Have rape laws gone too far: ‘A letter to … the girl who accused me of rape when I was 15’

I was 15 and you were 13. Exactly one year and four months apart. But they will say two years because apparently, in months, we are supposed to round up. I had never met you before, even though we went to the same school. After the usual Friday night routine of underage binge drinking and smoking to look cool, we ended up staying over at a mutual friend’s house…

…It was entirely mute apart from the simple, but essential, “Do you want to … ?” and “Yes.”

We parted with closed-mouth kisses and I returned to my mattress to sleep.

I woke up being shaken by my friend’s father and two policemen. They were telling me to get dressed and come with them. I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

One of the officers instructed the other to “bag” my T-shirt so my friend’s dad gave me his to put on; all the while I was being escorted through the house rubbing my eyes and asking what was happening.

Through the living room door, I saw more police comforting you. My friend was shouting something in my defence but it wasn’t until I was being arrested at the side of the police car for rape that I realised what was happening.

The arresting officer held my arm in detention until I finished heaving my stomach on to the street before pushing me into the back of the police car and driving me to the station…

…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. 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…

…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.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Oh how I remember back in the 1990’s the feminists and the female talking heads on television shrieking that “women don’t lie about things like this”.
    False accusations of rape and phony hate crimes need to carry a stiff penalty.
    In cases of false rape allegations the sentence should be exactly the same as actual rape.

    • Exile1981

      I agree a false accusation should be the same as if you committed the crime.

      • Practically speaking that’s unenforceable. I mean, if someone is acquitted of a crime (any crime, not necessarily rape), does that mean that the accuser thereby is guilty? Is some higher level of proof needed?

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          I’m not talking about being acquitted, I’m talking about the investigations that determine that no rape even occurred.

          Women have been prosecuted here (US of A) for making false accusations, but they usually only get charged with filing a false police report. That has a relatively light sentence compared to rape.

          • Okay. But practically speaking it’s shifting the burden of proof. There will necessarily and rightly be many cases where guilty people are acquitted because of lack of beyond-a-reasonable-doubt-etc. proof. This can very rarely translate into we-can-100%-prove-you-made-the-whole-accusation-up evidence. And if it does I’m pretty sure that a case can be made against the accuser. I’m no lawyer, but at the very least there’s “wasting police time”.

        • Exile1981

          I was thinking less of those cases where there is some doubt about the honesty and more about the common theme we see of people sending themselves death threats or rape threats and the police track it down and prove it’s self sent.

          Though I do know of one case were a rape was tossed out of court after audio and video of the accuser appeared where she discussed her plan to have sex with a guy and then accuse him of rape, including everything she would tell the police and another case were a girl took money from a guys ex-wife to accuse the guy of attempting to rape her. Luckily the mom of the girl found out about the plan and told the police about it. The moral of that story is you should not use facebook to plan your accusations and agree on a sum of money, and if your dumb enough to do it don’t use a cheque to pay the accuser the exact sum of money agreed upon.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Paging Lena Dunham.

  • Pete_Brewster

    I wonder where the girl is now. In the radfem club at a posh university, I shouldn’t wonder, and telling her fish story of the 15-year-old pig who forced himself on her and got away with it (because the police don’t take rape accusations seriously, of course) to anyone who will listen, each retelling more wildly exaggerated than the last. At this stage she may even believe it herself.

    Far less likely she’ll ever admit even to herself that she’d have cheerfully destroyed a schoolmate’s life just to keep Daddy from finding out she was already the school bicycle at age 13. Much less breathe a word in apology.

    She will die perfectly unrepentant.

    (Lad? You weren’t her first. Just the first she was caught with.)

    • Gettingby

      Sounds totally plausible.

    • Listen. That might be what happened, maybe. Are you completely incapable of processing the notion that something else might have occurred?

      You aren’t omniscient. Both men and women lie about rape. This is fucked up. “she was already the school bicycle at age 13” Have you ever met a thirteen year old? You’re not only disgusting, you simply know nothing. God in heaven, I hope you have no kids.

      • I know you won’t answer because you’re a coward.

  • Alain

    Until there are serious consequences to making false charges, this will continue. Women who make false charges never have to face the consequences while the male victim more times than not has his reputation ruined and far too often his career. I have seen this in cases of bogus rape charges and in a child custody battle where the father is falsely accused of molesting the child or children. A close friend had this happen when he fought and finally won custody of his daughter. His ex-wife made false accusations that he sexually abused the daughter which were proved to be false and malicious. Not only did he lose all his savings to pay for his legal fees, his reputation suffered greatly, including where he worked. That was due to the cops coming to his place of work making known the charges and asking questions. For many people they figure where there is smoke there is fire. The point is that the ex was not out a cent (assisted by some women’s organisation) and the Crown refused to bring charges against her for false charges, stating because it was a woman. My point is that it is necessary to prosecute anyone, woman or man, who does this sort of thing. I am not talking about cases where there simply was not enough evidence to convict etc.

    • BillyHW

      Stop the patriarchy!

    • I don’t disagree with you. I just think the burden of proof for manufacturing a false crime – beyond a reasonable doubt – would normally be too high to meet. Also, I suspect framing people is already illegal.