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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49 Responses to “False rape complaints”

  1. span(ner in the works) () says:

    I find that very difficult to believe – I remember seeing some research a few years ago showing that false rape complaints are around 5% of all complaints – also keep in mind that many rape victims never complain to police at all. something like 95% of rapes are “date rapes” (not necessarily occuring on actual dates, but the victim is raped by someone they know). yet stranger rape is what we worry about and what many women fear.

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  2. span(ner in the works) () says:

    also, some women who make false complaints have actually been raped, usually historically, but not by the person they have accused. i suspect there are similar trends in terms of false accusations of sexual abuse of children – often the victim has suffered the abuse, but at the hands of someone else, sometimes someone close to them who it is very difficult to come out and accuse, so they attach the behaviour to someone else. as you point out, not nice for either party.

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  3. dim () says:

    Hmmmm – I’d always heard that false rape allegations sit at about the same levels as other false complaints – about 5% of reported offenses.

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  4. dim () says:

    http://archives.cjr.org/year/97/6/rape.asp

    This article seems to shed some light on the statistics for the US. I thought this was interesting.

    ‘Kanin also got the police records of two unnamed large state universities and found that in three years, 50 percent of the 64 rapes reported to campus police were determined to be false.’

    It reminded me of my time at Vic in the mid-90′s. There were a couple of high-profile rapes of students and they were always followed by a flurry of what were later determined to be false rape complaints immediatly afterwards.

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  5. tim barclay () says:

    Basically if a girl wishes to withdraw her complaint the the law should not punish her too harshly otherwise we will get the situation when she feels she must go ahead. There is just so much jeapardy in the rape complaint and the accused is at risk of a conviction and 8 years imprisonment.

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  6. span(ner in the works) () says:

    the maximum for rape is now 20 years tim.

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  7. Cadmus () says:

    The four men jailed for rape last week. Two had permanant name supression.
    It seems they maybe [please do not speculate on details which may breach supression orders – DPF?
    Well I wonder why the media are so focused on the TV celebrities drug bust, and not these two convicted un-named rapists!

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  8. Gooner () says:

    I agree with Span. I find the figure very hard to believe. I have attended many rape scenes and took a few historic complaints too. My estimate on the ‘false’ ones would be about 10%. I would like to know who these ‘senior investigators’ are and where they got their figures.

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  9. dim () says:

    The identity of those two are still sub-judicae. Trust me, the media are chomping at the bit to tell you who they are.

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  10. Gooner () says:

    Yes dim they are. They will have to wait a while though.

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  11. Jono () says:

    I think rape is the lowest of the low, but it is extremely low to falsely accuse someone of rape, and extremely wrong. I can’t believe the 60-80% figure, but I can’t see it as low as 10% I know of several in my group of aquaintances. The current state seems that about 8 years is fine for rape and that would be parole after what 5 and 1/2 that is ridiculously low, I think 20 yrs plus is fairer come on they have given their victims a life sentence.

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  12. Jacqueline () says:

    How are they defining “false”? If it’s merely “not resulting in a conviction” that doesn’t mean that the rape didn’t really happen, just that it was not proven under the standards of the legal system.

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  13. GPT () says:

    False means that they made it up. Not remotely true, lies, bollocks etc. It does not mean lack of evidence or failure to convict.

    Classic example #1 – guy turns down girl’s advances and girl cries rape.
    Classic example #2 – consensual sex but lack of post match sharing of feelings (guy leaves early in the morning without saying goodbye) – girl cries rape.

    Whatever the percentage this happens and the potential to result in lack of support for real victims cannot be minimised. Remember the boy who cried wolf…

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  14. tim barclay () says:

    Rape is the extreme end of a continium, with consensual sex the other. Juries have great difficulty in these cases especially where consent is the defence and the two parties have some sort of relationship. Becuase the penalties are just so great juries are acquitting in cases where these is the slightest evidence that the perpetrator thought there was consent.

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  15. span(ner in the works) () says:

    I think the issue of the perpetrator thinking there is consent is at the nub of this perception that women “cry rape” after consensual sex. I can think of a case I know of, which never went anywhere near the police, which is clearly date rape in my book (or attempted as he did stop, but he never should have started as she had clearly already said no several times). But I doubt that he thinks of it as rape.

    I suspect Jacqueline is right – the percentage is possibly from cases not resulting in a conviction, rather than cases which are truly false complaints.

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  16. David Farrar () says:

    Oh I have several friends who have told me about situations which are or close to date rape. Guys trying to jump into bed naked with a girl after being told no. Guys wanting it a certain way and persisting after being told no, and yes none of them ever went to the police. Probably because in the end they did finally stop before they went too far.

    But to balance that I know of one female friend who with 99% probability made false date rape accusations against someone. She was messed up in a number of ways, and it was just attention seeking, but the awful thing is I and several others believed it for a while and this guy suffered for it.

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  17. icehawk () says:

    No one can point to any solid evidence for a 60%-80% figure for false claims.

    Now we see
    “Senior investigators estimate that 60% to 80% of complaints are false” – and they make clear that they specifically mean date-rape type situations, not rape by strangers.

    Kinda backs up the common view that there’s a problem with the cops, and that they are very, very bad at investigating date-rape, doesn’t it?

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  18. span(ner in the works) () says:

    DPF you said you had several friends who have told you about situations of date rape (or close to). Imagine how many have never mentioned it to you at all. And then there is ONE person you know of who you are 99% certain made a false complaint. Not exactly a 60 – 80% figure, albeit totally unscientific.

    If I were raped I would probably not have the strength to deal with a male police officer, even though I am quite stroppy woman and have done lots of training around rape awareness. Particularly not in enough time for the rape kit to be done. And especially not after reading those kinds of attitudes from cops in the paper. Not to mention the Louise Nicholas case etc. Our culture, and in particular our police culture, does not encourage rape victims to report.

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  19. stef () says:

    Before we get too exicted the figures are still estimates. I’m not a fan of any woman who uses her body in anyway to blackmale men, as it puts at risk all these new found freedoms that woman have enjoyed in the west for the last generation or two.

    I do think that sex crimes should be dealt with as a seperate unit within the police team as it’s obvious that there is a need for specialist policing in this area.

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  20. Jono () says:

    I think these cases of false complaints by girls who use their bodies to seduce a man and then cry wolf, are really bad, I know at least one guy who’s life was ruined because of a fake rape complaint, I know I thought he was guilty cause she was a closer friend, it turned out I was wrong as was the boss where they both worked who stood him down, it was a life changing experience for me, I previously was quite a high believer that a girl wouldn’t use rape to ruin a guy, but it turns out I was wrong.

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  21. baxter () says:

    I think the figure s quoted are ludicrous.Official figures should be availiable either through the number prosecuted for making such a complaint or complaints of rape cleared ‘no offence committed’
    I could give some credence to the quote if he was including allegations which the investigator believed, but in which there was insufficient evidence to take the case to court.The case against Police Officers in Rotorua being a prime example.D>C>I> Miller believed Nicholas but couldn’t build a case, or if he was commenting on the number of complaints made to Acc
    in order to get the free compensation , but were not reported to the Police.

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  22. Sarah () says:

    My fears for my son (still a boy) as he grows are
    1) that he’ll become a road statistic; and
    2) that he’ll meet a little witch who will either set him by getting pregnant or cry rape as a method of controlling him.

    I wish it was far fetched but when I talk to mothers of teenage boys it appears that these girls exist. I thought that kind of behaviour went out in the ’60s but it seems there are still girls who can’t see the world for the wonderful place it is and think this is the best way to “get ahead”. Go figure!

    I guess my biggest fear for my daughter is that she might be one of those girls…

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  23. jim () says:

    i have just retired after 23 years in the irish police force. female officers investigate a majority of our rape complaints and none of the female detective or uniform officers I know would estimate higher than approximately 20% of rape complaints are genuine. I personally have been involved in three memorable bogus rape investigations just in our small district. I have also seen two cases where, during breakups. I have seen women fake home invasions, robberies, and assaults. Few if any of them are ever prosecuted because of the negative publicity involved. In fact, the only officer I know who has prosecuted women who make false rape complaints is a local female detective.
    I want to stress that there is no crime which attracts more outrage and more energy from everyone involved than rape and that the people hurt most by the amount of bogus complaints are genuine victims of rape.
    I believe that false accusations of rape against a specific person should carry the same punishment as a conviction for rape.
    Furthermore I believe that womens groups deliberately choose to interpret low charging and conviction rates as proof that male police officers treat rape and it’s vistims as low priorities instead of using their platform to condenm those who make false complaints.
    One last point, I spent a lot of my career working closely with our forensic scientists (mostly female)they tell me that there has never been a case in ireland or the UK where so called date rape drugs have been found in a complainants system, what have regularly been found are “levels of alcohol normally only found in post mortem exams.

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  24. Mark Ellis () says:

    I remember a case a few years ago where a woman made a complaint of rape against a male in South Island.

    The case went to trial even though they male had evidence of the night in question was out drinking with his friends and had statements from them and other eyewitnesses at the bar and efptos receipts from the bar he was drinking at the time the supposed offence occurred.

    From memory the woman was never charged with making a false compliant even though it probably cost a large amount of police time and resources to investigate the case.

    The Police assertion was that they had to investigated the case and still go forward as they had to believe the woman that had made the complaint.

    I think if a woman makes a clearly false accusation then they should be taken to court and prosecuted.

    Anybody else that laid a false accusation against someone else I suspect would surely be charged and prosecuted by the Police.

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  25. PHSYCHO () says:

    False rape complaints have been on the increase since it is now covered by ACC and lunp sum payouts.

    Gold diggers use this as a window of opportunity to snatch some ill gotten gains.

    I always though ACC was for accidents, is rape an accident in any case?

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  26. tim barclay () says:

    I am aware of the maximum Spanner but a typical sentence for a contested rape is 8 years imprisonment.

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  27. tristan () says:

    This is a very unclear area which is terrible for all concerned.

    unless you have been on one side of the other its hard to know just how terrible this is

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  28. Logix () says:

    The problem with all these kinds of cases is how high to set the burden of proof.

    Set too high, as it manifestly has been at times in the past, and genuine victims will never come forward. Set too low and given the level of false accusations currently been made, the potential for unsafe convictions will skyrocket. The middle gorund here seems very narrow.

    My biggest problem with this is that we changed our rules around sexual offences to allow BOTH uncorroborated evidence to be put unequivocally before the jury AND we have no time limits on how historic these offences may be.

    If we look at most of this recent crop of rape cases, they are characterised not so much by violence or threats to coerce sexual assault, but by lack of explicit consent under dubious circumstances. It easy to think of any number of social situations where one party believes there is consent (or at the least no explicit refusal) and for the other to believe that there was none. Combine with alcohol, peer pressure, emotional stress and just downright foolishness the opportunity to get this wrong is very real. Indeed I would think MOST men over 30 would have had a sexual encounter at some time in their life that in retrospect could be made to look dodgy by a determined prosecution counsel. A twenty year old’s moment of stupidity can quite easily come back to haunt that person 30 years later, and find themselves, innocent or guilty in the High Court.

    We rely on juries to make these fine distinctions for us, but it is a task fundamentally fraught. No judge or barrister would claim that juries are anything like 100% accurate in their judgements. The passage of time simply compounds the problem for the defendent. An allegation 20-30 years old is more or less impossible to defend because most factual evident is lost and memories have become distorted.

    Allowing uncorroborated allegations to stand in these cases is highly risky and if we are to allow this practice to continue we should introduce a statute of limitations.

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  29. Trouble () says:

    Oooh, oooh, I know! Why don’t we require corroborating evidence from 4 (insert religion of your choice) men before we can get a rape conviction? That’d stop those nasty little witches. Or yeah, take away those “new found freedoms” like equal pay, 50/50 property division, contraception etc until women are responsible enough to handle them. They’re obviously connected.

    Police statistics record (ie they think actually happened) 3074 sexual offences in 2004. Of which 1,718 were resolved (ie offender prosecuted, cautioned etc). Doesn’t that put things into perspective?

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  30. Brian () says:

    the website http://www.peterellis.org.nz includes a section on false sex allegations. The police are now finding hundreds of cases of false sex abuse accusations each year, and have for several years. And because false allegations are very difficult to prove (unless the complainant ‘fesses up), the police are probably only identifying the tip of the iceberg. A false allegation of sex abuse is one of the “safest” crimes to commit.

    The general public is largely unaware of the extent of this huge problem because
    (a) it’s not PC to suggest that women make false complaints.
    (b) The majority of false complaints are not reported in the media
    (c) If they are reported in the media, they are likely to not be reported nationally.

    The sex abuse industry generally try to hush up the problem of false allegations, or minimise the problem. I’ve no idea why – the crime is an horrific crime, and should be as openly acknowledged as real sex abuse crimes.

    The figures given by the senior police investigators are probably very close to the truth. They are consistent with earlier reported problems in New Zealand.

    It’s hard to get the percentage of cases that are false. The stats that the police keep on sexual offences include multiple offences by individual people. If a person makes a false allegation of multiple offences, it is by comparison only recorded as one false allegation.

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  31. blanket_of_ash () says:

    I am not sure ACC even gives out lump sum payments to sexual abuse survivors anymore. From personal experience… ACC will pay a certain amount of the cost for the therapy you attend to recover from the sexual abuse. I have heard some people also get approx. $20 a week to help with living expenses due to the fact the are too unwell to work. Hence, I do not think there is much to be gained from ACC if you have a false complaint.

    As for the 60 to 80 percent… I was horrified to read this yesterday. How is a woman with a genuine complaint supposed to feel safe going to talk to an investigator who already believes she is most likely lying?

    I HIGHLY doubt the validity of the ‘estimate’ claimed.

    I am an incest and rape survivor. Genuine, yes. I made a statement to police about 18 months ago (which I believe they have since lost). It was 5 hours of gruelling retelling. All for nothing, as it turned out. I had to withdraw the statement due to stress (and a subsequent 49 stitches needed down my arms). The Investigator asked ME to try to convince my younger sister who was also molested to make a statement and come to court as well. She wants to ‘move on’ and believes that ‘karma’ will get the man who abused us.

    Anyway, upon trying to broach the subject sensitively, my sister proceeded to verbally abuse me over the telephone while smashing things in the background. I was so traumatised by her hatred towards me, that I reverted to the only thing I knew that would ‘help’ in these situations – and I cut myself.

    Follow that incident, I had to retract my statement. I am not sure if the police believe retracted statements are FALSE – but that is simply not the case at all. Survivors of abuse often live with debilitating mental illness as a result. The thought of being ‘dragged through the mud’ in order to get the REAL criminal put away is extremely disheartening and is often too much for a survivor to cope with. Hence, (and I DO believe this to be true) most sexual abusers never see the inside of a prison cell.

    Whoever gave the ‘estimate’ to the Herald should be educated in the psychology of sexual abuse. The statement screams of ignorance and biggotry. It is awful for a woman to go and speak to police and investigators who obviously have no knowledge of what they have gone through.

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  32. blanket_of_ash () says:

    I am not sure ACC even gives out lump sum payments to sexual abuse survivors anymore. From personal experience… ACC will pay a certain amount of the cost for the therapy you attend to recover from the sexual abuse. Some people also get approx. $20 a week to help with living expenses due to the fact the are too unwell to work. Hence, I do not think there is much to be gained from ACC if you have a false complaint.

    As for the 60 to 80 percent… I was horrified to read this yesterday. How is a woman with a genuine complaint supposed to feel safe going to talk to an investigator who already believes she is most likely lying?

    I HIGHLY doubt the validity of the ‘estimate’ claimed.

    I am an incest and rape survivor. Genuine, yes. I made a statement to police about 18 months ago (which I believe they have since lost). It was 5 hours of gruelling retelling. All for nothing, as it turned out. I had to withdraw the statement due to stress (and a subsequent 49 stitches needed down my arms). The Investigator asked ME to try to convince my younger sister who was also molested to make a statement and come to court as well. She wants to ‘move on’ and believes that ‘karma’ will get the man who abused us.

    Anyway, upon trying to broach the subject sensitively, my sister proceeded to verbally abuse me over the telephone while smaching things in the background. I was so traumatised by her hatred towards me, that I reverted to the only thing I knew that would help in these situations – and I cut myself.

    Follow that incident, I had to retract my statement. I am not sure if the police believe retracted statements are FALSE – but that is simply not the case at all. Survivors of abuse often live with debilitating mental illness as a result. The thought of being ‘dragged through the mud’ in order to get the REAL criminal put away is extremely disheartening and is often too much for a survivor to cope with. Hence, (and I DO believe this to be true) most sexual abusers never see the inside of a prison cell.

    Whoever gave the ‘estimate’ to the Herald should be educated in the psychology of sexual abuse. The statement screams of ignorance and biggotry. It is awful for a woman to go and speak to police and investigators who obviously have no knowledge of what they have gone through.

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  33. gd () says:

    Why is that false complainants have all the excuses in the world made up for them? Do rapists have excuses made up for them? Agree with Jim that a false complainant should have to serve the same time at least as would have the accussed.They harm genuine complainants who fear they will not be treated fairly.The sexual abuse industry and it is just that is a by product of the feminazi industry an evil little institution

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  34. Brian () says:

    “blanket of ash” asks “How is a woman with a genuine complaint supposed to feel safe going to talk to an investigator who already believes she is most likely lying?”

    Women with genuine complaints understand that an investigator has to be impartial. Women with genuine complaints accept that investigators have to keep an open mind during such investigations.

    Women with genuine complaints understand that there are victims of sexual abuse, and victims of false allegations of sexual abuse.

    Women with genuine complaints know what it is to be the victim of an horrific crime. They therefore act with understanding and sensitivity towards men who are victims of false allegations of the same crime.

    Women with genuine complaints are pleased that investigators now no longer “believe” all complaints – a flawed policy of the 1990s, that caused many men to be unnecessarily affected by false allegations.

    Women with genuine complaints tell their story openly and honestly and assertively. They work together with men who are genuine victims of false complaints to try and stamp out the TWIN scourges of sexual abuse and false complaints of sex abuse.

    Women with genuine complaints do everything they can to minimise the possibility of anybody else being a victim of crime.

    Women with genuine complaints would be horrified to think that they may unwittingly cause any person to be convicted for a crime that they were innocent of.

    Women with genuine complaints know that to acknowledge that false complaints are made, does not invalidate the terrible experience that they have suffered.

    Women with genuine complaints know that they are not being helpful to be unconditionally “believing” of somebody else’s complaint which may in fact turn out to be false. They are however unconditionally supportive of the woman making such a complaint. By being supportive without being believing they put themselves in the best position to be really helpful, regardless of whatever the literal truth turns out to be.

    Women with genuine complaints act in a very similar way to men who are victims of false complaints.

    Refer to http://www.peterellis.org.nz for many examples of false allegations of sex abuse in New Zealand, and discussion/opinion about the problem. Such a discussion does NOT invalidate the problems of real abuse.

    Brian

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  35. span(ner in the works) () says:

    Brian, rape victims (and let’s not forget there are male rape victims too) are not all saints, and your criteria would mean they would have to be entirely without blame to be considered “genuine” – many are not able to recount their stories openly or assertively, due to the very nature of the crime they have suffered. it is not like being burgled or having your car window smashed.

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  36. blanket_of_ash () says:

    I do not honestly believe somebody who ‘estimates’ the majority of sexual assault allegations to be false, is capable of true impartiality.

    Brian, I do not think you show much sensitivity towards survivors of abuse. And I too, do not just mean women. Men are abused as well and it is just as major an issue.

    Women are reacting to a society which rapes, abuses, and treats women as though they are less than men. When a woman goes to the police station to report a sexual assault, she is likely to have to speak to a man – in a position of authority, who has little to no understanding of what she has gone through.

    You Brian, have no idea how distressing that can be.

    I am married to a man who is dominant in personality, yet he understands what the abuse has done to me – he sees it daily, first-hand. My husband is disgusted by ALL people who try to make survivors of abuse feel as though they have done something wrong.

    ‘Women with genuine complaints tell their story openly and honestly and assertively. They work together with men who are genuine victims of false complaints to try and stamp out the TWIN scourges of sexual abuse and false complaints of sex abuse’

    I told my story honestly and as openly as one can, when talking about your father and his friends molesting you from a very young age. Assertively? That is difficult, when your self-esteem has been crushed.

    You, like many others, display no understanding – or willingness to understand, the impact of abuse on survivors.

    You know what most survivors want? A conviction would be nice – as Justice is something most people believe strongly in – though, it seems damn-near impossible in this day and age. Money? No – money does in NO WAY fix the pain caused by abuse.

    For me… I will never get a conviction unless other people decide to come forward with their statements as well. I have no intention of even looking into being paid money for what happened, as it is insulting to me. No amount of money could ‘pay’ for what I went through.

    At this stage – all I want in the world, is to be able to sit down and speak to my father and to have him actually HEAR that I know what he did, and how it has affected me – but NOT broken me.

    That is all I want. And I probably won’t even get that.

    As for working with men who are victims of false accusations – I in no way feel ANYBODY ‘deserves’ that – and I find it abhorrent that anybody would make such false complaints.

    However, I have read the websites for men who claim to be victims of false accusations. They are so full of hate and vitriol, that there is no way I as a survivor, would put myself in the position of working alongside men who display such bitterness and misogyny. As that is how it comes across.

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  37. baxter () says:

    I understand the Herald story arose from two recent
    false allegations made to the Hamilton Police. Strange co-incidence that a High Ranking Hamilton Police Officer was in the midst of defending himself against the historic alleged rape of a former Rotorua Police Woman at the same time these dubious statistics by unnamed ‘Senior Investigators’ were publicised.

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  38. Gooner () says:

    Very good point Baxter!

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  39. Gooner () says:

    Very good point Baxter!

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  40. Logix () says:

    “False allegations” can arise from a number of different circumstances. The most common are those that are made in the course of property or custodial disputes in the wake of a relationship breakdown.

    Another common group occurs when the woman is attempting a petty revenge on a man. Both genders frequently make fools of themselves in matters sexual. Alcohol is usually involved. When the hurt of the situation hits home the natural reaction for some people is to strike out using the weapon they are most familiar with. Men will usually resort to physical action, because this is the most accessible thing to them, whereas women will use emotional abuse as a tool they are far more skilled at using.

    The result is that some men tend to do stupid violent things, and women tend to do nasty emotional things. Neither gender has a monopoly on bad behaviour. And of course the distinction between physical and emotional abuse is not black and white, each tends to accompany the other. In this situation however a “consequence free” false allegation of a sex crime made by a woman is a very potent tool with which to strike at a man. Fortunately the police are usually able to make early judgements about the validity of these types of false allegations, but often at a real cost to the victim.

    Closely related to these are a group of difficult to determine allegations arise from questions of what I would call “dubious consent”, situations where the man has proceeded with a sexual encounter, not so much with malice, but bouyed up with either excess alcohol and or overconfidence, has failed to percieve that his would be lover, is far less enthusiastic than he is. Again the police has an unenviable task to correctly handle these cases.

    The worst group of false allegations arise from the misdirected memory syndrome. There have been numerous cases where the most serious and sustained allegations have been made without the slightest hint of corroborating evidence, and yet the apparent veracity and distress of the victim, bolstered by misleading reports from so called expert psychiatrists or specialists, have lead to the most horrendously distressing results for the innocent victims.

    Some years ago a couple I knew personally underwent such an ordeal. I will not reveal any details except to say that after seven months of the farce they were put through, they genuinely looked like the living dead. Everyone who knew them was worried for their sanity and survival, and yet the actual allegations were totally ludicrous, right down to and including the goat’s head soup and baby sacrifice. Fortunately Senior Police finally saw some sense and the matter was eventually dropped, but the process was blood-curdling to watch. Fortunately this type of false allegation is becoming less common due to the excellent work of COSA and others who have held the “counselling industry” to account over the excesses of some “abuse specialists” who had clearly run out of control.

    And at the same time there are many genuine victims who fear to get themselves tangled into the system, made more hazardous by the obstacles laid before them by these false allegations. This much we all agree upon.

    It is my contention however that most genuine victims will bring the matter to the attention of the police as soon as they are reasonably able to do so. (I accept that in the case of children this may be delayed some years until they have reached some indepedence.) Genuine allegations will likely have corroborating evidence. Most real abusers do not stop at one victim, there are often multiple victims who, if they are acting with true indepedence, will provide solid evidence of a pattern of behaviour.

    Genuine victims will also understand and welcome the fact that the police need to professionally verify and challenge their account; the knowledge of the truth will lend them the strength and motivation to work through the process to justice.

    Three major changes to our legal process over the last few decades are in conflict with these facts:

    1. The assumption was made that the “victim should always be believed, especially a child” and yet experience tells us that victim accounts are not sufficient in themselves.

    2. Convictions are being made with no corroborating evidence, and yet I believe that most genuine cases will be able to sustain this.

    3. Convictions are being made over historic allegations that are almost impossible to defend, and yet in reality I suggest most genuine victims will first come forward within at least a year or two of the incident.

    All legal process is a balance. In general we accept that guilt needs to be established beyond reasonable doubt. Anyone who has served on a jury will have pondered the meaning of that statement. In general we believe that it is better that the system allows for more guilty people to be acquitted, than for more innocent people to be convicted. We deliberately bias the system in favour of the defendant by assuming “innocent until proven guilty”, and yet our legal system has I think made the mistake of removing this inherent protection for these sex crimes.

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  41. vanzyl () says:

    Jesus logix you piss me off. every time i write you off as a hopelessly indoctrinated serf, you blow me away with solid logic
    (but only in some things….ok?)

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  42. shattered () says:

    As the partner of a falsely accused male, and acquaintance of others who are in similar predicament, I can believe the figure is higher than 5%.
    Our lives have been ruined by the allegations, we have lost out with trust, financially, freedom, emotionally.
    Our family deserted us unwilling to believe the complaints were false. In the process abandoning a family member and their grand-children, nieces, nephews.
    The police treat the families of so called offenders very badly, and are harsh and unpleasant with them. They are only looking for evidence that will convict the alleged offender, and in our case never wanted the alibis.
    The assumption is always guilt, and you have to fight hard to prove your innocence.
    There are court trials in front of public galleries with no support that is funded.
    The alleged victim gets paid to attend court, expenses, victim support, ACC funded counselling, pay outs.
    In very few cases are they made to answer for the destruction they cause.
    My partner spends his whole life now accounting for every second of his day in a notebook.
    In his case the allegations were malicious and for revenge over past hurts, he had never had sex of any kind with the complainant.
    Rape is horrific and leaves scars, so does the accusation of rape when it is false. They are equal crimes that deserve equal punishment.

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  43. rejected () says:

    What most people fail to realise is that the falsely accused often have young children who are subjected to the rejection of family, and the callous attitude of a number of police officers.
    In many cases CYFS will be called in to instigate yet more hurt and anguish to the children involved based on groundless historical allegations which are far from true.
    Not only are the children then victims of a complainant fuelling some vengeful attacks on their Dad, but of so called professionals looking to climb up their respected career ladders.
    The only one who qualifies for name suppression is the alleged victim, and the only time a so called offender qualifies for such supression is when it may be emotionally detrimental to the alleged victims well being and for the perceived reputation of the victim’s family. Noone considers the innocence of the falsely accuseds families.
    Often the so called counsellers of the alleged victim make completely judgemental, and ludicrous reports on the negative impact of the so called offenders behaviours to make sure their client continues to supply them with more of the ACC pay offs. This they do on the pretence that other adults in their clients lives can not protect them adequately.
    It is time not only the police got serious about dealing with false complaints, but the boards that offer registration to social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellers etc, dealt with the rogues and frauds in their professions.
    The sexual abuse industry is thriving on the backbone of bogus complaints.
    The pendulum of justice has swung far too far in favour of the women who make these terrible allegations.

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  44. 3rnzir () says:

    Can private prosecutions be enetered upon the false accussors?I agree with the ex Irish cop.False claim means 8yrs or an equivilant sentence.A roman type justice I think.

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  45. 3rnzir () says:

    Can private prosecutions be enetered upon the false accussors?I agree with the ex Irish cop.False claim means 8yrs or an equivilant sentence.A roman type justice I think.

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  46. 3rnzir () says:

    Can private prosecutions be enetered upon the false accussors?I agree with the ex Irish cop.False claim means 8yrs or an equivilant sentence.A roman type justice I think.

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  47. 3rnzir () says:

    woops,That`s not a stutter.Will do better in future.

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  48. rejected () says:

    I think that there is very little you can do in New Zealand in the way of private prosecutions.
    I think for the families of the falsely accused you are already financially, and emotionally drained from going through such a long process in the court system that you just want it all to end.
    It takes months just to get a depositions hearing, and rape charges in most cases are taken straight through to trial anyway as the alleged victim does not front for court at depositions.
    The whole process often takes a year.
    If you have a young family you just want their lives back to normal as soon as possible.
    Sadly the turmoil this crime causes has no sentence that helps the victims. I bet it would be different if a man made false accusations against a woman.

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  49. Victim () says:

    I was accused of raping my ex girlfriend in her college dorm. I live in the US, and she called the cops on me. The police woke me up at 3 am interviewed me, and I asked the lead detective: “Based on my story, did I do something wrong?” He responded with: “I don’t see how there’s anyway this case can be prosecuted.”

    The police report was “downgraded to unfounded” and stated that “after reviewing the facts of the case, the elements do not support a charge of rape.”

    Now, she is trying to have me expelled from the university. – I have to defend myself in front of 4 students and 1 faculty member, and convince these people that I did not rape her.

    Many, many innocent men are wrongly accused of rape. I know because I’m one of them.

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