Today I felt the need to discuss false rape allegations. After seeing the Chris Brown and Parisian woman debacle, I couldn’t help but ponder the societal reaction to false rape claims. If you didn’t know, the celebrity Chris Brown was in Paris, France, where he was falsely accused of rape. Before the woman’s claims were debunked, Chris Brown was viral all over the internet, and everyone was looking to see him hang. Fortunately for him, none of the woman’s claims were substantiated and he was released from custody.
I see this topic floating around on the internet and in person a lot, and until recently I hadn’t formed my opinion on it. It’s not that I didn’t care about false rape allegations, I just didn’t know how to feel. We already have such a hard time convicting real rapists, that quite frankly I don’t have enough energy for false allegations. Moreover, how often do rapists go to prison and serve substantial time? Even recently, CONFESSED rapists were released because the mother of the victim “forgave” them. This happened in my own country and I’m still pondering how any of it was legal, but I digress.
I wish we had the same energy for actual rapists as we did for the possibility of false rape allegations. Have you ever sat down and thought about how hard it must be for someone to report a rape?
The very act of rape is a heinous crime against a person’s autonomy, and yet we treat rape accusations dismissively. Most rape cases are not reported and even when you study the ones deemed “false” there are often holes in the investigation. Many accusers are victimized and bullied into secrecy, thus, they tend to drop the case, not to mention the shoddy work of detectives who don’t record and safeguard proper evidence to present in court.
The truth is, false rape allegations receive so much support because we want to believe it’s fake. No one likes to ponder the atrocities of rape, not even the perpetrators. It’s easier to sleep at night if we can justify why the victim might be lying, or “asking for it”. No one wants to see themselves as a victim. We like to think we can control our destiny and if we follow a set of arbitrary rules, we will all be safe. We convince ourselves that rape is for careless or weak people, and we’re too careful to fall for such a thing. Unfortunately, none of these things are true, simply existing and interacting with other human beings puts you at risk for rape. It is a scary thought, but it’s true. We need to change the victim narrative and start focusing on the rapists. No more talk about how to prevent being a victim, focus on how to punish and capture rapists. Focus on how society breeds these monsters and allow them to thrive. Only then will we know peace.