The predictability of rape apology.

The predictability of Rape Apology part 2

I wrote the first part of this post (below the line down under) at around 1:00am this morning. Approximately 10 hours later, EXACTLY as predicted, our friend @facerealitynow came back with his list of reasons why the CPS study is flawed (screenshot below).

@facerealitynow
You are predictable
You are a rape apologist
You are wrong

You are predictable

Sort of goes without saying – see below the line.

You are a rape apologist

I’ve seen 1000’s like you over the last 2 to 3 years. One of the common factors is an overwhelming compulsion to understate prevalence of rape, while overstating the prevalence of false allegations. This is rape apology pure and simple. It harms victims, it helps rapists, and it makes it more likely for women to be raped.

You are wrong

Lets put aside for a moment the extremely high level of qualification of those carrying out the study, which pretty much out of hand, invalidates any rebuttal you might make.

You correctly point out that the study counts prosecuted false allegations of rape. What you failed to notice (Comprehension? Willful ignorance? Or inability to face reality?) is that the study compares that count with the number of cases prosecuted as rape. The nature of rape cases (mostly carried out in private without witnesses) will mean that it is approximately equally difficult to evidence a false allegation as it is to evidence an actual rape. It is therefore a reasonable position to take that the ratio of false allegations to rapes, in the cases not prosecuted, will be approximately the same as those that are prosecuted.

Those figures are 5651 prosecutions for rape and 35 prosecutions for false allegations of rape. At face value those figures would suggest a false rape reporting rate of around 0.6%.

Before you try to state that the ratio in the unprosecuted cases is not going to be the same (for whatever fabricated reason you can pluck from your imagination): The figure used elsewhere on this blog of 3% ALREADY allows for a 500% (Factor 5, 5 times) error in that assessment.

Don’t bother posting a reply – you are very unlikely to meet the criteria for having it published, and my patience is much thinner now than when I set those criteria. Feel free to respond on twitter – but don’t expect a reply. As far as I am concerned this is not up for debate. Further, as you’ll see from my twitter bio, I am no longer debating with the willfully ignorant.

And rape apology is ALWAYS willfully ignorant.

 

The tweets:
Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 19.34.07


 

The predictability of Rape Apology part 1

 

I’ve just posted this series of tweets (in reverse order, sorry):
Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 23.50.25

In response to the “can you argue against those facts please?” in this sequence:
Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 23.51.54

At some point, he’s going to read the study report and come back with a list of reasons why it is invalid – despite the legal credentials of those carrying out the report. In this way he will demonstrate his agenda of rape apology.

I’m posting this in advance to demonstrate to him the predictability of his agenda of rape apology.

Those Tweets – and why they are meaningless.

Update October 2016:
After a referral to the court of appeal by the criminal cases review commission, Evans has now been acquitted of the crime of rape. Whatever the rights or wrongs of that situation, in the eyes of the law, Evans is now innocent of the crime of rape. I leave the text below as a record of my thoughts on the case as it stood at the time of writing.

 

One of the favourite memes of the rape apologists and supporters of rapist Ched Evans is a series of three tweets alleged (only by Evans’ site, supporters and family) to have been tweeted by his victim in between the rape and the trial. The so called “win big” tweets.

The tweets are totally irrelevant to the case – here is why.

Firstly

If we believe the tweets existed at all, and are not a total fabrication, it is claimed they were unearthed by a New York firefighter from a text google cache on the French twitter server. A New York Firefighter. Not a forensic computer scientist, just someone on the net looking through google cache files. There are at least two ways they may have been faked.

The Firefighter himself could have fabricated the whole thing – either on his own or at the request of Evan’s supporters.

One of the very many rape apologists abusing the victim and supporting Evans could have easily created an account using the victim’s name, and made the tweets – ensuring they were cached, and then deleted the account. Note that without support of twitter themselves, it is not possible to verifiably link tweets to an individual.

Secondly

Even if the tweets were made by the victim as alleged, they are still completely irrelevant to the case.

They make no reference to the case, and discuss only the possibility of a big win. Just about every person who has ever played the horses, or the lottery etc will have had similar conversations, including yours truly. And what more natural time to dream of something good happening than in the aftermath of an awful life changing event, and subsequent build up to a trial.

One of the “damning” aspects of the tweets in the minds of the apologists, is that they were deleted. In fact the whole account was deleted. This is entirely unsurprising, given the way the victim has been bullied and threatened all over the internet eventually being forced to move home and change ID. No wonder that she felt she needed to delete her account. I would have done the same – in fact I have deleted the first 3000 tweets I made, due to a stalker.

Finally

The alleged tweets were made after the rape. The key fact of the case is that it was proven in court that the victim was too drunk to consent to sex. The evidence that proved this is not changed one tiny little bit by the tweets – whether or not they exist, and whatever their meaning. They do not change the fact that she was raped.

The tweets real or not, mean nothing.

Rape culture is a thing.

Apparently – according to @DD1958, rape culture does not exist:

@DD1958 “rape culture ” is a meaningless term thought up by feminists to pursue a ideologically corrupt agenda.

 

@DD1958 “Rape culture ” It’s a meaningless label which detracts from real problems regarding rape and abuse.

And in reply to my

Rape culture is a label for a set of cultural beliefs and behaviours which DO exist, and DO support/encourage rapists

 

@DD1958 Prove it

OK, well here are some things which DO exist (I will continue to add examples to this list as they come up):

Rape culture is more than the acts of rape and assault, it is all the aspects of our culture that implicitly support and permit behaviour that leads to rape.

It starts at the bottom end with the large proportion of films where the hero meets resistance at the first kiss but persists and she gives in.

It goes on through hit songs about “blurred lines” which use the actual words that rapists use.

It includes the normalisation of sexual violence: “I was groped at the club” – “What do you expect – it’s what men do”

It includes the acceptance of random stranger sexual harassment on the street.

For numerous (far too numerous) examples of the previous two, just follow @everydaysexism

It includes people not believing how many students are assaulted on campus – out of hand – without even checking facts for themselves

It includes the concept of “token” or “Last minute resistance” which must be just “pushed on through”

It includes the routine disbelief of rape victims when they report rape, (For the most recent and horrific example, see Rotherham sex abuse scandal)  and the related widespread belief that women routinely report rape against the famous in order to extract money.

It includes the routine victim blaming of rape victims (what were you wearing? How much did you drink? Why did you go there? With him? and so on ad infinitum)

It includes the fact that, in part due to the to elements above, that only around 10 to 20% of rape victims make a report to the police.

And it includes the resulting horrific statistic, that if that is taken into account, then only 1 or 2% of rapists are convicted. The other 98% free to rape again. And many do.

And it includes the fact that someone reading this will say I am making that up.

It includes rape jokes – which rapists see as validating their actions (See, everyone thinks like I do)

It includes cases (albeit in USA) where school athletes rape a school girl, carry her unconscious from party to party as a sort of sex toy, then urinate on her. When it comes out, the local community rally round the rapists, protecting them by destroying evidence, and vilifying the victim, driving her and her family from the town. Then when they are finally convicted (at least 2 of them are) the press concerns itself with their ruined futures rather than the victims lifetime mental scars.

And then the same thing happens again – at another town, just a few months later.

It includes our very own athlete – who AFTER he was CONVICTED, his supporters continued to vilify the victim, sending her death threats, and driving her out of her home.

It includes the sense of entitlement some men have view the pictures of celebrities bodies which brings them to hack cloud accounts to steal and share photographs taken in the privacy of the bedroom – and the subsequent entitlement of the thousands of men and boys (and some women) who think it is OK to share them, or just view them, around the net.

I could go on… and on. But if the above is not enough for you, nothing will be.

You might not like the phrase “rape culture” but the examples described above exist, and the phrase is just a useful way of describing them.

Update – 25th May 2015

I recently found the following comments, written by @NikkiSwarm in a comment thread in which she took on the neanderthals on the ROK website (A pile of misogynistic bullcrap that I will not link to here – but for a hilarious takedown of this and other similar sites see: We Hunted the Mammoth) They provide additional perspective on the nature of our rape culture (Included here with permission of the author).

Rape Culture refers to the ‘yes until you say no’ method of attaining consent that is so frequently the default setting in the US. It also refers to the attitudes of institutions that place blame on victims of rape, defend perpetrators of rape, or perpetuate the acceptability of violating behavior in public spaces. As a teenager, for example, my public school sex ed class was taught that if a man gets too aroused, he cannot stop himself from having sex, so, if you lead someone on and get raped, it’s your fault. I was 13. I was in the 8th grade. Rape was already my fault. That’s rape culture. Rape culture asks what you were wearing if you claim you were assaulted. Rape culture asks if you’d been drinking if you were assaulted. Rape culture accepts that men will yell at women on the street, and touch women without asking in public spaces. Rape culture also tells men that they can’t be raped. Rape culture stops men from reporting rape. Rape culture shames men into accepting sexual assault rather than speak up. Rape culture is real. You live in it and so do I. It is bad for everyone. It is not a gendered issue. It is a human issue.

 

OK, so the issue you’re having is in distinction of terms. “Rape Culture” refers to a culture that allows or encourages non consensual behavior and/or discourages speaking out about such behavior, or making reports when such behavior goes too far. Rape Culture does not mean that every one the streets is about to go rape someone, it means that the culture has all the wrong nutrients that allow those behaviors to grow and develop. This applies to everyone, male and female. Pointing out Rape Culture, is a prevention strategy, that helps those of us who were raised within it to identify ideas or behaviors that are not conducive to establishing a consent culture. The goal of the feminist movement that has defined rape culture is to establish a culture of consent. Any other purpose that the term Rape Culture has been used for is a misappropriation, and should not be used as a means of ignoring an obvious problem. The 1 in 4 statistic is not made up, despite claims on this website that it is. In fact, in my experience getting to know survivors over the years I have found a much higher number to be true. And even if it were half that (which it isn’t), even if it were 1/8, is that not an unacceptable epidemic? How many people need to be raped before we consider this a four alarm fire? This is an issue that requires an active investigation into how our culture develops these behaviors. Everyone should take part in the discussion, not stand on either side calling each other liars.

Why #ibelieveher

It really is very simple.

Rape victims are routinely disbelieved by society and our CJS.

The result is appallingly low reporting rates for rape (less than 20% of victims will report). This is followed by an appalling attrition rate – of the small number of reports, less than 20% make it to trial.

The end result of all that is that in more than 98% of rapes, the rapist remains free…… to rape again.

This has to change. The only way to get more rapists behind bars is to get more victims to report, and to do this, we need to start believing them and supporting them.

Combine that with the fact that (unsurprisingly) the rates for false accusations of rape are similar to that of other crimes, at around 3%, then the logical choice becomes even clearer.

So, #ibelieveher

 More recently #ibelieveher needs no further justification then the rape and abuse scandal of Rotherham – which fundamentally, was a horrendous failure by the authorities to believe 1000’s of child victims.

For a more eloquent and detailed view of #ibelieveher:
http://stavvers.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/why-ibelieveher-is-so-vital/

 

 

Side Note for the “Innocent until proven guilty” Brigade

IUPG is for the courts. It is required to avoid sending innocent people to prison. (The downside is that many guilty go free – especially in cases of sexual violence). It is not required in personal relationships. If someone comes to you and says “I’ve been raped” it’s perfectly acceptable to believe them without further evidence. Give them your support. Believe them unconditionally. Help them through the awful days and weeks to come – whether they report it or not. There will be more than enough people who disbelieve, you don’t need to be one of them.

Reference:
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rape-a-lack-of-conviction/

Majority of acquitted rape defendants actually guilty?

I recently made the statement on a forum, that the majority of rape defendants who are acquitted, though innocent in law, will be guilty in fact.

I was asked to prove it, so here is my justification. First some figures:

1 – 80 to 90% of rapes are perpetrated by someone known to the victim.
2 – 18% of reported rapes make it as far as trial
3 – 40% of cases that make it to trial result in a conviciton
4 – There is a false reporting rate of around 3% (Recent DPP report on false rape allegations)

So for say 1000 rape reports, 180 will make it to trial. Of these, at most 36 will be “stranger” rape where the police would be required to identify the perpetrator. Lets assume that the police do a really bad job of this, and incorrectly identify the culprit in 25% of the time. So 9 cases will be against innocent men. (Note, this is the only figure where I am making an assumption – but it seems a reasonable one.)

Due to the difficulty of getting any rape case to trial (only 18%) it could reasonably be assumed that the vast majority of the 3% false allegations (necessarily without corroborating evidence) would be weeded out at this stage. However, for the sake of the argument, I’ll ignore this, and say that of the 180 cases, 3% will be false allegations = less than 6 further cases against innocent men. 

Adding the two figures, of the 180 actual prosecuted cases, at most 15 of the defendants will be genuinely innocent.

Yet only 40% (72) will be convicted. If we assume there are no unjust convictions, then the remaining 60% of cases (108) will include the 15 genuinely innocent men. 93 of the acquitted will, in fact, be guilty.

BBC and Rape Culture

My complaint to the BBC Regarding this Newsbeat article about false rape claims.

The outcome of the report quoted in the Newsbeat article, is that false rape claims are much lower than generally believed, and that the incorrect belief in high false claims (that it seems your Newsbeat team shares) is harming rape victims, resulting in fewer prosecutions.

Yet your article (even/especially the headline) focusses on the “problem” of false rape claims, and the devastation they cause. This is an article aimed at young people – are you aware that many young men already believe false rape claims to be a significant problem and routinely support rapists (even after conviction) as a result (see the #justiceforched hashtag on twitter for numerous examples.

You stated 2 false rape prosecutions/month, yet you failed to mention that there are 1500 women raped EVERY WEEK. You should be ashamed.

Please please, if you are going to report on rape, focus on the real problem, and that is how to stop women being raped.

 

The Reply

I’ve just been reminded in the comments that I’ve not followed up and posted the reply (Thanks Crosby). Here it is, in all its depressing glory, received on 15th March

Thank you for your feedback regarding the Newsbeat story on false rape allegations.

This was a story commissioned to specifically examine what it was like to be falsely accused of rape. To help contextualise the story we reported on a 17-month study carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service which set out to establish how common such false rape allegations were. In the past we have published many stories highlighting the issues surrounding rape and domestic violence, specifically targeted at our core audience of 15 to 24-year-olds. Please find links for two such stories below:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/17230648
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/17238674

On this occasion we chose to look at those young people – usually men – who are occasionally wrongly accused.  We know from our audience research that among this group concern over this issue is commonplace – we sought to contextualise this anxiety.  I do not agree we misrepresented the study, or published an article that might somehow put people off reporting such serious crimes. However, having considered feedback, I agree we were not clear enough in our wording. For clarity we have changed a word in the second sentence from “common” to “unusual”.

In the fourth line of our story, we quote the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, who says false rape allegations are “serious but rare”. In the accompanying video he makes the same statement within the first 50 seconds. While our story hears from a young man who says he was wrongly accused, we ensure that rape victims are given a voice by running quotes from Dianne Whitfield from Rape Crisis. We also feature a video which contains a Nottinghamshire Police spokeswoman who says their starting point is always to believe allegations of serious sexual assault. She goes on to explain how thoroughly they investigate both sides of any allegation. Far from downplaying the seriousness of rape we finish our article by publishing the phone numbers of advice lines for people who believe they may have been the victim of rape or domestic violence.

On the day this story was broadcast we received a big response from our young audience, and we openly invited feedback on this challenging topic. While some people did say our reporting of false accusations was damaging to real rape victims, on our Social Networking sites false accusations were described as “disgusting”, and one young man told us that he felt the bigger problem was that these claims make life harder for real rape victims to be taken seriously. On Twitter another young male listener told us “Allegations of rape not only waste police time but wreck the lives of those accused! And another wrote: “My 23-year-old nephew was recently accused of rape. He then killed himself. The girl did it again to another guy.”

Our view is that all aspects of this subject merit coverage and debate and we will continue to do so.  Thank you again for taking the trouble to get in touch with us.

Yours sincerely,

Rod McKenzie
Editor, BBC R1 News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle-complaint/

Amazon reseller continues to sell t shirts promoting violence

Continuation of this post

Although the “rape” t shirts have been removed, because of the random way the t shirt slogans have been generated there are still many slogans being sold which seem to promote violence (including violence against women). The example in the image below (“Keep Calm and Slit Her”), is just one of many, including “….Break Her” “…..Rock* Her” “….Rob Her” etc.

Here is a transcript of my latest chat with an Amazon Agent – still not getting anywhere.

You are now connected to Ross from Amazon.co.uk.
 
Ross:Hello there. How can I help?
Me:Hi. My name is Tony.
I assume you have been made aware of the “keep calm and rape” t shirts that were being sold by one of your resellers, and have since been taken off?
Ross:Correct.
Me:Well problem is unfortunately not solved. Since the phrases were randomly generated by a computer, you still have:
“Stay Calm and Slit Her” “..and Break Her” “…and Rock Her” “..and Rob Her” + many others.
I strongly request that the offending store is taken completely off line until they are able to fully clean up their act.
Ross:Thank you for letting us know. I will forward this on to the relevant department for review, and they will take the appropriate action.
Me:When will they take the appropriate action? This has been going on for two days now, and is simply not acceptable.
Ross:We’re not at liberty to reveal details of our internal processes, I’m afraid.
Me:Perhaps I should make a report to the police regarding “hate crime” (I actually don’t like that phrase – but it might be appropriate in this case). I very strongly feel you must take urgent action.
Please can you assure me you will escalate this using the most urgent internal process you have?
Ross:I can assure you that I will escalate this using the most urgent internal process that I have available to me.
Me:OK Ross – thanks for your help. Have a nice day.
Ross:You too, Tony. Take care.
 
 
 
*Admittedly “Rock Her” can have a less sinister meaning, but bearing in mind where we started, I can’t keep the image of rock wielding madman out of my head.
 

amazonwtf2

Amazon allows reseller to sell rape promoting tee shirts.

In a move that beggars belief, Amazon allow a reseller to sell the t shirt below, in a range of pretty colours, and no less than 8 others with similar rape related slogans. Below the image, you can see a transcript of the chat I have just had with an (obviously) un-briefed customer agent. We’ll see what happens.

The reseller by the way is called “clothing store”. Do what you like with that information.

amazonWTF

 

 

You are now connected to Leno from Amazon.co.uk. 

Leno:Hello, my name is Leno.
Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk. May I know your name, please?
Me:Tony is my name. Hello.
Leno:Hi Tony
I will surely assist you better
Could you please elaborate your query?
Me:Yes, I can. Somewhat feeling the rage at the moment – not at you, you understand, but at Amazon. In a country where 100,000 women are raped every year, you are allowing to be sold through your site, rape promoting clothing, eg: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Keep-Black-Jersey-T-Shirt-Heather/dp/B007EYDLTW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362178158&sr=8-2
If you want to keep my custom, (and that of many other people I am reading on twitter right now) you need to get them removed from your site.
Leno:I understand your concern Tony.
Thanks for bringing this to our notice.
I will now surely forward your feedback right away.
You will be notified within 2 business days.
Is there anything else I can do for you today?
Me:Thanks – I will expect a reply telling me they have been removed. Thanks for your help.
Leno:We hope to see you again soon! Please click the “End Chat” link to close this window.