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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Baroness Stern and false allegations

104 replies

LondonSun · 22/06/2010 21:48

We were (all) outraged when Cameron used Stern's report to infer that there are lots of false allegations of rape a couple of weeks ago. (defending proposal granting rape defendants anonymity)

I questioned her about it at the Rights of Women conference today and she said SHE DOES NOT THINK THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF FALSE ALLEGS, PROBABLY ONLY A HANDFUL EACH YEAR.

She said she though that research into false allegs would prove how few there are, not how many there are.

So that's something.

OP posts:
HerBeatitude · 26/06/2010 21:45

Which posters are anti police?

Prolesworth · 26/06/2010 21:45

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HerBeatitude · 26/06/2010 21:47

Also I don't think anyone has said that the
police are solely to blame for the outrageous situation vis a vis rape. I think it's been generally acknowledged, that they operate within a wider system of rape myths, mysogyny etc.

Prolesworth · 26/06/2010 21:48

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HerBeatitude · 26/06/2010 21:50

I think some people automatically think that if you criticise the police, you are anti them Proles.

It's a bunker mentality. It happens with teachers and the NHS as well.

hambo · 26/06/2010 21:57

Yes, HerBeatitude, you are right. Bunker mentality.

Prolesworth · 26/06/2010 22:02

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hambo · 26/06/2010 22:08

No of course not. The more research the better, then policy, then changes in the front line.

Please excuse me - I think your discussion is really interesting!

ImSoNotTelling · 27/06/2010 09:42

The other thing re rape prosecution - is that the vast majority of complaints do not get as far as court due to various factors

  • It is very hard to prosecute so only cases which are dead certs are prosecuted
  • Women being told that their story won't be believed, being discouraged from pursuing the allegation
  • Botched evidence
  • An unsympathetic approach by investigating officers / medical examinations being done by men - resulting in women withdrawing from the process

    And so on.

    Of the cases that get to court, the majority are successfully prosecuted, however this is due to the police and CPS cherry picking which cases to pursue.

    I am not at all anti-police, some are great and some are horrible as per any walk of life. However as with the report after the Stephen Laurence murder which showed the Met to be institutionally racist, I believe it is the case (and the Stern Report backs this up) that the police have institutional difficulties with the handling of rape cases.

    If you look at what happened with John Warboys and that other serial rapist who was caught at a similar time (someone reid) - in both cases women had provided the police with plenty of evidence time and time again, and nothing had happened. In the case of warboys the women had approached the specialist rape unit (sapphire) and had still be disbelieved and turned away.

    To recognise that there is a problem with the system and try to set it right is a good thing.

    However I am concerned about this current govt setting back the clock - their current aim to give defendents anonimity will confirm the myth that many rape allegations are false, in the public and in the police. As the police are just people and not immune to the things believed by the rest of society IYSWIM.

    I will try and link to the Stern report or a copy of an article about it which sets out the failings in the current system.
ImSoNotTelling · 27/06/2010 09:51

here is the whoe report for people who have lots and lots of time

there's an article here for those of us with toddlers

the recommendations are here

BoneyBackJefferson · 27/06/2010 13:24

One of the main problems is that no-one knows the full facts and figures. All sides are biased and promote their own myths.

It doesn't help when evidence is produced and discounted, this happens on both sides of this particular debate.

Prolesworth · 27/06/2010 13:25

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Prolesworth · 27/06/2010 13:28

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BoneyBackJefferson · 27/06/2010 15:01

"It's about getting at the truth and dispelling victim-blaming myths so that victims are believed and supported and rapists are caught and punished."

It is about getting rid of all myths, I want to know how many rapes there are and how many are false, ball park figures help nobody, saying that a woman must be believed because she wouldn't lie about such a thing or because its out of character isn't going to get us anywhere.

Yes the current system is (very) flawed, and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up but it must be rebuilt on facts, and must be unbiased.

If this means accepting that more accusations of false rape happen than the government stated 9%, or that more than 97% of all rapes go unreported, then so be it.

It really is time for the boys and girls to stop fighting and come to an agreement to find out what the facts truely are.

frikonastick · 27/06/2010 15:07

but what i find crazy about the whole thing is so the fuck what if HALF the women alleging rape were lying (let alone 9%)

why does this need to have anything to do with how a crime is investigated?

for example, insurance fraud. upon investigation most claims are genuine. some are fraudulent. does anyone stop investigating insurance claims? does anyone throw their hands in the air and shout oh well, lookeee here, this bastard LIED about thier claim. thats not a 40$ pair of sunnies. its only 4$. therefor all insurance claimants are pointelss to investigate as they are all guilty fuckers.

is it just me? it might be.............

BoneyBackJefferson · 27/06/2010 16:54

"why does this need to have anything to do with how a crime is investigated?"

it shouldn't have anything to do with how a case is investigated but it investigators go in to an investigation beliving that the claimants are trying to better there position. (using your analoge not mine)

its only by improving investigation techniques and bu the police being unbiased that we can increase rape convictions.

It would also help if the cps took all cases to court, but they only take the ones forward that they have a good chance of winning. Which in my opinion is wrong.

ImSoNotTelling · 27/06/2010 19:09

"If this means accepting that more accusations of false rape happen than the government stated 9%"

Which report is that from? 9% is at the upper end of the scale of estimates, other estimates have come in at figures at 2% and in between. I wasn't aware there was a "government stat" given that baroness stern highlighted in her report the need for investigation to find out what the rate of false allegation actually runs at.

I find this comment bizarre:

"It really is time for the boys and girls to stop fighting and come to an agreement to find out what the facts truely are. "

What on earth does that mean?

HerBeatitude · 27/06/2010 19:12

How do you propose to find out the truth BBJ, given that we already know quite a bit about rape and most people are very unwilling to accept a lot of the truth about it?

Prolesworth · 27/06/2010 19:46

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ImSoNotTelling · 27/06/2010 20:02

Ah but that's a survey prolesworth

The women surveryed were probably all lying.

ilovemydogandMrObama · 27/06/2010 20:16

londonsun you can get the statistics via a FOIA request to the local constabulary, so to work out the whole UK, it would need to be broken down by area. You would need to check with them first to see what your options are as far how they record victims of rape who are prosecuted. Could be something like perverting the course of justice and sub classified?

BoneyBackJefferson · 27/06/2010 21:31


I have read reports that atate up to 50% and I have read reports that put them as low as 2%.

"The women surveryed were probably all lying."
given the sarcasm (sorry if I am wrong) of the statement your prejudice is showing. I don't believe the women are lying, I believe that the stats are not transparent enough.


I have no idea but I would like to know
How many rapes are reported (to all organisations not just the police).
How many cases are dropped (by the police).
How many are recanted.
How many are successfully procecuted (ok. the stern report had this at about 60% but this is from those that were taken to court not of the total figure)
how many are aquitted.

In short a completely non biased report submitted and agreed to by both sides.


I dispute the use of the statistics, more detail and more transparancy is needed.

ImSoNotTelling · 27/06/2010 21:46

Oh that sarcasm wasn't aimed at you, it was just a general comment about the state of things. What with the new laws and everything.

You are right that no-one knows the true number of false claims, which is why baroness stern said there should be some research. So why you quoted 9% as the "official stat" and are then saying that no-one knows is a bit confusing.

To add to your list, I would also like to know how many assaults are not reported ie the actual rate of rape in the population.

BoneyBackJefferson · 27/06/2010 22:04


its the upper end of the official UK stat, but there are other reports out there that paint much different pictures, all with defferent bias and all twisted to make different points.

"To add to your list, I would also like to know how many assaults are not reported ie the actual rate of rape in the population"

That would be a good figure to have.

Prolesworth · 27/06/2010 22:22

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