Sunday, November 30, 2014

are those chocolate chips or raisins?

A young man writes a letter to the girl who falsely accused him of rape when he was 15 and she was 13. He spent three months out on bail before the charges were dropped.
I never saw you after that night. In the six years since, I have done all I can to block out the horror of not just that night but of every month spent on bail. While the police seemed to hold true to innocent until proven guilty, my friends and their families certainly didn’t. Even when I returned to a you-free school, I never quite recovered. My relationships since have been damaged and I still struggle to trust my partners.
Falsely accused and yet he is still bound by the fear the accusation caused.
I tell practically no one now about what happened, for fear of being perceived as a rapist and because I guess they’d say stories like mine make it harder for real victims of rape to be believed.
It is wrong to sacrifice people to the damage of false accusations in the hope that someone else will come forward with an accusation that is true. It is also wrong to sacrifice people to the damage of the sex offender registry in the hope that someone, somewhere can be saved.
Rape is an abhorrent crime and every victim should be able to report it. But false accusations of rape are abhorrent too, and the victims too easily forgotten. Not only do false allegations damage the life of the victim but they also contribute to the trivialisation of the seriousness of genuine sexual violence. [My emphasis.]
If true and false allegations are both acceptable means to the end of helping sexual assault victims, if inappropriate behavior and violent sexual assaults are both labeled "sex offenses", distinctions lose all meaning.

Imagine if chocolate chips, raisins, and rabbit droppings were all labeled "brown things".

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