Do False Allegations Of Sexual Abuse Really “Keep Happening”?

Here’s Why Social Perception Matters

Someone hit “comment” without getting their facts straight. Surprisingly, a lot more people were there to correct the mistake.

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Yesterday, the above image of Brian Banks popped up on Imgur. The text reads:

“Brian Banks did 5 years in jail and had to register as a sex offender after a high school girl falsely accused him of rape because she didn’t want her mom to know she had sex. She also sued the school district and won $1.5 million. Years later she met with Banks and admitted she lied. He taped the conversation, his conviction was overturned, and the school district sued her back for $2.6 million.”

Many readers mentioned how awful the situation was for Brian Banks. Others asked if he was compensated for the emotional damages of suffering through a false conviction.

Then, One Person Made An Assumption

In the aftermath of Rolling Stone’s journalistic snafu, false allegations of rape and sexual abuse are in the spotlight. While the top comment was the most boldly stated, others repeated the sentiment that false allegations were common.

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Surprisingly, Many More Readers Had Their Facts Straight

Anyone who’s read through Youtube comments knows it’s not often anonymous posters on the internet talk about tough issues in a fair and balanced way. That’s why it was so heartening to see that the vast majority of posts condemned assumptions that false allegations of sexual abuse and assault are common:

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While A Very Small Minority, It’s True That False Allegations DO Happen

Statistics show that while false allegations of rape, sexual assault, and child molestation do exist, the numbers are very small. Only 2-8% of allegations are thought to be false.

While, those incidences are irreparably harmful to the individuals falsely accused, the frenzy of assumption that false allegations are common is equally harmful to the many victims who do not come forward because they are afraid of not being believed.

And when victims stay quiet, predators remain free.

Social perception is important and it’s spread one conversation at a time. By knowing the facts, you can help further a culture that encourages victims to come forward – and gets predators off the street.

The full Imgur post can be found here. Want to read more about Brian Banks’ case? The Huffington Post has it covered.