Question: What Percent of Rape Accusations are False, and How does one avoid Rape? Answer: We don’t know.

Recent statistics report that between 2% and 40% or more of rape and sexual assault accusations are false – be they motivated by revenge, jilted love, unrelated regrets, reputation concerns, religious convictions, peer pressure, mental/emotional issues, addiction issues, extortion, or other ills or evils. The fact is that we just really can’t know what percent of sex crime accusations are false because the various facts surrounding such reports are often too difficult to ascertain: it’s not like we’re all wearing body cameras or have surveillance video rolling in all places and at all times. Thus it often devolves into a he said-she said situation, and the judges and juries listening to such commentary simply filter all that through their own sexist and racist biases and prejudices.

Various cases in the media, especially regarding rape on college campuses, date rape, marital rape, and divorce-related rape accusations, raise the perennial question of how to avoid rape. Some answers may include:
1) Not having any sexual interactions or conversations with anyone under 18, even if you yourself are under 18 — high schoolers, I’m looking at you!
2) Making sure all parties are fully sober, of sound mind, and explicitly consenting with words and actions.
3) Signing a sexual consent contract.

Regarding this last point, the Affirmative Consent Project is dispersing such contracts on college campuses and in fact recommends taking a photo of yourselves holding the signed contract before you have sex. The contract they suggest is very basic and only states whether the parties are agreeing to have sex; but what about different types of sexual interactions?Maybe there should be a more complete and explicit menu of options on the table? Why stop at a photo? How about a digital video recording in case there are any contractual modifications or “change-orders” made on-the-fly, so to speak? Furthermore, maybe there should be some sort of explicit proof as part of the contract that both parties are 18 or over, sober, and of sound mind? How about having witnesses to the signature or even to the entire situation? In short, where are we headed? Where do we draw the line, and at what point does personal responsibility enter into the situation? We can all shrug our shoulders to these questions and scoff at the notion that bias and prejudice enters into the debate, but we should know better. If we don’t, sadly we will soon enough.


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