I Believe her

I believe her.

Not just because I’m a good feminist and believe in women, although I am. But because it doesn’t make sense not to believe her.

But she might be lying.

She might be out to get revenge on him.

A false accusation will ruin his life.

She was asking for it.

He genuinely believed she was asking for it.

She’s looking for attention.

She’s trying to make money out of it.

If it really happened, why didn’t she scream and make a fuss at the time?

Why didn’t she report it at the time?

Why did she put herself in that position? She must have known that going to his room would result in rape.

She was drunk and can’t remember what happened so she’s making it up.

Did you see what she was wearing?

Every time there is an accusation of rape or sexual harassment, questions like these are trotted out. The focus is on the victim to prove she did everything right, that she did not contribute to her own rape, that she was a genuine victim. I’ve heard that phrase being used: “The real rape victims”. Which means that the woman who was out feeding the homeless and got raped at knifepoint by a gang of violent strangers is a real rape victim, and the rest are not. Unless she was wearing fancy knickers because she was meeting her lover afterwards, in which case she was giving off, “rape me” vibes.

There#s a very simple reason why I believe women who say they were raped or molested: Why would they lie? Why would they make up a story and go public with it? What’s in it for them?

There is no upside to making a rape report. At best, you will be subjected to a rape kit, which no one thinks is fun. And then you will be questioned and cross questioned on every aspect of what you claim happened.

If you pass that test, and the police manage to gather enough evidence to take it to trial, then you face being cross examined by a lawyer whose job is to make you look guilty. Your past, your preferences, your personality, your testimony, will all be ripped apart. You will have to justify every single decision you made that night, from going out in the first place, to what you were wearing, to how much you drank, and every aspect of your interaction with the rapist. If you were raped by more than one man, you are cross examined by multiple lawyers.

It’s not illegal to go out for the evening, to wear a crop top or short dress, to drink, to flirt, to go to someone’s hotel room. It is illegal to rape. But somehow it seems to be the other way around when it comes to the rape trial.

Even if you manage to keep your cool and appear sympathetic and truthful to the jury, and he’s convicted, the chances are that he’ll get a ridiculously light sentence (Brock Turner, anyone?) and you’ll be known as the girl who was raped.

More likely, he’ll get off, and you’ll have to watch the community line up to congratulate him on escaping your evil mechanisms. Then you’ll be known as the girl who made false rape accusation.

I repeat. Why would anyone put themselves through that? There is no upside.

 

According to the Home office in the UK, about 4% of rape claims are “no crime/unfounded”. This ties in with European and US figures which vary between 2 to 6%. But it’s important to note that “no crime/unfounded” doesn’t mean a false and malicious accusation. It covers cases like someone who has no memory of the night before and asks to be examined to see if they were raped. Or relatives asking if a particular relationship between teenagesr is legally considered rape, as well as cases where rape probably occurred but there isn’t enough evidence to proceed.

 

But lots of men are convinced the world is full of vindictive women eager to ruin their lives with false rape accusations.

 

Just an FYI. If you’ve had sex with a woman and it was halfway decent, she doesn’t want revenge on you, shes going to be pretty pleased with herself. If the sex was exceptionally bad, you might want to ask yourself why.

 

But leaving all that aside, if I was pissed at a man, and wanted to ruin his life I would not accuse him of rape. I’d say he stole from me. Yes, we were out for a drink, I went to the toilet and came back and found him taking money from my wallet.

 

I could go to the Gardai and report this, and they would take my report seriously. They would not ask me what I had been wearing, if I had a history of allowing men to take money from my wallet, if I had forgotten giving him permission to go through my wallet, if I had ever made up stories about men taking money from my wallet before.

 

And all my friends and colleagues would believe me too. There would be no “he said/she said” debate. And it would ruin him professionally far more than a claim of rape.

 

it would make you wonder why anyone would go to the trouble of claiming to be raped unless it actually happened.

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About Eileen Gormley

Writer
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