Just when you thought you’ve seen the worst, just when you thought that the community of the wrongly accused couldn’t be disrespected any more than it has, along comes Jessica Vickery, assistant director of Health Education and Promotion at the Student Health Center at the University of Alabama.
Vickery has uttered perhaps the most astounding thing we’ve heard since we started doing our blogs, False Rape Society and Community of the Wrongly Accused, which is saying a lot — sit down for this one:
Some people think there are false accusations. There’s really no false accusations. If someone feels they didn’t give consent, then they didn’t give consent.
Vickery said that when it comes to sexual assault, false accusations are not possible, despite cultural beliefs otherwise.
Read it for yourself: http://cw.ua.edu/2013/02/04/consent-thingy/
Vickery’s comments are other-worldly, to put it charitably. To suggest that “consent” is determined by a woman’s “feelings” instead of her outward, objective manifestations of assent is blatant misinformation that might encourage young women to falsely cry “rape” against their innocent male classmates.
And given her denial of the irrefutable fact of false rape claims, Vickery should have no voice in the public discourse on these issues.
But wait, there’s more in the news — this might be even worse: University of Montana Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson is about to go on trial for rape in a trial that will attract enormous national attention. The defense filed a motion to dismiss the case, complaining that the police were biased in its investigation, that they started from a presumption of guilt rather than innocence. The defense pointed to the chilling words of the Missoula Police Department policy manual that reads “every sex crime investigation is to be initiated with the belief it is true until evidence demonstrates otherwise.”
Missoula County District Court judge Karen Townsend denied the motion to dismiss the case, stating that the accused is not entitled to a presumption of innocence while a rape investigation is going on. She wrote: “It is not until the time of trial that the defendant is guaranteed a right to a fair trial and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”
The defense motion has ripped off an ugly scab on the way rape claims are handled in many counties in America, and on many college campuses. There is a rush-to-judgment mindset; zealots are agenda-driven to nail sex offenders at all costs, the innocent be damned. For them, the goal is to get convictions, not to get at the truth.
When will it end? One inequity cascades upon another, one wrong is piled atop the last one, until finally, decent people feel the urge to do what Howard Beale commanded in Network: stick their heads out a window and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
It is time to free our sons from the pitch-black hell of false sex accusations and to take back the day for the wrongly accused. Maybe, just maybe, outrage will be the blueprint for change.