There are a lot of holes in this, although I too appreciate your civil tone and demeanor. You are operating from some outdated cultural narratives as are some of the people you cite. The military is hardly a bastion of impartiality on this topic since the rate of rape within their ranks pretty much equals that of a war zone and it’s getting worse because they refuse to take the steps necessary to improve things.

“The truth is that the scourge of sexual assault in the military remains status quo,” she said.

“Today’s report disappointingly shows a flat overall reporting rate and a retaliation rate against survivors that remains at an unacceptable six out of 10 for a third year in a row.”

Here is the real deal with false accusations:

“Neither are false accusations the result of miscommunications taking place in a murky world of casual hook-ups and heavy drinking. False accusers almost never tell stories that could, by any stretch of the imagination, be seen as an innocent misunderstanding. In a study of false rape claims made to the Los Angeles Police Department, 78% involved claims of aggravated rape — assaults involving a gun or knife, gang rapes, and/or attacks resulting in injuries.

Most of all, it should be remembered that a false accuser is a person making up a story to serve some goal. Whether the impetus is personal gain, factitious disorder, the need for an alibi, or revenge, it’s crucial to the accuser that their story be taken seriously. For this reason, it’s radically unlikely — and in practice does not happen — that a false accuser would invent a story where the issue of consent could seem ambiguous.”

“When a woman says she’s been brutally raped by seven men at a public party on a bed of broken glass, as the UVA accuser did, and when that woman has a history of strange lies, as the UVA accuser also did, there’s nothing wrong with being skeptical. But if a woman without any history of dramatic falsehoods says she went home with a man and, after they’d kissed a while consensually, he held her down and forced her into sex — in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, you can just assume it’s true. This is not because of any political dictum like “Believe women.” It’s because this story looks exactly like tens of thousands of date rapes that happen every year, and nothing at all like a false rape accusation.”

If you haven’t read this entire article, you should. It’s based in an extensive survey of data from a wide variety of reputable sources.

Although I do believe you are someone who is engaging in good faith and not meaning to denigrate the experience of sexual assault, I am none-the-less going to have to step away from this conversation because it’s starting to trigger me. Hope to see you around Medium and have other interesting discussions in the future.

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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