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The Forum > General Discussion > Is a false accusation of rape as bad as being raped?

Is a false accusation of rape as bad as being raped?

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One of the article discussion threads has developed a sub thread around the impact of a false accusation of rape - is it as bad as being raped?

In my view that will vary from case to case, sometimes worse sometimes not. To often the plight of those falsly accused seems to be dismissed out of hand.

I found an exert from William Farrell's "The Myth of Male Power" on another discussion group and thought it worth posting to give one example of the type of harm done to an individual falsely accused. A US case but many of the same issues apply

http://www.collegeconfidential.com/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?68/6225
"When a woman says she is raped, it is important to listen, support her, believe her, and help make her make a transition back to a life of maximum trust. Every human being, when hurting, needs listening and love more than anything else - including having their problem solved.

When a man says he has been falsely accused of rape, he is also telling us he has been raped. He is being accused of being one of life's most despicable persons. Even if the accusation is made by an adolescent girl who acknowledges she's lying before there's a trial, a man's life can be ruined. As with Grover Gale.

A 13-year-old North Carolina girl accused Grover Gale II of raping her four times. By the time Grover spent 36 days in jail, he had lost his construction job, fallen into debt, couldn't pay his rent for his family at home, and was on the verge of divorce. Then the girl, whose name still didn't make the papers, admitted she made the whole thing up, saying she was just trying to get her 17-year-old boyfriend's attention." (Part 1 of the except - more to follow)

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Monday, 12 February 2007 8:11:49 AM
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Part 2 or the excert

"But when Grover returned from jail, his own son was afraid to hug him. Wherever he went in town, people pointed to him and called him names like "child molester" and "rapist." At the mall, someone spit on him. Although in debt, the family felt forced to move. They moved out of state to a small town where no one knew him. Two years later, the charges still plague him. He's still $15,000 in debt because of bail fees, trial costs, and back rent he's never been able to catch up on.

Grover has lost his life and his wife. He has been raped. Yet he cannot afford counseling and the state won't pay for him to be counseled. The psychologists themselves fear a liability suit: "If you treat him as a nonrapist and he later rapes, you can be sued for not treating him as a rapist - as a psychologist you supposedly should have known.

Once accused, no trial can erase the shadow that follows a man wherever he goes. Dr. William Kennedy Smith is still rarely referred to as "doctor." When he was accused of date rape, his residency in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico was put on hold. But after he was found not guilty, the university could not decide whether or not it should rescind the offer. The shadow followed him after the trial."

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Monday, 12 February 2007 10:15:43 AM
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Robert Ė that is a scary tale, I have every sympathy for Grover Gale II.

In practice Groverís reputation was raped.

My own response would be to demand the girl face civil and criminal prosecution for false accusation and be forced to bear the consequences of her lies.

Groverís community should also hang its head in shame, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
Posted by Col Rouge, Monday, 12 February 2007 10:54:54 AM
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Perhaps it might be helpful to make a comparison if an account of the results of an actual physical rape is also considered here.
Posted by Lizzie4, Monday, 12 February 2007 2:25:31 PM
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Lizzie, I tend to think that would have the reverse effect. I doubt that many believe that a violent rape is not harmful (I hope there are not many around who think like that).

My intent is not to deny the massive harm done by actual rapes but to address the harm done by those who would falsly accuse another of that crime.

There are people who appear to consider that a false accusation is not particularly serious.

Both rape and false accusations have lead to the suicide of the victim, and both have lead to the murder or the victim. Once you get to that point is there really any difference?

Those who use false accusations trivialise rape, they create a climate where genuine victims are treated with suspicion and they often destroy the lives of their victims (and the families of their victim).

Unless we have posters on here suggesting that rape itself is trivial then there is no need to prove otherwise.

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Monday, 12 February 2007 3:20:09 PM
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Both are obviously very serious problems, but I'm still struggling to understand your desire to compare them on some...badness...scale.

You cant go 'one is worse than the other' or 'they're as bad as each other' because every single case is a different story, and yields different levels of negative results.

So it seems like a pointless comparison to me.
Posted by spendocrat, Monday, 12 February 2007 3:35:26 PM
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