Crying Wolf: False Rape Claims

In Friday’s issue of the New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire’s student newspaper, Patrick McClary, decries a spate of falsified rape accusations in the UNH system, which he sees as nothing more than a regrettable means to an end, namely to “instill fear on college campuses.” While McClary admittedly makes few original or insightful points, he does bring light to an issue which one could only imagine to be rather taboo, and calls for action to be taken.

Assaults and campus violence is a serious and very real issue at colleges and universities across the country. These instances shed an unfair light on the real victims. These people are truly brave and should be applauded. But those who fake such a thing should suffer the consequences, which are simply far too light. Faking an assault to instill fear on a college campus should be a felony, not a misdemeanor. Maybe this is the only way to stop this nonsense.

The cases addressed are strangely reminiscent of that reported in the Dartmouth Free Press nearly two year’s ago, in a piece entitled Jane’s Story. Jane’s story, however, was debunked shortly thereafter thanks to some investigation by The Dartmouth Review.

While nobody denies the existence of sexual assault on college campuses, the messages of McClary’s piece and The Review’s are strikingly similar: false rape accusations can be disastrous for both the ‘victim’ and the accusee, but more importantly, decrease the merit of real claims, and detract from the central problem. What a shame that this has become a recurring issue.