Thanks for your comments and I definitely believe that most of this happens because people think they can get away with it — because they very often can. Since most people do have phones it would take some kind of SOS feature or something that has not yet been developed to pursue your suggestion and there are also situations where people don’t have their phones right on them. For example, most women don’t walk around the office carrying their phones (unless they need them for their jobs). But something along that line would certainly make an impact, I’m guessing.

Can you say more about what you mean by “give and take on both sides.” The only “sides” I see are the people who still subscribe to the myths of the cultural narrative and the truth about how the neuroscience of trauma actually works. I think what needs to be done around that is to keep talking about the realities and making it “safe” for people to come forward in the ways that I’ve outlined:

Acknowledge that false accusations are very rare and tend to happen under certain specific conditions. Make those more widely known so that actual false accusers can be more easily identified.

Take all accusations seriously and thoroughly investigate them, even if the only way to do so is by verbal interrogation of both parties (using the established methodologies — again those need to be more widely understood). Treat victims of sexual violence like we do anyone else alleging a crime — by believing them until investigation demonstrates that we shouldn’t.

Keep educating the public about what the brain science is around how victims respond because it often looks quite different than what an uninformed bystander might imagine. And we need to keep educating first responders and others on how to properly obtain statements from potential victims.

I don’t know what we can do to address the mistaken notions that anyone is above suspicion because they are rich, powerful, “a good guy” or what have you or that most women are naturally lying, manipulative, and vindictive. Again, I think it’s just continuing to bring more of this out into the sunlight and really look at it honestly, to continue looking at and better understanding power dynamics and how those play into these issues, to keep socializing both boys and girls to treat each other as equals who interact with each other with respect, etc. Moving away from a society that is so firmly based in the dominance hierarchy would help a lot also.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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