Attacking the victim has got to stop

Following the Steubenville rape trial, we now have a report of high school football players in Connecticut accused of sexually assaulting two 13-year old girls. We won’t of course know whether they are guilty or not until the trial but once again we have the awful spectacle of people in the community attacking one of the victims.

But on social media in recent weeks, dozens of athletes and Torrington High School students, male and female, have taunted the 13-year-old victim, calling her a “whore,” criticizing her for “snitching” and “ruining the lives” of the 18-year-old football players, and bullying students who defend her.

The Onion back in 2011 had a parody of this whole mentality of coaches and community members and media who sympathize with the trouble the perpetrators of sexual crimes go through as a result of their own actions, provided they are star athletes. It is one of those parodies that make you angry rather than laugh.

College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed

(Via Nicole Belle.)


  1. slc1 says

    Although dirtying up the complainant occurs all too ofter in these type of cases, it should be pointed out that this phenomena is not all one sided.

    The problem here is that a significant number of rape and other accusations, such as paternity are ofter phoney, or at best dubious. Case in point, the Duke lacrosse players who were accused of rape. It was later found that the DA, one Michael Nifong, hid exculpatory evidence and the players were finally exonerated by the state’s attorney general. It should be noted that the complainant has subsequently been charged with murder in an unrelated incident. Another example was the notorious Kobe Bryant case in Colorado where the complainant, Kate Faber, was found to have lied under oath in a pre-trial hearing in the judges chambers. More recently, there was the notorious case of the woman in California who accused pop singing star Justin Bieber of being the father of her child. DNA proved that the accusation was false.

    The moral of the story here is that, all too often, the accused is tried and convicted in the media before any trial is held (George Zimmerman in Florida anyone?). Certainly, the lame stream media and the sensationalist press tried Bryant, the lacrosse players and Bieber and found them guilty as charged before they were exonerated (in fairness, the fact that Faber was found to be a liar doesn’t necessarily exonerate Bryant as she could be telling the truth about what happened in the hotel room; it just would have been impossible to get a conviction because any testimony she gave would be discredited on the witness stand).

  2. says

    I hope you have some proof to back up your claim. A significant number, my butt. Here is a post by Stephanie giving a detailed looked at the numbers. Unlike the offensive minimization of rape you just engaged in all while provifing no evidence to back your assertions, she did provide evidence. That you can name three cases where rape was falsely reported does not provide the argument “but women lie about rape” the _significant_ credibility you give it. In fact, by spreading such disinformation, you add to the culture at large that silences women. That is rape culture at its worst.

  3. slc1 says

    I don’t wish to get into a pissing contest with other commenters here but one must distinguish between stranger rape and date rape. My suspicion is that very few false accusations are found in stranger rape. Most of the false allegations are in so-called date rape where the complainants and the alleged rapists are more or less known to each other. Obviously, the numbers cited by Ms. Zvan vary all over the place. However, if the percentage of false allegations is as high as 9% for date rape, I would consider that significant. Unfortunately, it’s the miscarriages of justice that end up making the lamestream media and what the public remembers. There is also ambiguity when the case devolves to a he said she said situation. Here, unless there is some other evidence other then the statements of the protagonists, prosecuting attorneys are very reluctant to prosecute as those are tough cases to win. In such cases, we can’t determine if the charges were true and hence they don’t get counted as false accusations, although they may be and some of them probably are.

    For instance, the Kobe Bryant case started out as a he said she said affair with the alleged injuries to Ms. Faber seeming to support a rape charge. As the case progressed, evidence came to light indicating that Ms. Faber had engaged in sexual intercourse both before the encounter with Bryant and after the encounter with him, thus reducing the evidential value of the injuries (e.g. were they the result of one of the other two lovers or were they the cumulative result of having sex with 3 different men over a 3 day period? Since she lied about the 3rd sexual encounter, clearly any testimony she gave would be unbelievable).

    By the way, the allegation in the Bieber case was not rape (except that the woman who made the accusation of paternity against Bieber could have been charged with misdemeanor statutory rape because he was only 16 at the time and the age of consent in California is 18; she was 19 albeit slightly less then 3 years older, thence a misdemeanor). It was paternity.

  4. says

    So you found 3 cases of the roughly 90,000 reported rapes and claim this is significant? A significant number of people who try this argument are misogynistic asshats. I don’t have any actual numbers to back this claim, but I’ll give you an example.

    What the “lame stream media” does, Governor Palin, has nothing to do with rape statistics, and attacking the victim before the trial is complete (or ever, really) is not a “fair’s fair” solution. To know what kind of solution it is, read the above posts to find the example I offered earlier. Taking the accusation seriously means careful scrutiny of all claims, not accusing the raped 13 year old girl of being a liar, whore, or tattletale.

  5. says

    Although dirtying up the complainant occurs all too ofter in these type of cases, it should be pointed out that this phenomena is not all one sided.

    No, it shouldn’t. I really don’t know why you feel the need to draw attention away from the victims that are being vilified and talk about the one in however many false accusation. There’s simply no way you can do that without implying something about how important you think each subject is.
    If you want to talk about false accusations, start your own blog and write a post about it. Here, we’re talking about how victims are being mistreated.

  6. Ulysses says

    Okay, slc1, we got it. You’re much more concerned with “false rape accusations” than with actual rape victims. They don’t count, whereas three whole false rape accusations are much more important. Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. Now go away while the adults have a conversation about an important topic of no interest to you.

  7. mythbri says

    Mano, you provided some excellent examples of rape culture in your post.

    slc1 seems to think that you didn’t include enough, and would like to include their own.

  8. revjack says

    “I don’t wish to get into a pissing contest with other commenters here but one must distinguish between stranger rape and date rape.”
    Rape is rape.

    “My suspicion is that very few false accusations are found in stranger rape. Most of the false allegations are in so-called date rape where the complainants and the alleged rapists are more or less known to each other.”
    My suspicion is you are a troll with nothing to back up your bullshit.

  9. says

    1) Stop calling it the “lamestream” media. It makes you look like an idiot and it’s rather annoying to the rest of us.

    2) We need to make no such distinction. Rape is rape. Do we make a distinction between stranger murder and familial murder? Is it different if I rob my neighbor versus a house 5 blocks over? If you hang out at a bar with me and I lift your wallet, is that “hanging out” robbery, and less likely to be a real robbery?

    Tell me, how many punches can be thrown for it to not be real rape? How many “no”s does it take before it’s “no”?

    Look. The world doesn’t work the way it does in comic books, with some poor damsel being raped in a dark alley before MRA-Man shows up to save her. Most people are robbed, killed, defrauded, molested, abused, and raped by people they know, not Super-Evil-Villain-Man.

    Now try to get this through your XY barrier, PLEASE! I don’t care if the most beautiful woman in the world is in your lap naked. If she says no (or is unable to say no), then touching her is rape. Not sorta rape. Not kinda rape. Not she-asked-for-it rape. And not date rape. It’s just rape.

  10. unity says


    There are legitimate distinctions to be made here when looking at the detailed evidence on false allegations/reporting, but not the kind that distinctions that slc1 is talking about.

    The first is between a false allegation and a false report -- a false allegation occurs where the complainant identifies an alleged assailant while in a false report they merely claim to have been raped but fail to identify an attacker or provide a fabricated description.

    Then one needs to distinguish carefully between the different circumstances that give rise to false allegations and false reports and the different motives that can come into play, e.g. malice/revenge, fear, mental health problems, etc. and even, in some cases, honest mistakes.

    One thing that emerged from recent research in the UK is that a high proportion of false reports arise from third party reports, many as a result of an adolescent telling a friend, falsely, that they’ve been raped not realising that their friend would go off and report the matter to the police. That will go down as a false report, at least here in the UK, because the police have to record all reports if their figures even if the alleged victim comes clean as soon as they are contacted about the report, whihc most do,but its certainly not a false allegation, a distinction that is rarely made when these issues are debated online.

    For the record, that research put the rate of false allegations at less than 2% of which only 0.6% were resulted in a prosecution for perverting the course of justice or wasting police time, based on data from prosecutors -- and that’s out of close to 6,000 rape cases that were referred to prosecutors.

    Its a small problem and a complex one full of nuances in which sweeping generalisations, like those advanced by slc1 are both unhelpful and wrong.

  11. slc1 says

    Mr. Donovan is very cordially invited to take his comment and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  12. slc1 says

    Mr. Donovan is obviously a moron. It’s the statistics quoted by Ms. Zvan which indicated a false rape claim rate of 9%, would indicate that some 8000 of those 90,000 reported rapes were false. That’s a lot higher then 3.

    Mr. Donovan sounds like the late and unlamented Andrea Dworkin who claimed that there was no such thing as a false rape charge as any sexual act between a man and a woman constituted rape.

    I would suggest that he consult with the prosecutor in any large jurisdiction where he will find that stranger rape cases are much easier to prosecute then date rape cases, mainly because the issue of consent is much more difficult for the defendant to argue in the former then in the latter. As I stated previously, he said she said cases with no supporting evidence are tough to prosecute in date rape cases.

    And by the way, Ms. Palin’s characterization of the lamestream media was right on the money, just about the only thing she has ever said that was accurate, showing that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, if it’s a 12 hour clock.

    And by the way, how about not referring to the Bieber paternity case as a rape case as the woman clearly consented to the sexual encounter, if, indeed, one occurred. By her own admission, the woman was guilty of misdemeanor statutory rape, although I would be willing to bet that such a case involving a 19 year old woman and a 16 year old boy ain’t been prosecuted very often.

  13. slc1 says

    I cited 2 cases (the Bieber case was a paternity case, not a rape case but apparently schmucks like Mr. Ulysses has a reading comprehension problem). By the way, it is not at all evident that the Bryant case was a false accusation. I don’t know what went on in that hotel room and neither does anybody else except the two protagonists. It may very well be that a miscommunication took place and the sexual encounter was not as consensual as Bryant thought nor as non-consensual as Faber thought.

  14. lochaber says

    You have got to be kidding…

    because someone made a paternity claim that didn’t pan out, there is no such thing as rape?

    The girl is fucking 13 years old- it doesn’t matter if she gave them a damned lapdance, she’s 13, she can’t legally consent because she is a fucking child.

    Children are not for fucking, regardless of whether they want it or lie about it.

  15. says

    I am completely disgusted with people like you.
    A pissing contest?
    We are talking about the lives of real people here.
    We are talking about how people like YOU contribute to rape culture.
    We are talking about how your unfounded suspicions about a few cases notably overshadow the staggering number of rapes that do happen.
    What you have scraped off the heel of your shoe and dumped in this thread is out of a Mens Rights Playbook.

    There is absolutely no reason to draw any distinction between kinds of rape. Do you know what rape is??
    It does not matter by whom. It does not matter where. It does not matter if it involved PIV or not.

    Moreover, I find your reading comprehension to be as severely underdeveloped as your empathy. Otherwise you would have noticed Stephanie addressing the 9% figure and explaining where that comes from and why it is wrong.

    But I can see facts do not matter to you.
    What matters is how there are a few cases where women lied. A few cases that you trot out as if they are indicative of some alarming trend, rather than extreme outliers.
    What matters is that in doing so, you perpetuate one of the biggest myths in our society: women lie.
    What matters most to you is not the suffering of millions of women around the world at the hands of men.
    Yeah, I see your ‘what about the Menz’ act.

    That place you told Donovan to go is rightfully your spot.
    That is where rape enablers belong.

  16. says

    Why should Donovan do any such thing?
    You did not refute any of hir valid points.
    You have yet to produce evidence for your claims of signicant numbers of false rapes.
    All you have done is hammer home an MRA talking point. One that has been debunked. One that actively harms women. Take your misogynistic views to the Slymepit or A Voice for Men.

  17. bad Jim says

    We have just witnessed another example of a failure of quantitative reasoning. Whenever someone observes that X is more common than not, someone is sure to object that X isn’t always true, even though that was never in contention, since “sometimes” and even “mostly” are not the same as “all”.

    What makes slc1’s objections egregiously objectionable is the well-known fact that rape is vastly under-reported and all too seldom prosecuted; the process is systematically biased in the opposite direction. It’s hard to get good numbers, but those we have suggest that false rape accusations are quite rare, which is not surprising since even genuine accusations are physically and emotionally costly for the victim.

  18. says

    It only takes one person not consenting to make an encounter 100% non-consensual.
    And you’re still being an asshole, drawing attention away from the widespread problem of doubting and attacking victims of rape. The correct response is “Oops, I didn’t realize that. I’m sorry, I’ll shut up now.”

  19. left0ver1under says

    He is. He has a long history of saying idiotic and hateful crap that would have gotten him banned from most other FtB blogs, it’s why he only posts on MS’s blog and others who are VERY lenient.

    slc is an “Israel as all costs” apologist, the sort of cretin who will excuse anything to make a cheap point. It’s no surprise that he would defend rape and rapists, he defended rabbis killing children after they passed along herpes from mouth-to-genitals. I stopped reading and replying to his crap long ago, he’s just not worth the effort.

    It would be nice if FtB had a Usenet-type killfile option. There are a few idiots whose posts I would like to block from ever appearing when I’m logged in, and he’s one of them.

  20. slc1 says

    In addition to false rape charges, there are cases of incorrect identification of the alleged perpetrator. Just for the information of the readers here, the Innocence Project found that 153 out of 268 post conviction exonerations via DNA analysis were for rape, e.g. they locked up the wrong guy. Most, if not all of these were stranger rape cases where, indeed, a rape took place. That means that the real perp got away with it. Mr. Ulysses @ #6 might consider the plight of those 153 men who went to jail for a crime they didn’t commit. Obviously, he thinks that it’s just tough bananas. Given the treatment meted out in our sadistic prisons in the US to convicted rapists, I can guarantee that those 153 unfortunates suffered at least as much as the victims of the original crime.

    Anyone who reads Ed Brayton’s blog will know that the US justice system is broken and that all too many defendants are wrongly convicted. It appears that my numerous critics here have been brainwashed by listening to former prosecutors like Wendy Murphy, James Curtis, and Nancy Grace on the idiot tube.

  21. Scr... Archivist says

    What is with these high school and college gridiron teams?

    I think it’s time we look at ways to conclude these entertainment programs, and perhaps pass them on to voluntarily-funded community organizations (if towns really want to keep them). We might also want to consider minimum age restrictions for playing, at least until the players are old enough to understand the long-term health consequences of their preferred kind of show.

    As parts of our schools, these meaningless distractions are a drain on education funds. And their fostering of a subculture of violence, sex-segregation, corruption, and toxic masculinity have repeatedly demonstrated their negative effects on education.

  22. slc1 says

    By the way, the Steubenville case cited by Prof. Singham is a case of statutory rape, because the alleged victim was 13, where the issue of consent doesn’t come into the picture at all. Neither does the issue of whether the girl was drunk or on drugs or whether the boys were drunk or on drugs. The only question is whether the alleged perps had sex with the girl. If they did, its felony rape, period, end of story. IMHO, they should get the book thrown at them. The jail terms they will get is only the start of their punishment. They will spend the rest of their lives on a list of sex offenders and will have to register with the authorities in any jurisdiction they move to as sex offenders. Failure to do so is a felony which could put them right back in the slammer.

  23. slc1 says

    I entirely agree that interscholastic sports, particularly football and basketball are greatly overemphasized at both the high school and college level. Unfortunately, given the megabucks that accrue from these “sports”, I don’t see much hope for deemphasis anytime soon.

  24. slc1 says

    Mr. left0verunder is a god damn liar. The only FTB blog that has given me the heave ho is PZ Myers.

    Further, he is a god damn liar in making the accusation that I defend rapists. I have never done any such thing. As for the accusation that I defended rabbis who practice sucking blood after a circumcision, let the record show that I stated that Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to require parental consent didn’t go far enough and that the practice should be banned totally and that mohels who persisted in the practice after banning should arrested, tried and sent to the slammer upon conviction.

  25. lochaber says

    Actually, it is all about consent. The girl is 13, she can’t legally consent.

    That’s why it’s statutory rape.

  26. slc1 says

    I stated it poorly. The issue of consent is irrelevant because the girl is considered too young to consent so the defendants can’t offer it as a defense.

  27. Ulysses says

    Congratulation, slc1, you’ve managed to change the topic of this thread from “victim blaming” to “what about the menz?” You really are a piece of work. Please take your woman-hating misogyny back to the slymepit where you and your fellow dudebros can pretend that rape is a minor annoyance to everyone except the menz. And please, don’t pretend you’re not a misogynist. Every statement you’ve made on this thread scream your hatred and dismissal of women and their concerns.

  28. left0ver1under says


    The only things that three isolated cases prove are:

    (a) There are idiots willing to use isolated cases to rationalize and minimize rape.

    (b) False rape accusations make it harder for women to file charges and be believed when they have been raped. UNC student Landen Gambill has been threatened with expulsion for “violating the honour code” after she spoke publicly about being raped, without naming the rapist (her ex-boyfriend). The “violation” that may get her expelled was to report the rape publicly after a UNC student court “decided” that no criminal investigation or charges needed to be filed.

    It also proves what I said about slc being a troll, willing to defend the indefensible.

  29. says

    “Mr. Donovan is obviously a moron. It’s the statistics quoted by Ms. Zvan which indicated a false rape claim rate of 9%…”

    And slc1 can’t be bothered to fact check or learn to read, I don’t know which if not both.

    The FBI has an 8% “unfounded accusation” rate which means?

    “This statistic is almost meaningless, as many of the jurisdictions from which the FBI collects data on crime use different definitions of, or criteria for, “unfounded.” That is, a report of rape might be classified as unfounded (rather than as forcible rape) if the alleged victim did not try to fight off the suspect, if the alleged perpetrator did not use physical force or a weapon of some sort, if the alleged victim did not sustain any physical injuries, or if the alleged victim and the accused had a prior sexual relationship. Similarly, a report might be deemed unfounded if there is no physical evidence or too many inconsistencies between the accuser’s statement and what evidence does exist. As such, although some unfounded cases of rape may be false or fabricated, not all unfounded cases are false.”

    -Gross, Bruce (Spring 2009). “False Rape Allegations: An Assault On Justice”. Forensic Examiner.

    Are you getting the sense that you’re far out classed here? You can keep up with your trollish, childish whining or you can STFU and try and improve yourself. Or, I guess you can go to the slympit. You’d fit right in.

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