False rape complaints

August 8th, 2005 at 8:51 am by David Farrar

I had always wondered about the incidence of false rape complaints – wondering if was significant – ie over 10%.

Fairly shocked to see in the NZ Herald an estimate that 60% to 80% of complaints are false.

Such false complaints are a lose-lose for all concerned.

* They discourage actual rape victims from complaining, because of the climate of suspicion that the false complaints generate
* They can destroy a guy’s life, even if later found to be false
* They can destroy the girl’s life if it is widely known she made a false complaint
* They tie up a huge amount of police time better spent on actual crimes

It would be interesting to know if there were any official figures to back up the 60% to 80% estimate. Also whether there is any breakdown between false allegations against a non identified person, and a false accusation against a specific person (which in my opinion is worse).

Rape is a horrific crime, and frankly if I was ever to subscribe to vigilante justice, I’d be most likely to do it to someone who raped one of my close female friends. I’d quite happily throw them in a shark infested harbour.

False accusations trivialise actual rape victims. While sometimes the accuser has psychological problems which need counselling not prison, I do wonder if the relatively low level of prosecutions for such false accusations has led to a climate of acceptability?

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