Some numbers from Bureau of Justice Statistics to inform the college sexual assault debate. I find some of them surprising: (a) higher rate in the same age among non-students; (b) less than 1/5th received services from a victim services agency.
The decent social science supports the belief that only 2-8% of rape allegations are false (I can send it to you offline).
The graph above is part of a story about RS & false report claims in Mic.com. Well said.
Unfortunately, the errors being claimed in the Rolling Stone story will divert attention from the rape culture on the UVa campus. Note, before you follow that diversion, the number of other women who have come forward with fraternity rape accounts. Note also that the “inconsistencies” are collateral to the cause of the trauma, and well might be explained by the Neurobiology of Trauma. See http://nij.gov/multimedia/presenter/presenter-campbell/Pages/welcome.aspx; and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py0mVt2Z7nc
Instead of an analysis of this Rolling Stone debacle, we will see the backlash from rape apologists, who claim that many (or most) rape allegations are false, based on either nothing at all, or the single poorly designed research report that claims just that.
If you look at the misogynistic comments to the Washington Post story on “inconsistencies”, you will note all the men citing Tawana Brawley, Duke lacrosse, and Lena Dunham as proof of the large number of false allegations. The big problem with that is that the can find just THREE whole proven false reports since 1987! I think that alone shows the accuracy of this graphic and the social science supporting it.
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It took Rolling Stone’s “A Rape on Campus” to really get the attention of privileged and ostrich-like University of Virginia and its terrible record of denying justice to rape victims.
As someone who loved living in Charlotteville just a bit over a year ago, I can tell you talk (at least among my friends there) has been of little else than the RS article this past week. After years when a lonely few tried to get the attention of a University proud of its traditions — however harmful, the mess is out in the open and a subject of much debate, hand-wringing and justification. This blog post from doctoral candidate Willa Hammett Brown distills the problems and the reactions of UVA really concisely.
You would have to be off the grid to have missed the reports that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted more than fifteen women who have made their reports public. But if you rely on the TV, here’s some print journalism on the issue:
The Washington Post published details from many of the victims.
And to see how alive and well rape culture is, take a look at this Salon report on an outrageous article in The Wrap trashing the victims in the guise of defending Cosby.
Just another powerful male, thinking he can get away with anything. And getting away with it for a long time.
The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence from OJJDP (Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention) has issued a number of reports. The latest is Children’s Exposure to
Violence and the Intersection Between Delinquency and
It concludes that somewhere around a third of victimized children end up committing delinquent acts. (This is a very rough numerical interpretation, leaving out the children who have not been victimized from the charts in the article.) Get the full picture in the publication itself.
The approach of first responders to victims of sexual assault (& other crimes) often makes the difference between a winnable case & a disaster. More important, it can permanently affect the victim’s chances of recovery from the trauma of the crime.
“I’m sorry that this happened to you” may be the most important thing you can say to a trauma victim. The next most important: “I believe you.”
This outstanding video is an introduction to how the traumatized brain works, and how police can understand victim behavior which does not seem “right.” Take 20 minutes to watch!
In a twitter feed #beenrapedneverreported you can read the reasons for yourself. The Montreal Gazette reports.
No matter how often I explain very low reporting rates to doubters — some in the law enforcement community– I am still not always believed. Maybe this will help. These women have no motive to openly state that they were raped. You cannot draw statistical conclusions about how many non-reports there are, but who cares? The point is that these victim/survivors of serious crime do not report for many reasons, most commonly, that society would not or did not believe them.
Here is a reminder that men are raped, also, but that fact should not detract from the importance of the original #tag. Men are joining in the Twitter disclosures, and that’s great! Society needs to see this as a social and public safety issue, and promote changes that will encourage reporting & sensitive response.
For educational material about believing victims, see the excellent Start By Believing.
In a first among Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, “the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed federal district court judges in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee who had struck bans on same-sex marriage and said the issue is most appropriately decided in the political arena.”
This 2-1 decision conflicts with four other Circuit Courts of Appeals. The conflict might be enough for the US Supreme Court to take on the subject sometime. Thus far, however, that Court has refused to hear challenges to the opinions upholding same-sex marriage. Will it act differently now?
“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
-John F. Kennedy [Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11 1962]”