Monday, March 4, 2013

Prominent rape victims advocate doesn't want false rape accusers prosecuted

In The Guardian, Lisa Longstaff of the UK's Women Against Rape continues her morally grotesque coddling of falser rape accusers. Longstaff's scorched-earth campaign against the prosecution of false rape accusers is unjust to the wrongly accused and sets back the cause for rape victims.

Longstaff writes: "We are working with three [rape accusers] facing criminal charges. Several others were prosecuted for harassment after their rapists made counter allegations and were believed." Longstaff takes it as a given that any woman who makes a rape accusation should be believed -- even in those cases where police have overwhelming evidence to charge for making a false rape claim, and even when the false accuser is convicted. "Such prosecutions [of false accusers] must be stopped," she once declared. She called such prosecutions "a concerted witchhunt."

Longstaff's coddling of rape liars is not something rape victims favor.  Every rape lie diminishes the integrity of every rape victim; every unpunished rape lie undermines the public's confidence in the way rape is handled and makes juries reluctant to convict even those who ought to be convicted. But Longstaff's grandstanding isn't for the benefit of rape victims, it's for Longstaff.

Longstaff thinks the police are in on a grand conspiracy to enable men to rape. Police deal with rape badly, she claims, because "[s]ome are rapists themselves . . . . Some are sexist . . . . Some are lazy or incompetent." And, of course, they "resent accountability." The good ones -- the ones "committed to . . . seeing victims get justice" -- "have less influence over priorities."

Longstaff claims that "the prosecution of women and the disproportionate media coverage they get are putting rape victims off reporting and leaving all of us more vulnerable to attack." This assertion is posited without any evidence beyond Longstaff's serene ipse dixit, and it is sickeningly ironic coming from Longstaff: the The Stern Review, at page 45, chided rape victims' advocates -- like Longstaff -- because they make it appear that law enforcement is terribly, and uniquely, ineffective when it comes to rape. That, the Stern Review said, could discourage women from reporting their ordeals.  If Longstaff is concerned about underreporting of rape, she should get her own house in order first instead of warring on the presumptively innocent.

Longstaff's is not the advocacy of a serious social reformer; it is the advocacy of ugly gender get-evenism that has no place in the public discourse about a critical issue. The other-worldly notions that police are conspirators enabling men to rape, and that we can only wage the "war on rape" by elevating the victimization of our daughters over that of our sons, are as puerile as they are blatantly unjust. Holding criminals accountable for their crimes is not a zero sum game, and Longstaff's advocacy paints her as an extremist loon whose pronouncements are not to be taken seriously.