Here’s an interesting story. (H/T Stuart Schneiderman)
Now that Brian Banks has been exonerated of a rape conviction that put him in prison for five years, the one-time prep football star has a message for NFL coaches: Give him a chance.
[…]t was the plan he left outside a prison door when he pleaded no contest to a childhood friend’s false accusation of rape in 2002, a claim she has now recanted.
The hearing that changed Banks’ life took only minutes. Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Brentford Ferreira said his office conceded the case should be dismissed. Superior Court Judge Mark C. Kim concurred and quickly announced it was over.
One of his first moves was to report to the probation office to have the electronic monitoring ankle bracelet removed — a felon no longer.
Banks said he is ready to move forward and is trying not to be angry.
“I couldn’t ask for more today,” he told reporters after Thursday’s hearing. “But there is always the question of why did it have to happen in the first place? Why wasn’t I heard with the truth of what happened when I was 16?”
Even after he was released from prison, he could not get work because he was a registered sex offender and had a felony record.
Before the charges, Banks was a star middle linebacker at Long Beach Polytechnic High School and was attracting interest from college football powerhouses as the University of Southern California, Ohio State University and the University of Michigan, according to the website Rivals.com, which tracks the recruiting of high school football and basketball players.
He verbally agreed to a full scholarship at USC.
Then, a teenage girl he had known since childhood claimed he had raped her. He was arrested and, on advice of counsel, pleaded no contest to rape and an enhancement of kidnapping in order to avoid a possible life sentence if tried by a jury.
[…]The key, said Brooks, was the woman’s admission she had lied. And it came out of the blue.
After serving five years and two months in prison, Banks was released, and a strange thing happened. Wanetta Gibson, the woman who claimed he had attacked her on the high school campus when she was 15, contacted him on Facebook and asked to meet with him.
He recalled being stunned. “I thought maybe it wasn’t real. How could she be contacting me?”
He said he knew that if he became angry when he met with her it wouldn’t help, so he struggled to keep calm.
“I stopped what I was doing and got down on my knees and prayed to God to help me play my cards right,” he said.
In two meetings, she said she had lied and offered to help him clear his name, but there was a catch. She did not want to return a $1.5 million payment from a civil suit brought by her mother against the Long Beach schools.
She refused to repeat her new story to prosecutors but they accepted the account which had been secretly videotaped by the defense.
It was uncertain whether Gibson will have to return the money and unlikely she would be prosecuted for making the false accusation so long ago.
How common are these false rape accusations, though?
Studies show about 40-50 percent of rape accusations are false
False accusations of rape or sexual assault are commonly used by women to get attention and sympathy, or to get an alibi when they’ve done something wrong, or to get revenge on someone.
Here’s a Fox News article from a prominent equity feminist, Wendy McElroy.
“Forty-one percent of all reports are false.”
This claim comes from a study conducted by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University. Kanin examined 109 rape complaints registered in a Midwestern city from 1978 to 1987.
Of these, 45 were ultimately classified by the police as “false.” Also based on police records, Kanin determined that 50 percent of the rapes reported at two major universities were “false.”
Although Kanin offers solid research, I would need to see more studies with different populations before accepting the figure of 50 percent as prevalent; to me, the figure seems high.
But even a skeptic like me must credit a DNA exclusion rate of 20 percent that remained constant over several years when conducted by FBI labs. This is especially true when 20 percent more were found to be questionable.
False accusations are not rare. They are common.
If you would like to get an idea of how false rape accusations are handled by the police, here is an example. Usually no charges are filed, or if charges are filed, then they get off without jail time. (But the accused men can go to jail for years, see below)
False accusations in divorce trials
False accusations of domestic violence and sexual abuse are also commonly made during divorce settlements in order to get custody of the children, and the attendant benefits.
Consider this article from Touchstone magazine, by Stephen Baskerville.
Today it is not clear that we have learned anything from these miscarriages of justice. If anything, the hysteria has been institutionalized in the divorce courts, where false allegations have become routine.
What is ironic about these witch-hunts is the fact that it is easily demonstrable that the child abuse epidemic—which is very real—is almost entirely the creation of feminism and the welfare bureaucracies themselves. It is well established by scholars that an intact family is the safest place for women and children and that very little abuse takes place in married families. Child abuse overwhelmingly occurs in single-parent homes, homes from which the father has been removed. Domestic violence, too, is far more likely during or after the breakup of a marriage than among married couples.
Yet patently false accusations of both child abuse and domestic violence are rampant in divorce courts, almost always for purposes of breaking up families, securing child custody, and eliminating fathers. “With child abuse and spouse abuse you don’t have to prove anything,” the leader of a legal seminar tells divorcing mothers, according to the Chicago Tribune. “You just have to accuse.”
Among scholars and legal practitioners it is common knowledge that patently trumped-up accusations are routinely used, and virtually never punished, in divorce and custody proceedings. Elaine Epstein, president of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, writes that “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in custody cases. The Illinois Bar Journal describes how abuse accusations readily “become part of the gamesmanship of divorce.” The UMKC Law Reviewreports on a survey of judges and attorneys revealing that disregard for due process and allegations of domestic violence are used as a “litigation strategy.” In the Yale Law Review, Jeannie Suk calls domestic violence accusations a system of “state-imposed de facto divorce” and documents how courts use unsupported accusations to justify evicting Americans from their homes and children.
The multi-billion dollar abuse industry has become “an area of law mired in intellectual dishonesty and injustice” writes David Heleniak in the Rutgers Law Review. Domestic violence has become “a backwater of tautological pseudo-theory,” write Donald Dutton and Kenneth Corvo in the scholarly journal Aggression and Violent Behavior. “No other area of established social welfare, criminal justice, public health, or behavioral intervention has such weak evidence in support of mandated practice.”
I often hear men, especially men in the church, complaining that young men won’t get married because they are too busy watching porn and playing video games. But maybe the real reason is that they don’t want to be exposed to domestic violence laws and divorced courts that are waiting to separate them from their earnings. And they can already get sex for free before marriage. If the church isn’t speaking out against premarital sex (to women) and against no-fault divorce and against biased domestic violence laws, then they have no one to blame for the so-called “marriage strike” but themselves.
Domestic violence rates
Here’s a recent article in the liberal UK Guardian that summarizes the evidence.
Domestic violence has traditionally been understood as a crime perpetrated by domineering men against defenceless women. Research spanning over 40 years has, however, consistently found that men and women self-report perpetrating domestic violence at similar rates. Professor John Archer from the University of Central Lancashire has conducted a number of meta-analytic reviews of these studies and found that women are as likely to use domestic violence as men, but women are twice as likely as men to be injured or killed during a domestic assault. Men still represent a substantial proportion of people who are assaulted, injured or killed by an intimate partner (50%, 30% and 25% respectively).
If the empirical research is correct in suggesting that between a quarter and half of all domestic violence victims are men, a question follows: why has women’s domestic violence towards men been unreported for so long, and what has changed in the last five years to make it more visible?
One reason may be the feminist movement. Feminism took up the cause of domestic abuse of women in the 1970s, with the world’s first women’s refuge being opened by Erin Pizzey in 1971. Feminism understood domestic violence as the natural extension of men’s patriarchal attitudes towards women, leading men to feel they had the right to control their partners, using violence if necessary. Feminists campaigned successfully to bring the issue into the public arena, thereby securing resources to establish services to help victims. This activism and advocacy led to governmental and public acceptance that “domestic violence” was synonymous with violence against women.
[…]The dual stereotypes of the violent man and passive woman have undoubtedly obscured the existence of male victims of domestic violence in the past. Men were also unlikely to view their own victimisation as either domestic violence or a criminal assault, and so were unlikely to seek help.
Large sums of money have been spent on educational campaigns to encourage female victims to seek help. Until there are similar campaigns for men, it is unlikely that the true number of male victims needing help will be known. If the current trends continue however, women may find themselves increasingly likely to be charged with domestic assault, and men more likely to be offered help and protection.
I wonder how many women believe the official feminist line on domestic violence? The raw numbers are so rarely discussed.
More domestic violence studies from multiple countries are discussed here.