August 24, 2011

Believe me, sexual assaults do happen

Posted in Myths, Uncategorized at 4:10 pm by sacetalks

There was a recent article in the Edmonton Sun about a sex-assault hoax. A woman gave the police a tip that a sexual assault involving two Edmonton 16 year old girls had occurred on Sunday afternoon, but when all the emergency vehicles arrived at the scene, they discovered that the report was false. She made it all up. They are now charging her with public mischief.

The article also includes a statement by the Edmonton police saying that they receive several bogus calls a week. According to the police officer, some people just get a kick out of emergency personnel wasting their time and resources.

The article appears to be a non-biased reporting of the events. However, I am a bit confused about why it was written. If bogus calls to police are worth reporting on, and they happen all the time, why is this the first time in the last year I’m reading about a false report? The truth is; they usually don’t get reported because they’re not newsworthy. Most people don’t care about the weekly false reports of robbery, harassment, or sexual assault that police receive. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say they care more about what actually has happened in the world.

Without dwelling on the anomaly of why this article was written in the first place, I will address my disappointment with how people have responded to it in the Sun’s online comments section.

According to one outraged Edmontonian, the Sun’s article confirms that feminazis (they hide within social justice movements) have for years been deceiving us into thinking that women never lie about sexual assault. Obviously, one women lying about a sexual assault is unquestionably proof that the opposite is true: women always lie about sexual assault! Thus, in this fine reader’s opinion, a woman who accuses a man of sexual assault should get the same penalty a man would get for actually committing the offence.

Some good news for women: if this horrendous idea were to become reality, it’s likely you’d get off with a conditional sentence and wouldn’t have to spend time in jail anyway.

Following the post about feminazis, most commentators continued to attack women and feminists, with a few exceptions. This leads me to believe that people do care about false reports of crimes – if they are typically crimes against women. One false report and bam! People feel confident exclaiming that all women and all feminists, no wait, all skanks, fembos, and bit#ches, are liars! Therefore, the only rape myth is that rape IS a myth. According to their, um, arguments, any women who says she was raped is only after revenge, attention, or the monies. And any man that says he was raped, well… men don’t get raped.

Name calling: the clearest path to truth.

It’s evident that their tirades against women and feminists are not meant to engage in a reasonable, open dialogue about people lying about serious crimes. They are based on an intention to attack the experiences and voices of women, feminists and survivors of sexual assault. It seems pointless to address them directly, to affirm the value in women’s and feminist’s opinions and validate the experience of survivors, when their main mode of communication is the use of derogatory language.

So, for the community of this blog, let me say this. Sexual abuse/assault is a very real issue that affects nearly half of the Canadian population, both women and men. Some people might lie about it, because they think it’s a good idea for whatever reason. I wish people didn’t lie – that would make my life so much easier. However, I know that they do. People can choose to lie about most things in life. I also know that just because a few people lie about sexual assault, does not mean all or most people (women) are lying. Considering the stats, because I know most people commenting on the article cared greatly about the facts (right??), I know that most people will actually lie about a sexual assault NOT happening when it did. They keep it secret, probably because they know they’re going to be accused of lying anyway or be taken away from their parents or lose their friends or be called derogatory names, like the ones made by Edmonton Sun commentators. Or if they are male, told it couldn’t have happened because of their gender.

I feel empathy for any survivor of sexual assault, of any gender, who ended up reading those comments, and am disheartened by the thought that it could seriously impact the safety and support felt by survivors of sexual assault who want to tell someone what happened.

If you’re reading this blog:

I believe you. I believe you were sexually assaulted.

by Meagan Simon

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