Flat White

Let this rape survivor tell you: fake rape claims harm

5 October 2018

10:24 AM

5 October 2018

10:24 AM

A person doesn’t forget the date, year, time, place and environment in which they were raped and I should know. I was raped in 1997, aged 20, drunk as a skunk in Perth, Western Australia — my hometown.

The experience is a moment frozen in time.

The experience is a moment that has formed who I am today.

The experience has inspired me to write newspaper columns, magazine articles, two books and a one-woman show which I performed in the West End of London in 2017.

I spend most days trying to make sense of such a violent crime against my person. And as a sexual assault survivor, I’ve watched the Kavanaugh case explode and I’ve felt painfully conflicted.

I think every human being (male or female) deserves to be heard and for their sexual assault claims to be thoroughly investigated. But on the other hand, I sincerely feel for Brett Kavanaugh who is innocent until proven guilty.

Being a rape-apologist on the right side of politics is nothing to be proud of, nor is ‘lessening’ a person’s experience of assault because it isn’t ‘technically’ rape. This kind of rhetoric is dangerous and blurry.


But the Blue-Tick-Warriors on the left who spend their days drip-feeding their minions on Twitter are just as pathetic. Clinging to another’s trauma and using a token hashtag such as #IBelieveHer or #MeToo in regards to the Kavanaugh case, as ammunition for their own political agenda is abhorrent.

The left don’t care about victims of sexual assault any more than the right do. They only care about winning. Blasey Ford is just another bullet in their gun. And whether you believe Blasey Ford or not. Believing her isn’t enough to convict Kavanaugh nor should it be.

The question shouldn’t be whether we believe a ‘supposed’ victim of sexual assault. The question should be how do we detect, handle and punish false allegations within the judicial system?

I mean Kavanaugh’s entire world has been ripped apart on the world stage for an accusation that remains unproven. Harvard, Yale and the church have turned their back on him. A pretty heavy beating for a man that could possibly be innocent.

On the Australian Institute of Family Studies Website, it states:

The perception that false allegations of sexual assault are common has negative consequences for victims of sexual assault and society more generally by perpetuating victims’ fear of being disbelieved or being blamed for the assault. This reduces the likelihood of reporting.

I understand the cost of disbelieving victims more than most but this doesn’t mean that the accused aren’t entitled to their right of due process. It seems ruining a person’s life via an accusation is the new blood sport.

Vanessa de Largie is a freelance journalist and sex columnist who divides her time between London and Melbourne.

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