Why Do People Make False Accusations of Rape?

Kimberly2 1Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

It is undeniable that rape and all forms of sexual assault have severely painful and lasting effects on the victims. In contrast, falsely accused individuals may suffer if convicted – even the mere accusation of rape can cause irreparable harm. It takes a skilled criminal defense attorney to help one avoid jail time and a professional personal injury attorney to get compensation for such an accusation.

As a result, false accusations affect real rape victims, as investigating false allegations can take away some of their focus and resources. Further, false accusations may undermine the credibility of actual rape victims.Many studies have found false rape accusations to be very rare. However, they are a handful of times when an alleged victim lies. Due to the consequences, one cannot but wonder about the motivation behind those false accusations. Based on motive, false allegations of rape can be put in the two groups explained below. 

Intentional False Rape Allegations

 Most times, false reports of sexual assault are made intentionally with motives such as personal gain, revenge, or the need for an alibi. In the case of personal gain, it could be for financial compensation or emotional gain like sympathy, a reduced prison sentence, access to healthcare, child custody, etc.In some cases, a false rape allegation could be revenge for an act committed by the accused. It could be that the person rejected their sexual advances or insulted them somehow. Rarely, it could also be the case of a scorned lover. If you find yourself on the receiving end of such an accusation, discussing it with trusted lawyers could help you resolve your case.Lastly, when some need an alibi to cover up some behavior that they perceive as shameful or harmful to their relationship, they may resort to making a false accusation. A typical example is a teenage girl who lies that she was raped to avoid getting pregnant from consensual sex or breaking curfew.False accusers may also resort to rape as an alibi to escape criminal justice for committing another offense when the alleged rape occurred. Qualified lawyers, either in the position of prosecution or defense, may be able to see through this. 

Unintentional False Rape Accusations

 Sexual assault reports of this nature come from mentally ill people and those acting based on false memories. Mentally ill people may know that sexual assault allegations are false but feel compelled to lie. This could be the case where the victim suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder or a factitious disorder.In other cases, the victim may genuinely believe they have been raped if they are suffering from psychosis, hallucinations, or delusions, causing them to make a false report. Also, most false allegations arising from false memories occur in children. This is because they are easier to manipulate than adults.For instance, a mother going through a divorce might convince her child that her father raped her. This could be through suggestive questioning so that the girl describes an innocent encounter with him as rape. The gain here could be to gain full custody of the child or punish the man. 

Understanding Rape Allegations

 In conclusion, most sexual assaults you hear about probably happen, according to the wealth of statistics available. It has been suggested that there are way more unreported cases of sexual abuse than there are false rape complaints. However, no matter the end of the spectrum, immediately hiring a sex crimes attorney will do you plenty of good.

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