" As with all of human behavior, there are numerous reasons why a person would lie about being raped. In the study of false rape allegations in the midwestern town and state universities, over half of the accusers fabricated the rape to serve as a "cover story" or alibi. This included 56% of the non-student and 53% of the student false accusers. The most frequent context and motive for the fabricated rape was consensual sex with an acquaintance that led to some sort of problem for the accuser. The perceived problem was typically something that caused feelings of shame and guilt in the accuser (such as contracting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant), which was bound to be discovered and received negatively by family or friends.
Approximately half of the accusers who were motivated by a need for an alibi identified the alleged rapist. Their goal was not to harm or cause problems for the acquaintance, but to protect themselves in what they perceived to be a desperate situation. As with most lies, the false rape accusation allowed the accuser to deny responsibility by creating an alternate reality into which to escape.The next most common reason for lying about being a victim of rape was revenge, rage, or retribution. In the Midwest study, this included 27% of the non-student and 44% of the student accusers. In these cases, the false victim had suffered some real or perceived wrong, rejection, or betrayal by the alleged rapist. As the purpose of making the accusation was to obtain some measure of revenge, the "suspect" was always identified. Researchers in the Air Force study also found that spite or revenge and the need to compensate for a sense of personal failure through an alibi accusation were the primary motives for false rape reports.There are a range of other reasons why women made false allegations of rape. For some, it was to meet the overwhelming need for attention often associated with Munchaussen Syndrome or Borderline Personality Disorder. In those cases a specific suspect was seldom identified. Others filed false reports in an attempt to essentially "extort" money from the accused, who was typically wealthy. Because the goal was financial, the accuser was typically not motivated to pursue the case through formal legal channels, preferring to push for a settlement."
False Rape Allegations: An Assault On JusticeBy Bruce Gross, PhD, JD, MBA
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