many, many others, all unknown, all forgotten–even in the bare statistics, which are often the only testament to our experiences. And we’re denied even that. Instead, our stories, our traumas, are used to stigmatize and further traumatize new victims. It makes me sick to know MRAs can take our numbers and use them to justify their “bitches be lying” stance. I can’t put into words how devastating that is.

Are there false allegations? Of course. Jason, in opening up about such a difficult topic, has explained exactly that. And no one hates truly false allegations like a rape survivor. But we should balance that with the knowledge that the “official” numbers are not an accurate representation of the truth.

Thank you for listening. I’m sorry for the length. I honestly tired multiple times to shorten this, but I feel that this story needed to be told, this needs to be added to the discussion about false allegations. And thank you, Jason, for such brilliant writing, honesty, and compassion; also, thank you for hosting these discussions.

* This is why you never talk to any police officer under any circumstances without a lawyer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been arrested, charged, or read your rights. I could have put myself in jail with that lie.

I Am a False Rape Allegation Statistic

144 thoughts on “I Am a False Rape Allegation Statistic

  1. 1

    First, really angry EEB had to go through that, so sorry, there are no words to describe how awful that process was you were put through. That’s for stranger rape with loads of evidence, the police should be prosecuted for that travesty, with the rapist. Unfortunately there is no “just world” that the hyper-skeptics who call for “police report or it didn’t happen”, seem to think exists. Makes you want to believe in a special hell for people like that, police and rapist.

    I remember when some assholes tried to bully you out of the movement. It was impressive how well you handled that and the subsequent incursions into your personal space. Facebook and blog, hopefully they’ll have the sense to leave you alone this time.

    I’m also reminded of this comment you made about the work you do on Richard Carriers blog, as this made me really pissed off about the previous treatment you got from the Vac and pals. Usually with these posts about rape of women and how bad the situation is when reporting it some shithead turns up with “What about teh menz!11!” argument from the Slymepit or other such hell hole. They better not on this thread as you do far more for mens rights than “MRA” Vacula or the other #braveheros at the Slymepit … I cannot imagine how hard it is to work with victims of sexual trauma in the Military when you’ve been through this.

    I’ll side with the “professional victims” over here any day. Survivors like you and Stephanie who talk about these issues and don’t shy away from them are seriously inspiring and the best hope for change.

  2. 2

    Bad story. Very bad indeed.
    Surely, I would’ve pushed someone’s head through a brick wall during that farce procedure.

    One thing about statistics:

    Statistics I’ve read so far (concerning my own country of birth), offer distinctive statistics on convictions (trial), unproven claims (not convicted in trial or investigation cancelled due to lack of evidence) and false claims (explicitely proven to be false).

    All cases are investigated by the responsible state attourney (because the police has no buisiness other than stating a report to the state prosecutor and collecting evidence on his behalf).

    Does anyone know how the situation is in the US ?

    Has the police really the power to cancel an investigation on their own and are their “results” reported as factual evidence that goes into statistics ? If so, that’s pretty f*cked up.

  3. 3

    There are no words for how wrong that was, for how absolutely wrong they were, for how unjustly you were treated. Thank you so much for reliving that to show how statistics can lie in the worst possible way.

  4. 9

    Some days I wish I could go back and eat the blue pill; I wish I could be blissfully unaware of all this shit.

    Thank you, EEB. Thank you for having the courage to tell us everything.

  5. 10

    For some reason it never occurred to me to seriously ask what those studies meant by “false.” Maybe because the results already supported what I expected to be true? (That the great majority of rape reports are true.) Bad scientist, bad.

    The story is horrifying and tragic. I am so so sorry for what you were put through, EEB.

  6. 11

    Has the police really the power to cancel an investigation on their own and are their “results” reported as factual evidence that goes into statistics ? If so, that’s pretty f*cked up.

    They can, and it is. A district attorney can pursue a case over the objections of the police, but only if they know about it and are not so overworked that they can’t afford the time. That’s a rarity. It tends to happen only when there is a strong public outcry and media coverage.

  7. 12

    Thank you so much for being so brave and telling your important story. I’m so sorry that the people we should be able to trust to enforce the law so violated it and violated your trust in the wake of such a horrible crime.

  8. 13

    I never made a report or anything, but when I was 8 I was molested by my babysitter (who was female, in this case). When I tried to tell my friend about it, he told him mom, and she threatened to not let my friend see me anymore because I was “a pervert.” I immediately said I was joking and nothing happened, fearful that I’d lose my friend. I ended up not even telling my mother about it until another 8 years of my life had passed and we had moved to another state. So, yeah, people can easily be convinced to recant their stories. It shouldn’t be so surprising, but I suppose some people buy into that “the truth will set you free” stuff a little too readily. No, sometimes the only thing the truth frees you of are friends, your job, and in some cases your life.

  9. 16

    I want to start off by saying that this post was unbelievably moving. Thank you for sharing this, since I think this is a very important reminder that “false” rape allegations are an even more difficult place to navigate.

    I wanted to share a story that I heard about that also discusses other false rape allegations. I heard about this from someone who read about it in the news somewhere so I cannot guarantee the info, but I do believe the story to be true.

    There were two girls who accused their teacher of molesting them. I think they were around high school age. The teacher was tried, and it was eventually found that he was innocent, although he still lost his job over it. In the investigation however, it was revealed that while the teacher was innocent the girls Were In Fact Raped!

    They were being abused by either a family member or a close family friend, who had threatened to kill them and/or their families if they ever told anyone. They accused their teacher so that they could get the support services they needed and have some outlet for what they were feeling, because they were too scared to go after the person who was actually hurting them! Sure what they did was wrong, but even this false rape allegation didn’t actually mean that no rape had taken place!

    Even here, while we can sympathize with the person who was accused, we can also understand where the girls were coming from. It was a horrible situation that they were put in and I would even suggest that the current attitudes surrounding rape made it more difficult for them to come forward about the real rapist. We take allegations against teachers very seriously, while allegations about other people are treated with less conviction. If our society treated rape victims better and had a better discourse about rape going, this would have made it easier for the girls to come forward.

    So even “false” rape allegation like this one are in fact directly impacted by our rape culture and tendency to shame.

  10. 17

    *so much rageflailing*

    He had a bipolar ex-wife, you see, and she made his life a living hell. He told me how he understood mentally ill women, and how we need to create drama. How we’re liars, and we crave attention.

    …because… …there’s only one mental illness in the world?


  11. 18

    This, exactlty, is why I’ve never reported any of the rapes/attempts I’ve lived through. Because take all this, and multiply it by being trans* (and thus, already, innately a deceptive person, amirite?), and by the damage I’d done in fighting off the attacks, and you’ve got what I knew damn well would happen if I reported.

    Thank you, EEB, for telling us this. You’re an impressively brave woman.

  12. 19

    I guess rape victims should be added to the list of those who should never talk to the police without a lawyer.

    They’re already covered under the catch-all of “people should never talk to the police without a lawyer”.

    Again, EEB, I’m so sorry, and thank you.

  13. 23

    EEB: once again, I’m so sorry you had to go through this.

    michaelbrew: I’m sorry to hear that happened to you, too.

    I hear all too many stories like these.

  14. 24

    Anthony K: Eh, people who’ve been asked in by the police should always bring a lawyer, yes. But most crime victims usually didn’t need that kind of protection (for instance, if I go to report that I had my pocket picked, the cops may not do much about it, but they aren’t likely to doubt my story–even if I’m on medication at the time). This story makes it pretty clear that a rape victim, specifically, should call a lawyer to go with them to make the report, just so the cops can’t pull this shit so easily.

  15. 26

    freemage: that’s part of what rape counselors and advocates do, except when the police refuse them, as in EEB’s story. They are (or were) funded largely by VAWA because rape victims often can’t access or afford lawyers, much less lawyers who don’t just have the same attitudes towards rape as the police do.

    On a quick search, I see the entire state of Florida has 100 rape crisis advocates. The Florida bar lists over 96,000.

  16. 27

    Thank you for putting in the enormous effort to educate all of us. I knew that rape victims get treated badly, but I was only imagining putdowns from neighbors, being exposed to shitty comments in the newspaper, and being cross-examined at the trial. My imagination was far from sufficient.

    Here’s a Jezebel article about what I think is a very common rape / reporting pattern on a college campus. (For those who can’t get enough details.) http://jezebel.com/the-student-athletes-guide-to-not-raping-anyone-1177994230 (It includes the victim’s statement about what happened to her.)

  17. 28

    Anthony K: Eh, people who’ve been asked in by the police should always bring a lawyer, yes. But most crime victims usually didn’t need that kind of protection (for instance, if I go to report that I had my pocket picked, the cops may not do much about it, but they aren’t likely to doubt my story–even if I’m on medication at the time). This story makes it pretty clear that a rape victim, specifically, [apparently needs to] call a lawyer to go with them to make the report, just so the cops can’t pull this shit so easily.

    Thanks. I did not mean it to, but my comment erased the difference between the way victims of rape and victims of other crimes are treated by authorities, and I appreciate the correction.

  18. 29

    No words… I am so sorry, EEB.

    This must become a world where shit like this doesn’t happen. Ever. Again. I’ll do everything I can to make it that sort of world. And I know, this being FTB, I’m not alone.

  19. 30

    It happens in the military, too, and it is quickly covered up when it does. Filing a report resulted in my being threatened with a dishonorable discharge and time in the Correction Custody Facility for 30 days. I came within a hair of being raped by someone in my chain of command and would have been if my room mate hadn’t turned up at his office looking for me. I had tried to walk out of his office but he barred my way to the door and wouldn’t let me leave. Karen’s knocking is what halted things, she knew I was in there, had gotten a funny feeling about the door being closed, and when he opened the door I fled. After filing a report, I was punished for 2 years with bad reviews, denied leave requests, extra duties, denied sick leave, etc. I was then given a direct order by the Officer In Charge to keep my mouth shut and forget it happened, or I would be kicked out and incarcerated at the CCF.

    My last day on base my NCOIC called me into the office and offered an apology about not believing me at first, but it was a little late by then to do any good. One of the other women I worked with came forward as she was getting out of the military and said he had actually raped her, but she was intimidated out of filing a report. He had tried to intimidate me as well, so it was 3 or 4 days before I filed a report because I knew the consequences would be harsh, and I had a lot of thinking to do on whether or not it was worth it. With the way it turned out, it helped no one, and if I had known, I would have kept my mouth shut . How sad is that?

  20. 31

    EEB, you have my sympathy and support as a survivor who did not report. Thank you for sharing this incredibly difficult tale. I cannot imagine all the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. And for them to make it worse by denying you your basic rights and worse no access to the morning after pill. I am at a loss for words as the rage boils inside of me.

    This gives me a new perspective on the false reports, that many that are classified as such because the victim is coerced into saying they lied. Which gives me a whole new level of rage for all those victims who come forward and are told they’re liars.

  21. 32

    I am so, so sorry that this happened, but thank you very much for writing about it. Terrible to read, but necessary, for many of us.

  22. 35

    EEB, I’m so very sorry. Thank you for sharing this horrible episode from your life. I think it will do a lot to convince those who are open to reason, and it will mobilize the rest of us.

  23. 36

    First,my sympathies to EEB. I’m so sorry for what you went through and wish I could do something.

    oolon @1
    Thanks for reminding us about Justin Vacula’s sickening attempts to bully EEB out of the movement. If I leave this movement, it will be because of “leaders” like Vacula and his new pal, JT Eberhard, who recently publicly lectured a middle-aged black woman about how to handle a racist act (Vacula loved that post). In fact, the only reason I’m still in the atheist movement at all is because of Stephanie, Jen, Ophelia, Greta, and their ilk.

  24. 38

    I don’t think most people realize just how terrifying interrogation is. Even when the officers involved aren’t being vicious bastards the combination of fear, embarrassment and anxiety can so easily gang up on you and make you say and do things that would bewilder your calm, rational self. Folks need to understand that it is not uncommon for even very clever, composed people to buckle under pressure and that there is no shame in doing so. And, as stated in the OP, never talk to cops without a lawyer. Not under any circumstances. Ever.

  25. 40

    All I could write when I first saw this was, “I’m in shock.” Now, I’d like to say what I should have said then– EEB, I believe you, everybody here believes you, and I’m so, so sorry you had to be put through that nightmare.

  26. 42

    This is why I don’t goto the cops about anything. I can take 20 bullets from transphobes and the cops will sit there and tell me I’m just crazy and delusional and put the bullets in myself to get attention (because I’m disabled) even as I show them them the casings dug about by the ER doc. They’ll claim it was a suicide attempt gone wrong, didn’t i know? And it’s not their responsibility to investigate suicide attempts, and now I can lie and say it was just an accident between me and another person on a gun range or something, or they’ll throw me in jail for attempting suicide. Cops are seriously that sociopathic. You betcha. It’s sickening and disgusting what you went through, totally and utterly unacceptable, though sadly, not surprising.

    This gives me a new perspective on the false reports, that many that are classified as such because the victim is coerced into saying they lied. Which gives me a whole new level of rage for all those victims who come forward and are told they’re liars.

    This is a disgustingly common thing for marginalized people. I’ve been raped thrice in my life, once forcibly, once date-rape, and another in raw terror, trying to cooperate feebly so it wouldn’t be forcible, starting the feeble cooperation after I figured out what was actually going to happen (young child). I was more scared of the cops than the rapist after one of the rapes: scared the cops were going to actually rape me and then force me to confess the rape I had been subjected to by the non-cop I was reporting, was false. I never trust cops given some of my experiences in life. They’re my best friend I politely just can’t be bothered to talk to without a lawyer when they’re around, and my worst enemy when I’m not in their physical presence.

    Ughhhh. ((hug)) or something, if you want them. I’m SO out of it after reading this, I hate these cops, fuck these ASSHOLES that did this to you. I’m so sorry that happened to you EEB.

  27. 43

    This is an awful story. What one hopes, is that the perpetrator of EEB’s rape has since been caught, because reading it, with this (judging by her injuries) level of violence, it really looks like this is someone who has done it before and will do it again.
    One also hopes that indeed those police have been hauled over hot coals over this.
    Good luck to EEB, and I hope her recovery has continued.

  28. 45

    Thanks again for this story, EEB.

    @Ania Onion Bula #16:

    In the investigation however, it was revealed that while the teacher was innocent the girls Were In Fact Raped!

    That was one of the things revealed in the Crown Prosecution Service study on false rape allegations, which is linked on the relevant Wikipedia page: many of the false claims came after an actual rape or assault, and falsely accused an innocent person or, more commonly, accusing a stranger when the act was committed by someone they knew.

  29. 46

    That’s horrifying. In a just system, it would still be possible to take legal action against both the rapist and the cops. Those cops should be fired.

    This motivated me to send my daughter the Web address and hotline phone number for the rape crisis hotline in the city where she’s just started college. I mentioned again that she should not necessarily trust the university on this, and always get a friend or other supportive person whenever she feels like she’s being pressured.

    Gods, this needs to change.

  30. Sam

    That is mega fucked-up. I don’t have anything to add, but I commend you for your bravery and I wish a thousand poisonous spikes upon on those policemen’s heads. What they did to you (including the graphic reenactment) was a second rape. No doubt they’re rapists themselves; I can’t imagine a well-adjusted human being behaving in such a manner.

    Easy for me to say because I don’t live in fear of these sickos, but is there any way you can file a complaint / lawsuit against the department?

  31. 49

    Thank you for sharing your story, EEB. It’s tough to maintain a “why don’t they go to the cops?!” attitude when it’s quite clear many police will trivialize or dismiss sexual assault.

    It reminds me of something I linked to over on Hunter’s blog, a study of police attitudes towards false reports of sexual assault, which showed that detectives’ guesses of the rate of false reports ranged between 10% and 80%. Carrying on the same theme, here’s another depressing quote from another study:

    The most up-to-date Home Office research on police recording practice gives the lowest estimate as to the number of false allegations within the domestic literature. While Kelly et al. found that the no-crime designation was used in 22% of reported cases, they also noted that it appeared to be used as a ‘‘dustbin’’ with less than a third of no-crimes being viewed by officers as false allegations. The researchers note: ‘‘The ‘no-crime’ category comprises a complex layering of different kinds of cases and circumstances, many of which are not ‘‘false’’ in the literal meaning of this term’’. Perhaps the most significant part of this study is the attempt by the researchers to evaluate police designation of rape reports by examining the information recorded by officers in their case files. While acknowledging some limitations on the data available, the researchers estimated that only 3% of reports were either ‘‘possible’’ or ‘‘probable’’ false allegations. As with other studies, this figure is significantly lower than the estimates many officers themselves gave as to the number of false allegations.

    Rumney, Philip NS. “False allegations of rape.” The Cambridge Law Journal 65.01 (2006): 128-158.

  32. 50

    yup. My report was closed out as ‘unfounded’ after the cops failed to do any investigation. I have seen people equate ‘unfounded’ rape stats as being lies. Its crap. No one cared enough to look into it, that’s all.

  33. 52

    I am so sorry for what happened to you, but I applaud you for your courage to stand up. A close friend of mine was raped by a classmate and she was told that if she wanted a rape kit she would have to pay for it because it was too expensive. She was then interrogated and asked if the reason she was saying she was raped was because she really wanted to date the guy and he wasn’t really interested in more. In my presence the guy told her he was sorry for what he did to her. I even told this to her lawyer, and told the school that i was willing to talk to whomever i needed to, but the school never contacted me. They intimidated my friend and said that she didn’t really want to move forward with charges because that would mess up the rapist’s future. My friend instead dropped out of school and went into a downward spiral. She became one if the statistics. It has been about 10 years and she has only just recently gotten her life back on track. The victim blaming has to stop!

  34. 53

    This is part of a general pattern of cops fucking over victims to juke their stats. Their job isn’t to protect your from crimes and solve the ones that happens, it’s to lower crime rates and raise solution rates. They can do this by solving and preventing crimes, but there are often other ways to do it, which are less work. Pressuring victims into changing their report to make it a less serious crime, not filing a report or recanting their accusation is a big part of it. There are rules in place to prevent this (like the requirement to have a rape counselor present with the victim, but that does fuck all if the cops can ignore the rules without consequences, and they generally can.

  35. 54

    And thank you for sharing this difficult story, EEB. Something similar happened to my ex-girlfriend when she was 13 and got grabbed in a park by a guy she didn’t know. The cops weren’t so heavy-handed as they were with you, but basically told her they thought she made it up to have an excuse for getting home after curfew. To make matters worse, her parents believed the cops and she got grounded. This was then used as the basis to not take other problems she had seriously because now she had an alleged established pattern of making shit up to get out of responsibility for her actions.

  36. 55

    One of the really ironic parts is that you had so much going for you. You were raped “the right way”. It was a stranger rape (rare, but much more likely to be believed and prosecuted). It was violent, very, very violent. You had a cop father. You reported it immediately.

    And yet, you were still not believed. Officers broke the law in order to not believe you. They postponed your medical care. They traumatized you (acting out a rape? forced hugs?). And then they threatened you and forced you to recant.

    It’s sick, sick, sick. Especially when you think of all the women who’s initial circumstances were not as favourable to prosecution. Women who couldn’t or didn’t immediately report. Women who were not raped violently. Women who knew their rapist. And this is what they face.

    Out of curiosity, you said the black light would be relevant later….did I miss something in this regard?

  37. 56

    I have been reading Freethought Blogs for a while now, but I have rarely commented. I’m compelled to write after reading your words. That is such a devastating story. I’m so sorry that this happened to you.

    I was raped by a stranger when I was a teenager. I didn’t go to the police because I feared what would happen in court, but the police can be even more horrific than the court system.

    You must be a very strong person to have survived all that you have. We are fortunate to have you. Your writing is so terribly evocative, I wish everyone who makes light of rape would read your story and try to put themselves in your shoes and maybe get a glimmer of understanding.

  38. 57

    (Stephanie Zvan in comment #11): “They can, and it is. A district attorney can pursue a case over the objections of the police, but only if they know about it and are not so overworked that they can’t afford the time. That’s a rarity. It tends to happen only when there is a strong public outcry and media coverage.”

    And if the DA is in tight with the police, which is unfortunately extremely common, the situation is even worse. Theoretically, a judge can convene an independent grand jury. Any grand jury can indict and prosecute anyone over the police’s and DA’s objections — including prosecuting the police and the DA.

    But this happens only in cases of *extreme* public outcry and media coverage — I’m talking marches in the streets, picket lines, and Congressmemebers *on* the picket lines, before you’ll see that happen. Unfortunately.

  39. 58

    I don’t challenge your account in any way other than the headline. If there were no proceedings against you then you are not a false allegation statistic. In fact you are likely to be in the crime stats as a victim of an offence that was not proceeded with.

  40. 60

    I’m so sorry this was done to you, EEB, and thank you for writing about it.

    I’m a false rape allegation stat too. I reported my rape to the specialist sexual assault Sapphire Unit in the UK and the police told me there was no chance of a conviction because I was blind drunk and had a patchy memory of events, plus I knew the rapist (although I was also underage) so I just dropped it. They’ll have no-crimed my report on that basis.

    I have no patience for this 8% bullshit.

  41. 62

    I’ve always wondered what my rights to a lawyer were if I wanted to report a crime or was witness to a crime. Pretty much universally the advice online is “don’t talk to the police” but that’s hardly good advice if I WANT the perpetrator to be brought to justice and I have key evidence to support an investigation…

    And yet I know in even these cases, I could eventually be considered a suspect or otherwise harmed by police action.

  42. 64

    Many good wishes to OP. Recovering is so fn hard. I was raped while unconscious at a party. Luckily in those days we didn’t have cell phones with cameras or it would’ve been made public. I didn’t know anything had happened to me until I woke up and my good friend had told me he stopped it. It’s kind of strange when you are not aware of what happened. In some ways I think it makes it easier when you’re unconscious but it never goes away. I forever have a distrust of men.

  43. 65

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing that.

    It seems very much like the police were protecting someone and deliberately trying to prevent the rapist being apprehended.

  44. EEB

    Wow. I am absolutely overwhelmed. Thank you all so much. I also appreciate that I’ve seen this shared several places…part of me is kinda freaked about this being more public, and so many people reading it, but I’m glad that it’s making people think about what it means when we talk about false rape statistics. If I can get even just a few people to stop and think before saying, “Why didn’t she just go to the police?” and “What about women who lie?” in these discussions, and provide an easy link for the counter-argument when someone does say that, than I’m satisfied.

    I don’t believe in the Christiany bullshit I was fed as a kid, that “everything happens for a reason” and “all things can be turned to good” but I do believe that even though what happened to me was awful and shouldn’t have happened and there’s no way to turn it into something good, I can still use the experience for good afterwards. For me, at least, that’s been a big part of my healing and moving forward, a way to kinda take some power back from a situation that left me utterly humiliated, broken, and powerless, if that makes sense.

    To address a couple things I’ve seen here and elsewhere:

    1) Yes, this is a way that police officers can manipulate their stats, at least in the United States. And it doesn’t just happen to rape victims: one reason crime rates took a steep drop in the 90s is because police departments changed requirements for how they reported crime. My father worked for a large department (not naming because I’m not sure I’m actually allowed to share this information) that was able to claim a huge drop in their murder rate because they stopped recording gang-related homicides (or assumed gang-related) as murder–and they were far from the only department to do this. The NYPD is currently facing a big investigation into the way they’ve been recording stats, with evidence that they’ve been manipulating everything from robberies to rape and murder.

    This is also a huge problem in the armed forces. One reason they’ve had so much trouble with rape reporting and conviction in the military is that commanding officers were judged negatively for investigating and reporting rapes, so they had an incentive to force victims to drop charges or otherwise make it a hostile reporting environment. Since changing the policy, there’s been some improvement (but there is a LONG way to go, obviously). We need to do the same thing in the civilian world. Departments–and individual officers within–are rewarded for low stats and high solve rates. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does encourage the kind of treatment I–and many other survivors–received. I’m not really sure what the best solution is, but it’s something that needs to be discussed, and it doesn’t get a lot of attention because most people aren’t aware of it. But changing the policy could make a big difference.

    2) In response the people who have asked me why I haven’t made complaints, gone to the media, etc.: honestly, it’s because I’ve been terrified of the police. They didn’t file charges against me, but they could have. I don’t know what my chances in court would have been, but I don’t know how I could deal with that. (Straight up: I lived in terror for a year than any day the police were going to change their minds and come arrest me. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it because I was humiliated, and the one time I tried talking to my dad, he brushed it off and made it very clear he didn’t want to discuss it. And I couldn’t think of any way out but suicide. Gradually, I realized that if it hadn’t happened, they probably weren’t going to, but the fear was–can still be, really–overwhelming.) I’ve already exceeded the first statute of limitations for a false report (1 year) and I’m coming up on the statute of limitations for a felony charge of lying to the police (3 years)–which would be ironic, really, as the only lie that I’ve admitted to is the lie they forced me into. Fear isn’t rational. I’m starting to lose some of that fear, and the more that I’ve talked about it without ending up in jail has helped to erode it, but there you go.

    Also, I can’t express how humiliated I was after this happened. Even after the rape, I was more angry and hurt than ashamed (though I still had the normal reaction of going over all the things I should have done differently to prevent it–and the “helpful” suggestions from people didn’t make that easier). But the shame I felt after dealing with the police was overwhelming, suffocating. Meeting other victims and finding out that I wasn’t alone helped, and started giving me the courage to talk about it. And just the act of talking about it, naming what happened, and hearing other people validate that it wasn’t my fault (thank you, all) helps with that, too. But the shame is still there. I don’t know…maybe, like the fear, it always will be.

    Again, I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented and shared the story, and the people who were willing to listen past their preconceptions about how the system works. I love this community. I know there’s been a lot of shit, and I totally understand the people who have had to leave, but I’ve got to say that I’ve met some truly amazing people here, on FTB especially, and I’m not going to give up our community without a fight.

  45. 67

    How they treated you was total bullshit.

    but as a statistic on the other side, who was accused of rape as revenge for narking somebody off, i can tell you, it happens, your case is different from what happened to me, you didnt known who did this to you….and I do believe you didnt make it up.

    In my case, I tried to help somebody by “narking” them off to their parents for skipping school ALOT, I was not trying to cause them trouble but help them prevent being in the case I was in, having dropped out for a year and then realised I needed the deploma even if I wasnt learning anything(was put in sped despite having VERY high iq and being bord not stupid)

    she went into the counclers office and made a vauge accusation, the cops where called, she told them a story that couldnt have happened, (i wasnt even in town at the time she said i did it, i was in florida…other side of the country….)

    well every time new proof i couldnt have done it came to light, they coached her on how to change her story, years later I learned she was threatened as you where with being charged, in her case it was if she didnt stick to the plan and story that i did it, if she recanted they told her she would get years in prison…

    in the end after having doctors and tons of proof I couldnt have done it ignored, and being told i couldnt bring up why she accused me(would be “blaming the victim” in the courts eyes) I was told by my lawyer to just take the plee they offered and get on with my life……i regret that I did but, I was looking at 7-10 years in prison for something I didnt do, and was told i would likely get sent to the worst prison in the state…they scared me into taking a plee, much as they scared you into saying it didnt happen.

    I feel for you but I also think its important that you know, there are those of us on the other side, she even tried years later to clear my name, and was threatened and bullied into keeping her mouth shut but the same cops that caused all the issues in the first place(they also broke the law in my case on both sides, they didnt investigate at all and refused to turn the case over to the county sex crimes unit….when i talked to a memeber of that unit she looked over my case and said they would have told the DA to drop the case…)

    in the end, Im a marked man, because I was stupid enough to try and help somebody not make the mistakes i made, and because the cops wanted that conviction on their records.

    At least in your case, despite the mental scars, your name and face are not out there for the world to see with a false charge that makes you look like a sex criminal….

    oh on a related note: her own best friend and every last girl/woman they talked to other then the school councler said there was no fucking way i did it, and the poly they forced me to take more then once cleared me, as did the test to see if I was a perv(sex offender evaluation shit)

    my life was RUINED by a false accusation done as revenge and a way to avoid getting in trouble for skipping school and doing drugs…….(found out about the drugs later from her best friend who was NOT involved in the drugs or skipping school…and who infact took my side and tried to help get them to drop it)

    again, I do believe you, but, I would put the false acusation numbers well above what they quote, even with the cases like yours……only because I have had lawyers and the sex crime unit tell me there are alot of people like me that they know didnt do it, who are on the list and will be for life…because they ticked somebody off….

    I hope your life is better now, Im still quite paranoid about being alone around women I dont know very very well(like for years), even then i keep thinking i should have a security cam recording everything just to cover my ass…

    I cant ask a girl out, I cant date, I just constantly worry about what would happen if i upset another woman and where accused of anything again…..

    you should be happy about one thing, at least they just let it drop, at least you where able to get on with your life and make something of it……rather then having the cops hound you and try and get you convicted….here its likly they would have gone all the way even after lieing and saying they would let you go.

  46. 68


    I am sorry you had to go through the horrifying rape and ordeal with the police. Thank you for mustering up the courage to share your experience. Fortunately for me, I haven’t had to deal with this kind of thing (or anything remotely like it), but I will remember what you’ve shared and keep it in mind should it happen to me or anyone I love.

    I hope you are well and that you continue to raise awareness and correct misconceptions about rape. Hopefully thanks to efforts such as yours, things will change.

    *hugs* if you want them from an anonymous internet denizen

  47. 69

    My heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    That’s something I’ve always suspected when talk of false allegations comes up – I could never help but think about the people who went back on their allegations because they were scared, because they were threatened, because they were made to doubt their own experience, because they just wanted it all to be over. To paint rape victims as attention seekers is abhorrent and can only ever lead to more ‘false’ allegations as public opinion becomes ever more hostile towards victims.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  48. 70

    I was raped when I was 12 by a bully in the neighborhood who was 18. My parents were Christian counselors who are amazing (this was 30 years ago) but I didn’t tell them because I knew my dad would take that guy up in the woods with a gun and the guy wouldn’t have come back with him and I didn’t want my dad in jail. Also, with the counseling they had done with rape victims, I had already witnessed how awful the cops were to deal with and I couldn’t handle it. My folks suspected something and tried to help but I was too scared. They are not the crazy conservative types. BTW– bad stuff on earth doesn’t happen because of God but because of Satan. I may have been attacked, but eventually, it did do some good in that made me appreciate the man I have, real relationships, my own belief in God and my family. And, I have been able to help others in the same boat, something I couldn’t have done if I had not gone through the experience.

    10 years later I started having major anger management issues related to this and I finally had to get counseling, which saved me. Before that happened though, I confess that I had a few of my more colorful friends pay him a visit one night on his way our of a bar and he had a few months with broken bones in my name to remember me by.

    I am disgusted that not even the rape kit mattered. I am so sorry you had no support and had to go through this so isolated. This country and law enforcement really suck anymore. ANd I am disgusted your dad didn’t stand by you either.

  49. 71

    Hi there EEB. I’m sorry you went through this. I know well the shame and fear that you speak of. I experienced regular sexual assault for much of my childhood and adolescence and have been raped three times as an adult – (maybe more – altho it is unclear at this point what falls under rape and what was *just* a long term coercive relationship that included regular bullying of me into sexual encounters). I only went to the police once and they told me ‘they couldn’t help me unless i came down to the station and filed an official complaint’. I wasn’t willing to do that. The guy was standing right there. Its incredible how these expriences shape your life, sometimes i feel very cheated out of my personality – since so much of what guides my decision making is fear and anxiety.

    All that being said – i don’t mean for this post to be about me. You likely have grounds to sue the police for misconduct. This does mean exposing yourself, but it sounds to me as if you have very good grounds to proceed with a case. Suing the police for misconduct is an important thing to do – since it is – in many ways – our only tool to create real accountibility within the force. If their behaviour costs an individual police force too much money than they can sometimes be compelled to change. If you haven’t already – i recommend reaching out to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) or the ACLU – or whatever Civil Liberties branch is local to you.

    You might have access to my email from the act of my posting this message at this site. If you want to contact me about this i welcome you too. I have a little bit erratic internet access, but i will get back to you. I don’t mean to put any kind of pressure on you to pursue this course of action – but if you want to – you could explore it.

    I hope that you continue to heal – and i thank you for sharing your story with us.

  50. 72

    EEB, my thoughts and love go with you. I am a survivor myself, and though the police didn’t go as far in my case as they did in yours, they refused me medical treatment, called me a liar, told me it was my fault for having big breasts and wearing a skirt (that fell to my knees), then pretty much kicked me out of the station to take a cab (at my expense – I was not in my home city and had limited funds to get back home across the bay by ferry) to a women’s shelter. I lost friends and relationships I’d had for years because I “lied” when they couldn’t find “evidence” – the bruising and rug burns were part of rough consensual sex, after all. This happens everywhere (I was in British Columbia, Canada, at the time) and it needs to change. Thank you for speaking out about this, it can’t have been easy.

  51. 74

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was raped when I was a student in the US. I had extensive bruising on my arms and legs, and carpet burns on my knees from when I tried to get away and was dragged back. The rapist was an acquaintace from my school.

    The police said the same thing to me as the Canadian police said to Sera, above. That bruises and abrasions meant nothing – they could just as easily be the result of rough, consensual sex. Never mind that I was very young and had never had “rough sex” in my life,

    I also experienced the moment all alone in a small interrogation room with two intimidating male detectives, who informed me that their conclusion was that I had not been raped. That I was lying, for whatever reason. They did not try to get me to recant my story, but they did mention that I could be prosected for lying. I’m sure my report is marked as “unfounded” in police records.

    This was 20 years ago. It saddens me that this seems to be a common experience, and that we have not progressed forward in the two decades that have passef.

  52. 75

    There is no describing how angry shit like this makes me. I tend to be pretty good at expressing myself, especially when it comes to outrage, but this… I simply don’t have the words for it.

  53. 78

    I don’t know what to write but felt I really had to. What you experienced is truely horrible. I seriously hope you have been healed and leave this behind. Thank you for showing such immense courage and speaking out. lotts of love and support to you..! stay strong.

  54. 80

    I think its weird that your father, who is a police officer, wasnt able to exert more pull over the situation and have you treated with much more seriousness and respect. Was your rapist the son of a judge or a senator or a prominent local businessman or something? This definitely seems like you were railroaded for some pretty specific political reasons. Usually the families of cops get treated like royalty by other cops.

  55. 81

    dear EEB,

    thank you for sharing this. i am so sorry this happend to you i almost can’t find any words.
    (in plus, my english is not that good because i’m no native speaker)

    i am a survivor, too. it also happened in 2010, and i’m still struggling a lot.

    the medics, policemen and even people i regarded as friends until then did’nt treat me as half as bad as they have treated you. but i also experienced diverse injustices, even though i spoke to the police but didn’t report because i knew there was too little evidence (i just don’t want to imagine what would have happened if i reported!). i’ve been drugged at a party, kidnapped and brought into a nearby flat.
    the bodily harms were not too bad, probably because i could hardly move and defend myseld due to the drugs. the female doc in the gynecological ambulance (which sent me awy in the first place and told me i had to report to the police before i’d get an examination, which is just not true!) told me that these harms could also result from consensual sex. i then showed her the laceration on my head, and the huges bruises and scratches on my hip, shoulders and back, and she said – nothing. or mumbled something about too mucb alcohol, i don’t remember it that clearly.

    i’ve always been told that i had “very bad luck”, as if all the other rape victims were getting all the help they needed. i never believed that, and now i know for sure that they weren’t right.
    i hate our societies for letting these things happen!

    dear EEB, i send you a loving embrace and wish you all the best for your recovery.
    it’s hard, and it takes time, but you are strong and brave and a good person.

    someday, all (or most oft) this shit will be replaced by something incredibly beautiful!

  56. 82

    This doesn’t happen just to women. I had similar experiences when I was a child. Hardly anyone wants to believe that something so terrible happened to you. They feel much more comfortable attempting to destroy you than accepting what you have to say.

  57. 89

    i have no words for the outrage that i feel reading this story, this is beyond ridiculous and what makes it even worse is that i went through something similar. i was molested on several occasions and raped twice by my step father when i was 10 and i told the cops and i told my mom, but they didnt believe me despite the evidence. but then i guess thats what you get when your step father is on the city council….

  58. Kat

    The way that you were treated is absolutely disgusting and I’m sorry that it happened to you and thankful that you shared your story. It is horrifying how inhumanely you were treated not just in regards to the police but in regards to the fact that we live in a society that allows such behavior to occur. Stories like these are why I want to work within the women’s movement and law to help eradicate such polices. Thank you for your story and for reminding why I want to do this.

  59. Ron

    I got to this article from AVFM, and while normally I like their articles I got the very strong impression that they were off base in their criticism of you, Before I continue, I am going to assert that False rape accusations are a real ohenomenonl, men dont have a monopoly on evil or stupid. I think if men could make false rape accusations against women and women could easily rape men, then youd see a lot of false rape accusations against women and a lot of women raping men – because these crimes are about POWER, not about what we have between our legs.

    So that being said, I very much appreciated what you wrote. As a man who like all men has to deal with the constant threat of a FR accusation, sometimes I lose sight that there are a lot of Rape accusations that are real! And that the only thing we can do is to LOOK INTO THESE THINGS BY THE BOOK. Which is why I appreciated what you wrote here. You didnt just express to us how you felt, but you were objective and thorough in showing us that the people who handled your case were not following procedures, and THAT WAS WRONG.

    I believe that we are human beings, and some are good, and some are bad, and those of us who want to do right by each other have to stand up and be honest. I believe that you have been honest here and I appreciate it, thank you.

  60. Ron

    I have to add something. I really wish that those people who are against rape and cruelty to men and women, would get together and seriously come up with a standard to investigate these claims in a way that tries to protect the innocent as well as those who have been violated. I see that there is so much confusion out there, so many hurt emotions, disssmissal of suffering, etc. this has to stop. We are all people. Rape is evil. False rape accusations are also evil. Men and women should never be raped! People should not be convicted on false accusations!

    Why cant we find common ground to protect all of us? I dont want my mother, sister or daughter raped, and I certainly dont want to be raped myself! At the same time, I dont want innocent men or women to be falsely incarcerated and railroaded for something they never did. Cant we find a way to balance these issues? Cant we find a way to live free from terror and suffering??

  61. 96

    My heart goes out to you and you are SO brave to tell your story.

    I’m among the uncounted. The once attempt to get police protection taught me to NOT report and NOT to tell:

    Molested age ~3 or 4 by uncle. Too frightened to tell anyone.
    Molested w/ attempted penetration age ~6 or 7 by older brother. He denied it immediately to me; knew I would not be believed.
    Stalked for an entire summer at age ~11 by stranger who said obscenities. Told parents who called police – officer blamed ME for the stalkers’ attentions. Learned my lesson. Police not on my side. If something happens to me, my fault.
    Followed by car with pants-less stranger masturbating himself at age ~13. Knew not to report.
    Raped age 15 by boyfriend. KNEW not to report. KNEW it was “my fault”. Year of sexual bullying and assault followed.
    Drugged and possibly raped/sexually assaulted age 16. “Came to” in a car going down freeway 30 miles from home, with five high school boys, most I didn’t even know. Don’t know what happened – someone slipped me a mickey, missing hours. Genital soreness and vague memories of different boys having sex with me in a house I didn’t recognize. Of course, KNEW not to report.
    Sexual assault age 34 by live in partner. KNEW not to report.

  62. 97

    Cops. Suck.
    Not to minimize the horrible treatment that you went through with the rape and then the police, but this seems to be cops first line of attack, blame the victim. One time I wrestled a trespasser out of my house mano-a-mano with my sick grandmother in the background freaking out. I told the cops that showed up in detail what happen and at the end one of the officers looks at me and say, “Yeah? What’s really going on here?”
    “I think that you need to calm down sir.”


  63. 102

    This isn’t exactly relevant to rape victims but more so to false allegations and trials. There’s this thing in psychology called salience, it basically means that something is more prominent or noticeable. When video recordings of a police interview are being displayed on trial in court, sometimes they are displayed with the victim or criminal or whoever the police are interviewing to be more salient. So they would face the camera more towards that person then this police officer. In some psychological studies (I can’t remember the names, sorry!) participants believe the person that is more salient to be in charge of the conversation. This is an issue with the video recordings because if that person has been pressed into falsely pleading guilty but appears more salient to the viewer, they will seem as if they are doing it of their own accord as they are “in charge of the conversation”. I just thought that I would bring this up, because it’s an important reminder to LISTEN to what you hear rather than just see.
    I feel very angry and sad about hearing what has happened to this person, and I wish that people would stop making biases made out of anger and malice like the police officer.

  64. 104

    As a man who like all men has to deal with the constant threat of a FR accusation

    You were probably just wearing clothes that were too provocative. And anyway you should have known better than to go out alone after dark. Plus you’re probably making it all up.

    No, you don’t have to deal with accusations of rape as a constant threat any more than you have to deal with false accusations of robbery or murder as a constant threat. Do you fear to stand behind a person at an ATM lest he accuse you of robbing him as he got money out of the machine? Do you fear that you’ll be falsely identified as the person who committed a murder? Why are you so obsessed with one specific accusation?

  65. 107

    Out of the 3 rapes I have endured- one incestual- from a known pedophile, One on a date rape, One after being roofied (and I was sober at the time)- I have admitted only 2. Both times I lost everything EVERYTHING. This last one was the final straw. I am so sick of being treated uncompassionately- like a perpetrator even- after being raped. So I’m trying to start up a 501c3 nonprofit to see some ads go out for how to handle the rape for those who know a survivor. I am hoping to meet a few people to help me advance my cause. To help people heal, not hide their shame. Thank you for your story, I will continue to give mine via my blog at stoptherapeblame.blogspot.com. Please join me in your support. and contact me via [email protected] while I create my social media to support this cause.

  66. 111

    Just… wow.

    I stumbled into here after spending the last few days discussing a case of sexual harassment online, as the debate rolled over a number of related subjects. And that’s all I can really seem to muster in response to this : Wow.

    I have always known that people reporting rape are treated with harsh and insensitive scrutiny, and always found it to be terribly lacking, but reading this account of what happened to you is really eye-opening to say the very least. The disgusting part is that this is almost assuredly not an isolated or rare instance. I would offer my sympathies but as an anonymous passer-by they would be utterly trivial in the sheer size and weight of this subject.

    Recounting this hellish experience can’t have been easy, either.
    So instead of offering my sympathies, I’ll offer you my thanks. You opened my eyes to just how deep this absurd garbage can go. It’s a rude awakening, but it’s a story that’s worth telling. How you managed to hang on through it all is beyond me…

  67. 115

    EEB, Your suffering and struggles, thanks not only to your rapist, but to the cops and system who re-offended you need to de heard and felt. This is such an important post. I am a survivor and Co-Director of hu-MAN Up (please check our FB page), an arm of The Planet Project. We just closed a call for submissions for BECOMING HUMAN: Words and images to end rape culture. We’re working to educate men and boys and cultivate compassion, respect, responsibility, and consent. Our call is closed for writing, and open for another week for designs for billboards, bus signs and tees carrying preventive messages aimed at men. Ultimately, we want to change the culture, teach guys to stand up to the normalization of rape culture and help other men understand that sexism is not sexy. We’ll have a First Friday gallery opening displaying all submissions, followed by two days of performance of related monologues and spoken word. We would really like to include your piece, for future reference. We’ll offer designs and the script to cities around the country, and will perform BECOMING HUMAN again, next year — both here in Lancaster, PA and in Atlanta. Please let me know if we might incorporate your story. It should put a big damper on men’s rights (oxymoron) activists. Thank you!

  68. 116

    As a man who like all men has to deal with the constant threat of a FR accusation – Ron

    Er, what? I’m a 59 year-old man (heterosexual and cisgender as it happens) and have never, at any time in my life, felt under the slightest threat of a false rape accusation. Yes, I know such accusations do happen, but in the same way I don’t go in fear of being afflicted by some horrible but rare medical condition or accident, I don’t go about fearing someone will arbitrarily choose me as the victim of a false rape accusation. Can you please explain, Ron, why you feel this is a “constant threat” you have to deal with? Does this threat come from men, women, both? From complete strangers, acquaintances, friends, lovers, family members, all of these? Have such accusations ever actually been made? If so, was it to you, to the police, to mutual friends or acquaintances, to all of these? Do you have any idea what motivated the accuser(s)? Help us out here, Ron.

  69. 124

    From a sexual abuse survivor to another…Thank you for telling your story. #YESALLWOMEN


    Mixed Media: Pen and ink w/watercolor (artwork is on blog link posted above)
    About Artwork : This piece depicts a child who has been sexually abused by a family member. The height of the chair symbolizes the height of the adult abuser, the crouching position of victim shows what the she feels inside as an adult survivor: insignificant, helpless, fear, anguish, doubt, guilt, hate, and paralyzing memories of the act upon her. The shadows are the demons that follow her as an adult from her childhood. The evil showing through the blackness is her adult predator that sexually traumatized her, he shows up at random times physically and mentally, he abuses her through different methods unseen by others even though he isn’t able to touch or go near her, he taunts her in her dreams, he creates her panic and anxiety, he will always be there because of the child he created through the abuse, which he is allowed to share with his victim because of his rights as the father and the family court system and lawyers turning a blind eye. This piece shows an adult woman in her mid 30’s still fighting the right to be free from her past abusers.

  70. 126

    This is what happened to me. I have just learned that I am probably counted as a “false rape” because I recanted in less than 48 hours with a story about why I was lying that made sense. Two points that are considered important to know “real” false rape in the studies because the theory is a woman can’t be victimized by the system into recanting in less than 48 hours. I am just sickened to realize my experience could be used in false rape statistics.

    I realized immediately I was in a hostile situation and wanted out, and had already been primed by family members who had pressured me not to report at all. It probably took 15 minutes to recant. I wouldn’t have been able to think of a reason why I had lied but the police man (I was interviewed by two men- I was too young and scared to think of asking for a woman or a lawyer or anything) created one for me… That really I was in love with my attacker and didn’t want anyone to know. I struggled with that a little but then gave in and accepted it as the reason.

    Because of my experience I never reported any other sexual assaults and women who were close with me at the time and saw what I had gone through also have not reported their assaults, including a close friend who was raped by a stranger when walking to her car.

  71. 127

    This just happened to me! I feel like the OP Was telling my exact story. On Thursday June 12, I was raped and I knew my attacker. I still have the box cutter gashes on my neck and this was nearly a week ago. The detective didnt believe me from the beginning. I submitted to the sexual assault kit and took the medication they gave me to prevent any stds. The detective called me in to meet with him yesterday afternoon and the first thing he asked me was “Who are u trying to fool?” He claimed he had no evidence to arrest my assailant but that if I would just withdraw my statement, he would let me leave and the whole thing would go away. But if I continued with my “lie” I would be charged with falsifying a police report. After our conversation, he said he had to turn the information to the prosecutors office with a recommendation that I not be charged. But I can’t believe him. I don’t trust him. I wish I had never reported my attack because now, I’m the criminal and my rapist walks free. And I’m in constant fear I will be arrested at any moment. It’s too upsetting. I’m also 7 weeks pregnant so I can’t handle this stress!!

  72. 128

    I was dreading the confirmation that their “request” that you “admit” that you were lying all along would be used to press charges against YOU. I’m so relieved that you weren’t victimized on that detail as well.

    I can’t believe that shitbag forced you to *HUG* him. That’s assault.

    NEVER speak to the police without a lawyer present. Never. After the Stephanie Crowe murder case (where the cops decided her brother had done it and interrogated him, a kid, for hours upon hours upon hours until he, too, admitted to doing something he’d never done), I told my son and all his friends that, until they turn 16, the only thing they are allowed to say to a police officer is “I want my mom.” No “Yes”, no “No.” And once they turn 16, the only thing they are allowed to say to a police officer from that point on is “I want a lawyer” and the optional “I want my mom.”

    People. Do you realize that it is *LEGAL* for police to *LIE* during interrogations? Oh, yeah. They can tell you they’ve got video footage of you committing the crime (when they don’t); they can tell you that you’ve been identified by witnesses (when you haven’t); and they can tell you they’ve got evidence on you (when they don’t). They will offer plea-bargain arrangements that they are not legally allowed to offer, that are not valid and will not hold up. And good luck trying to get them held to account for offering illegal plea bargains.

    NEVER talk to the police. EVER.

  73. 129

    only today i visited the police station and told the story for a second time all the way down there i was nervous and the police lady acted! so nice and supportive making me feel comfortable and i received the classic good cop bad cop thing!! in my video interview she was nice then the writing and video lady came in and i was speaking! i started to cry and the disgusting woman asked me “what was so amusing?” i said what do you mean she said your smerking i said im not im crying i thought you dumb cow seriously! after being nice they started to make me feel small and rubbish and instead of saying they will sort my rapist out because i gave consent to my 2 year long partner they said they can arrest him instead i was saying i dont want him arrested he didnt rape me for goodness sake! they then said maybe i should in specific words “contemplate what i want wether to leave it or continue and have my ex partner arrested aswell” i though great so there was no god damn point in me speaking i then was questioned about marks on my arm i received from a car accident i was in with my fiance they said they will press charges against him still not my god dam racist i basically got told! its my word against his end of so everyone else was in trouble other than my god damn racist they reduced me to utter tears and mess and sat and watched me still fireing awful questions at me, SUSPECTS ARE TREATED BETTER THAN VICTIMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & its so dam wrong!

  74. 131

    […] and everyone knows you can’t rape a sex worker! (Please note the tidal wave of sarcasm.) Here’s but one heart-breaking story of a woman who was brutally raped, but is considered a “false rape […]

  75. 132

    Nobody in my rape/PTSD support group had their sexual assault taken to court.
    Maybe a third of us actually made official police reports. A surprising – to me, at the time – number of us had been assaulted by family members, so that was the primary reason I heard for why other women didn’t, but most didn’t need to explain.
    One woman was assaulted a week after the first rape by a close friend who “knew she wasn’t pure anymore” and “knew she couldn’t cry wolf twice.” The failure of police to take us seriously keeps us vulnerable.
    I reported. I cried. My best friend drove me to a Catholic hospital. I don’t know if they thought I was scamming them for free emergency conception, but the nurse kept telling me I didn’t need the rape kit if I “didn’t really want it,” did I know the police would take hours to get there?
    I know the police asked my neighbor if we had a romantic history. He said he usually didn’t ask out younger girls. Somehow this meant more than the bruises on my neck or the scratches on his.
    I don’t know anyone who was actually accused of rape. Not counting my group or the crisis volunteers I know, more than half of my female friends have been raped, a few more than once. So have two of my male friends. I don’t know anyone who’s been falsely accused. I have a hard time understanding how it even happens. Even the women in Group with positive experiences from the police – special units, designated officers, hand-holding and understanding, their cases quietly went back onto the shelf. You get more points tracking speed violators than you do rapists.
    I told a friend the name of the guy who raped me. “He did? Really? He’s a nice guy. I’m sorry that happened to you.”
    HE happened to me.
    We forgive and forget too quickly.

  76. 133

    I was gang raped and never made a formal allegation even though my attackers filmed it and probably kept the footage. I had their bodily fluids on me too. One of the reasons I didn’t report was because of my experience with reporting domestic violence to London (UK) Metropolitan Police. A DI telephoned me and said “I’ve done some research on him and I did some research on you too. What I’m saying basically is that if you dial 999 (emergency services number in the UK) the police won’t hurry.

  77. 134

    Danielle, Evergreen, Cuddly Cat: My heart goes out to you all.

    Me: Four separate assailants, four separate assaults, all assailants known to me. Zero reports to police. We all know why.

    It’s been many years since any of my assaults and my related PTSD has been pretty quiet. Then just yesterday morning I had a horrible sexual assault nightmare triggering my PTSD. I asked my partner to come back to bed for comfort and I told him it was nightmare and that I couldn’t talk about it. He knows I’m a survivor, no details. It was all I could do to pull it together to get up and face going to work, slightly panicky all day.

    Knowing you do not have control over your own body and society and societies enforcers make sure you do not.

  78. 139

    I remember all the doubt, and confusion I felt.

    Report? Report what?
    That I told him I didn’t want to do it?
    That he interrogated me about why, and I was too scared of seeming like a prude to a “cool older guy” that I told him I just didn’t want to get knocked up?
    That his “solution” was anal?
    That I wanted to do that even less?
    That I told him that, but he didn’t care?
    That I cried queitly into my pillow case with hearts all over it until he was done?
    That I just didn’t want my dad to walk in?
    That I just wanted it to be over?
    That he kept it up for two weeks whenever we were alone?
    That I couldn’t seem to escape his weird hold over me?
    That I felt like since we’d only dated for a couple weeks I would be a slut if we broke up too fast?
    That when he left me stranded at homecoming with no ride I was so relieved to have an airtight excuse to break up I went home, crawled in bed next to my mom and cried myself to sleep?
    To this day she probably thinks I was pissed that he left the dance early.

    I can imagine the field day with the rape kit that had no evidence from my vagina.
    Or that we’d spent all our free time together that week. Or that I was pretty much already considered a slut at school by half my classmates.

    Honestly, for the longest time I was just happy I had accidentally “stolen” him from my best friend, because then she didn’t have to deal with him. Not that she didn’t end up raped by someone else later anyway.

    And the next year I overheard girls talking about the other girls my rapist had raped.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  79. 140

    […] being prosecuted for falsely retracting  rape allegations and others in which women end up saying they lied just to end the horrific process of reliving the assault and not being believed. These are all complex, traumatic cases. The idea that women willingly trot off down to the police […]

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