Earlier this year, COTWA added to this trove of evidence, highlighting FBI findings that the false reporting rate for sexual assaults (incl rape), at 15%, was 7.5 times that of other violent crimes:
FBI statistics show that false reporting of sexual assault is multiple times greater than the average for all crimes. (The Politics of Sexuality, Barry M. Dank, Editor in Chief, Vol. 3 at 36, n. 8.) While the percentage of unfounded claims for all crimes has been traditionally set at two percent, an authoritative law review article debunked the canard that only two percent of all rape claims are false by tracing this number to its baseless source. (E. Greer, The truth behind legal dominance feminism’s “two percent false rape claim” figure, 33 Loyola L.Rev. 947 (2000).) Moreover, the last time the FBI reported on "unfounded" rape claims (meaning the claim was false or the elements of the crime could not be met) was 1996 (it never reported on "false" claims per se), and the FBI found that unfounded rape claims were were 15% of all claims -- that's 7-1/2 times the rate for all crimes as a whole. (See Dr. Bruce Gross, False Rape Allegations: An Assault on Justice, Annals of the American Psychotherapy Associaton, Dec. 22, 2008.)Given that 15% is likely a floor, and that the actual rate is likely higher, I have to ask: At what threshold must the FRA rate be for activists and legal professionals to take seriously?
That 15% figure, as it turns out, is in line with Dr. David Lisak's research for his 2010 Violence Against Women study where he found that 14.2% of all claims that could be classified as false claims or that were referred for prosecution or disciplinary action were false claims. That figure represents only the claims we know are false. (The majority of all rape claims can't be classified as either rape or non-rape, much less false claims -- so the exact percentage of false claims is unknowable, but the actual percentage of false claims is likely higher than 14%, and possibly much higher because, among other things, it is reasonably certain that a portion of the claims referred for prosecution or disciplinary action were false.)
A leading feminist legal scholar has acknowledged this irrefutable fact: ". . . the statistics on false rape accusation widely vary and 'as a scientific matter, the frequency of false rape complaints to police or other legal authorities remains unknown.'" A. Gruber, Rape, Feminism, and the War on Crime, 84 Wash. L. Rev. 581, 595-600 (November 2009) (citation omitted). Another legal scholar has explained that the politicization of rape renders it impossible to discern the extent of underreporting. See, J. Fennel, Punishment by Another Name: The Inherent Overreaching in Sexually Dangerous Person Commitments, 35 N.E.J. on Crime; Civ. Con. 37, 49-51 (2009).