False accusations make victims of us all

In 2009, a girl I once knew named Tami Zall reported that she had been the victim of a violent and random sexual assault in her own apartment by a strange man in the city of Abbotsford, British Columbia. The Abbotsford Police Department, in response to such a serious situation, expended numerous resources conducting a search and calling in major crime detectives and forensic identification units to catch this person. The response was swift and picked up by media sources all across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, creating a public response of fear and an outcry of support for the girl. In light of the tragedy that occurred in Abbotsford fifteen years earlier with the murder and sexual assault of Tanya Smith and the attempted murder of her friend Misty Cockerill, Abbotsford residents genuinely feared the risk of another psychopath roaming the streets.

The difference, of course, was that Terry Driver, the Abbotsford Killer, had actually committed the crimes. In Zall’s case, it was entirely fabricated. Her false report wasted the valuable time of the police, and instilled fear in a public still concerned about the emergence of another psychopath.

Fast forward to today, and we see that Zall’s situation is not at all unique, especially in light of the Morgan Triplett Hoax, in which a young lady solicited a stranger on Craigslist to beat her up in exchange for sex, the rape threat perpetrated by Meg Lanker-Simons… against herself and the now-infamous UVA rape hoax.

This is just a small, small handful of a much larger smorgasbord of rape hoaxes.

And for what reason? How are these hoaxes and false accusations justified by those in the femisphere?

Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a variety of responses.

Such gems include:

“They aren’t hoaxes. Women would never lie about sexual assault. They have no reason to.”

“Men benefit from the experience of being falsely accused of rape.”

And the ever-insightful:

“Even if false, these accusations bring much-needed attention to the topic of sexual assault in America.”

For what it’s worth, I agree with the last statement. Just not in the way the statement was intended.

The reality is that false rape accusations and hoaxes do bring attention to the topic of sexual assault… the wrong kind. Think of any major media story over the past several years that got people talking… and at its core, you’ll find that the vast majority of them were hoaxes.

We’re told that we live in a culture of rape, which some people have taken to mean that rape is a low-level crime, barely worthy of the notice of society at large. (A false belief refuted by the leading advocates on sexual violence in the United States, RAINN.)

So I’m going to break down exactly what rape hoaxes perpetrate.

It perpetrates disbelief. If a person has been raped, it should go without question that they should have our implicit support. To live through such a harrowing experience is one thing, to heal from it another. But when we’re bombarded with news stories such as the ones I’ve already listed, in which people were worked up into an anti-rape frenzy… only later to discover they’ve been duped, time and again, by attention-seeking liars, it devalues and marginalizes legitimate victims of sexual assault and rape.

I’ve known people who have been raped, both men and women. Even I woke up once after imbibing a bit too much at a party to a young woman performing oral sex on me in my early 20’s. These things do happen. I’ve also known false accusations to happen to people I knew, in two other verified cases besides the Tami Zall situation I outlined above.

But with the media always hungry for a decent rape story, you find that many of those willing to share their tales are fabricating them, spinning a yarn for publicity and attention. The excuses vary, but in almost all the cases, it boils down to basic attention-seeking behavior.

But this self-serving behavior does not help anyone, in fact, it hurts far more people. It hurts those who have been falsely accused, because there exist a contingent of angry anti-rape activists who steadfastly refuse to disbelieve stories even after the perpetrator has admitted to lying or media has admitted to error who have permanently branded the victim of the accusation a rapist for life. Take the cases of Brad Wardell, Max Tempkin, and more recently, Paul Nungesser.

It hurts legitimate victims of sexual assault and rape because people are so fed up with false accusations that sometimes it’s honestly hard to believe them, whether legitimate or not.

And it even hurts the accusers themselves… sometimes. It’s not entirely uncommon for a false accuser to get off scott free without having to answer for false accusations.

Recently, the infamous Mattress Girl, Emma Sulkowicz graduated from Columbia University alongside the man she accused, Paul Nungesser. I won’t get into the details of the accusation, or the outcome of the NYPD investigation or even the internal investigation by Columbia University. But sufficed to say, Nungesser was investigated and found to be innocent.

Despite this, Sulkowicz doubled-down and refused to take back her accusation, even in light of evidence that shows she was cordial and inviting to her rapist, even months after the alleged rape was said to have occurred. She engaged in a public shaming campaign against Nungesser which culminated in a so-called art project in which she carried her mattress around with her everywhere she went. To class, from class, and yes… even during her graduation ceremony, even after being asked not to.

The claim is that the art project was a protest, a project to bring awareness to the topic of sexual assault on campus, which has been claimed to affect up to one in five female students during the course of their university career. (A claim that, if true, outnumbers the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in third-world countries. But also a claim that has been thoroughly debunked.)

The accusation carried no weight, no evidence, not even a preponderance of evidence. And the university allowed her art project to continue, knowing full well that the project itself was aimed at her accused. Possibly knowing full well that the accused with then later sue the University for allowing his continued defamation.

Her project, like every other false accusation I’ve mentioned before does nothing to help true victims of rape. In my opinion, it’s little more than seeking attention and publicity and is ultimately self-serving. And this is evident when you take into consideration that, now that Sulkowicz has graduated, she intends to sell her mattress to the highest bidder.

Rape is a serious crime. One that, when an accusation has been made, sends people into a frenzy. I have seen with my own eyes what happens when mobs form calling for the blood of an accused rapist. Even innocent ones. I have seen people’s reputations destroyed by a jilted ex-lover seeking revenge for a bad break-up, and I have seen a man’s entire life shift course because of a mutual drunken hook-up at a wedding in which the woman regretted it after the fact and brought forth an accusation.

This cannot be allowed to continue. Not just for the sake of the falsely accused, but mostly for the sake of future legitimate victims. As a father, I could not bear the thought of something like that happening to my child, and it’s entirely likely that I would hunt down whoever had victimized her and destroy them before the police ever got to them. But I could not stand in judgement of those that disbelieved her, either, knowing full well the culture of rape hoaxes that have sprung up over recent years. And it is not the strangers standing in judgement that are to blame, but those that sought attention, or to alleviate their own guilt and shame by blaming others for their own poor choices.

In short, in order to take accusations of rape and sexual assault seriously, the false accusations must be treated as such. But in today’s culture, we see even false accusations taken more seriously by those in the media that legitimate crimes.

It’s almost as if the fiction is more trustworthy to the femisphere than the reality. And if that’s the case, I feel for the future victims that such a culture will inevitably create, both for the falsely accused, and the future victims who refuse to report it because they’re afraid they won’t be taken seriously.

With that said, never fail to report rape. It is a crime. Report it always. Because while it might be hard to recount your tale to the police, it’ll be ten times harder to go through life feeling like a victim, and the pats on the back and victim-sympathy you’ll get from enablers boil down to little more than fluff.

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