There has been a great deal of attention given to reports of rape. Rolling Stone magazine reported on an alleged “brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie during a party at a University of Virginia fraternity house.”
Included in the story was that the University failed “to respond to this alleged assault – and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school investigates sexual assault allegations.”
After some investigation, it’s been learned that “there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account. The fraternity has issued a formal statement denying the assault and asserting that there was no ‘date function or formal event’ on the night in question.”
Now I’d expect nothing less than a fraternity to deny any wrong doing weather or not it happened. I even skeptically took her side because you always error on the side of caution. Caution told me she is a potential victim and as such deserves immediate validation. Though to be honest I had issues with the story from the start.
The biggest few being she told The Washington Post she didn’t report her rape or go to the hospital because “she was new to campus and unaware of the resources available to her.” Really? She never heard of 911?
Next she would have been a bloody mess requiring medical attention. Someone at the hospital would have questioned things.
Third. None of her “friends” spoke up? Really? Some “friends” indeed! I sure the hell would have raised the roof and at the time of this rape was still fully deaf. But trust me I would have been heard.
Does this mean nothing happened to her? NO! I will reserve judgment but at this time these charge seem as fake as a paper dragon. Moving on..
Then there’s Lena Dunham’s rape story where she claims that she was raped by a “Republican” named “Barry.” Dunham, who stars in a TV series called Girls, a show I’ve never seen,” details the alleged (and it’s turning out to be false) rape charge in her book Not That Kind of Girl. I understand Random House, publisher of Not That Kind of Girl, will be issuing an edited and corrected edition of Dunham’s book.
Let’s not forget the 2006 Duke Lacrosse rape charges that proved to be false as well as those made by Tawana Brawley and promoted by Al Sharpton in 1987. In the Brawley case, the accused later sued and won a defamation of character suit but this is the exception. Rarely is there any recourse for the accused if the charges turn out to be false.
High school football star Brian Banks, “who was once one of the most highly-sought football players in the country had a rape charge against him dismissed after his accuser admitted it had never happened.” She received $1.5 million from the school where she falsely claimed Banks had raped her.
Banks, who was 26 at the time of his release, spent six years in a California prison. He “collapsed in sobs during a court hearing as a prosecutor quickly conceded the decade-old case and moved for a dismissal.” Why hasn’t the accuser been punished in this case? She did lie under oath. She should give him the money and be sentenced to finish his time for him. No good behavior, no early release.
There are other false rape charges that have gotten a lot of media attention. Here in lies the problem.
The false rape charges get all the attention even though they are a small percentage of all true rapes. It’s because of the media attention given to the false rape stories that many people, police and prosecutors included, can become desensitized and suspicious of women who make a true rape charge.
Furthermore the nonstop media attention damages the person long before they ever receive a fair trial. How many times where the Duke Lacrosse players named, their faces shown? They were forced to resign from the Lacrosse team, lost scholarships and probably have difficulties today because of all the media attention. Lives are destroyed and the same media that destroyed them does nothing to fix it.
There are examples in literature of false rape charges, for example, the books and films To Kill a Mockingbird and A Passage to India. Let’s not forget the story of Potiphar’s wife falsely accusing Joseph of sexual misconduct for which he spent time in prison (Gen. 39:7-20).
Women who are actually raped are harmed by those who make false accusations of rape. These false accusations are damaging to the true victims. They harm the accused in ways making them the victim. I can’t imagine that trauma of being named on TV over and over of something I never did. Being found guilty by the media before a trial.
What I know is we must punish people for bringing false charges forward. We must punish the irresponsible media until they begin doing their jobs and gathering facts. I mean honestly how simple would it be for Rolling Stone to verify this latest story? We are talking about one night Sept. 28, 2012. We are talking about a fraternity perhaps 40-80 suspects? Of which 8 stand accused. No one questioned friends, checked medical records, or even did the slightest to give the story a shake.
Simple steps could have avoided this entire fiasco. But we are so quick to believe the bad in people, so quick to want the exclusive and facts be damned and good journalist practice can go to hell. There is no concern the damage this does to real rape victims, no thought to how this makes bringing real charges more difficult.
There is a biblical solution to the problem of being a false witness against someone. First, there is the command not to “bear false witness” (Ex. 20:16; also 23:1, 7; Lev. 19:11-12; Deut. 5:20; Ps. 101:5; Prov. 10:18; Matt. 19:18).
Second, there is the punishment for a false witness:
“If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing, then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days. The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you. Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deut. 19:16-21).
So what’s to be done? While applying this law might not stop all false rape charges (and false charges in general), it might help. We also need to hold the media financially responsible for sensationalizing the false charges. I mean make it HURT!
Every dime earned from day one to the last day of the reporting should be paid to the victim falsely accused.
They must spend as much prime time hours apologizing and clearing the victim’s name as they spent defaming it. They should also have to spread it over days equal to the number of days they reported the false accusations.
Now this doesn’t mean they can’t report the news. But when reporting something like this it should be. Rape allegations against some Duke Lacrosse players have the community stunned. At this time there are no charges and remember they have not been tried in a court of law.
Maybe something like that? They need to be responsible and not fan the flames of ignorance and hate. They the media need to stop destroying lives. You never know you could be their next target. And innocent or not they will declare you guilty.
As a note because it must be mentioned: In the case of Brian banks, the woman who falsely accused him “of raping her is being forced to pay big time. A judge has ordered that the woman pay $2.6 million to Banks for ruining his life with false allegations. The lies caused him to lose numerous scholarship offers to college and also led to a prison sentence of over five years.”
And she did ruin his life. She should have to finish his time as well.
I am so thankful being a minor and the world was far less connected my case didn’t explode like this into a national story. Not only would I have been raped, violated again in the hospital, but I’d have been further victimized in this crazed media! I pray for rape victims and the victims of false allegations in the future. I pray for sanity returned to our media reporting. Most of all I pray for simple common sense to finally prevail in this crazy, crazy world.
Personally I blame modern day feminists for the frenzy over rape charges. They want you to believe all men are rapists. They have propogated the evil of man and not the virtue of equality. One more reason I don’t identify with feminists today.