Who are the real victims for false rape conplaints?
A 17-year-old New Zealand girl was arrested this week after falsely claiming that she was dragged off by three youths and sexually assaulted at knife point, The Rotorua Daily Post reported. (“Calls for help, not charges,” January 8, 2009.) The news report explained that this was the second alleged false sexual assault claim local police have dealt with since November.
Men’s activist Glenn Sacks has written a good post on this article giving Dr. Kim McGregor’s usual response that “international research showed 2-3 per cent of all sexual abuse allegations made were false.” She also believes the women needs therapy and not arrest.
How many times have we heard this before???? There is no consideration for the 60-85% of false claims police have stated to occur.
Also quoted is Louise Nicholas, who notes that “it didn’t help sexual abuse victims making legitimate complaints, particularly those who feared not being believed.”
Ms. Nicholas also suggests that “there could be underlying issues surrounding the false complaints which needed to be resolved,” and that “there needed to be more services available to help women who had been sexually assaulted as the current services were stretched.”
Glenn also gives his view stating that counsellors routinely insist that false rape reports are not a serious threat to men.
The only threat posed by this crime, they often say, is to (hypothetical) victims of rape who, because of the falsehood, may be deterred from coming forward. They do not mention the threat, just proved imminent, to (real) victims of false rape accusations, men and boys whose lives are often destroyed by these lies. Some counsellors go so far as to suggest that false rape accusers are not criminals at all
If only it were as simple as speaking to counsellors about the problems men face with charges and how our prisons are filling with men convicted for false rape.
This is much grander than at counsellor level in New Zealand.
NZ has a Taskforce on Sexual Violence that was set up by the Labour Government in March 2007. It is chaired by the Justice Ministry’s chief executive Belinda Clark and its members include the heads of government agencies including Minister of Education, Minister of Women’s Affairs and Minister of Police.
Louise Nicholas and other activists had gained the support easily from the Human Rights Commission (check this link out!!) which is under “Feminist Governance” and the Law Commission who pressed for an inquiry into the way rape trials are held. In a report released June 2008 it says it was worried about the process after hearing evidence that complaintants are effectively put on trial themselves.
The new group is modelled on the highly ineffective family violence ministerial group and its supporting Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families, but the issues are different and require targeted action.
What does the Taskforce do to address the problem
The Taskforce will operate from July 2007 to July 2009.
16. Improve reporting and conviction rates for sexual violence.
17. Represents 70-80 of the organisations, individuals and academic experts working in the sexual violence sector.
18. Taskforce’s work programme provides expert advice and a community perspective to all aspects of Taskforce work.
19. Fifteen work programme initiatives span the six priority areas: prevention, early intervention, recovery and support services, treatment and management of offenders, system responses to sexual offending, and system responses to victims.
20. The Taskforce work programme also includes work to identify and consider alternative models.
23. The Taskforce makes recommendations to the Government on future actions to prevent and respond to sexual violence in New Zealand. All with the backing of Women’s affairs, Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Police and other Ministerial departments.
Australia also has a Taskforce on Sexual Violence as well as a Taskforce on Family Violence. When legislation was introduced to Parliament a FEMALE politician stated that women should sign a contract before sex to combat false rape allegations.
On ABC Radio this morning, Ms Bressington confirmed she thought men should carry sex contracts if the current Bill passed both houses of Parliament.
“(The Bill) opens the door to more false allegations that are already occurring. Men will have no defence from women falsely crying rape,” she told the ABC morning show.
“This Bill makes men guilty until proven innocent and they will have no defence.”
When quizzed further about the contract idea, she said she was serious because it would prevent men being falsely accused.
Fellow independent MP Kris Hanna, who has been pushing for new consent laws for years, said the Bill’s intention was to prevent men being able to claim consent was given in ridiculous situations – such as when a women was unconscious or blind drunk.
“We are trying to encourage reasonable conduct,” Mr Hanna told the ABC. He said juries “usually come up with a common-sense result” in the types of cases Ms Bressington was referring to.
I wonder how the judiciary system will determine ‘blind drunk’ and how lawyers will argue over what alcohol consumption is acceptable for ‘consent’. Will it be the same as the level of alcohol assumption allowed for drink driving? After all, you are not considered safe to make rational decisions over a couple of glasses of beer.
And I wonder how juries can make common-sense decisions when the judiciary system is being forced to increase conviction rates.