Do Women Lie About Rape?

April 10, 2011

That was a question posed by Ms Magazine’s blog. And while I agree with the author when she says the vast majority of survivors are not lying. It doesn’t mean we should dismiss the possibility of someone lying about rape. But who would lie about such a thing? One commenter tells her story:

I’m commenting here as a guest to preserve the privacy of those involved, but I wanted to share my story with you.

One of my favorite uncles (and my brother’s godfather) has the biggest heart I’ve ever known. We called him Hagrid, because he’s big and gruff like the half-giant from Harry Potter, but he’s also lovable and gentle-natured. Every one of us kids loved him, but he never had kids. He married later in life, and his wife wasn’t exactly a kid-person. So when his wife’s relative’s daughter left custody with her aunt because her aunt was addicted to crack and abusive, he took her in to live with them.

When she first came to live with him, she was incredibly antisocial, but soon she was gaining a more healthy weight, getting more color in her face, and calling my uncle ‘dad’. It really was like he’d gained a daughter. Then they started having problems. He told my mom about issues he was having with his daughter, and my mom tried to explain to him that she was just a teenager and acting out is what teenagers do.

Then she had a blow-up. They had her taken to the psych ward for help, and while she was there, she accused my uncle of molesting her and raping her every day since he adopted her. This girl has RAD, an emotional disorder that is known for causing people to make false accusations to gain power. Every piece of evidence, everything she has claimed, has been looked into and proven to be untrue. Some of the things she claimed are physically impossible for my uncle to do. Her own diary has a suspicious entry that suggests she was planning to do something bad to my uncle, shortly before she made the claim. The same entry says that my uncle didn’t do anything bad and she didn’t dislike him, she just wanted to go live with her other relatives (the ones that abused her before.)

It’s been a year this week since she accused him. He’s been under house arrest; once they revoked his bond and he was in jail for three days, and the jail nurse nearly killed him by giving him the wrong dosage of medicine. When he was released from jail, the doctor said that a few more hours would have killed him. His neighbors have turned sour toward him, and there are days when he calls my mother in tears.

The charge is false. I have no doubt in my mind that the case will be thrown out. But the worst part of it isn’t even the way that it’s permanently destroyed my uncle’s life, or the way that it completely broke his heart, or the way that it has taken $50,000 SO FAR from a couple that is completely dependent on disability pay to live. The worst part is that this is one more false rape accusation that will further cement the idea into peoples’ minds that false accusations are commonplace.

My heart breaks every time I read a story like this. This type of betrayal is enough to crush someone’s soul. I know exactly what it’s like to care for someone, only to have them viciously turn on you for inexplicable reasons. I wanted to reach out to her and give her uncle my sympathies. But I also wanted to correct her. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is actually a diagnosis reserved for small children. The false accusations would most likely be a result of other personality disorders that commonly develop later in adulthood:

So sorry about your uncle. False accusations should be taken as seriously as rape. It ruins people, their reputation and their lives.

RAD is actually an attachment disorder developed by young children (under 5 yo) in reaction to abuse, neglect or separation. However, as they reach their teen years they may develop other, more severe, personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, or narcissistic personality disorder. False accusations and abusive behaviors are pretty common with all of these disorders. These PDs cause the person to develop an insatiable need for attention (negative or otherwise) and self-destructive tendencies.

These people carry with them a great deal of emotional pain. Pain they have been carrying since their earliest years and they are more than happy to dump this pain onto others… even loved ones. Especially loved ones. Those who are closest to these people are usually easy targets as they are the most vulnerable.

It’s sad because these disordered people are also statistically at greater risk for victimization. Most of these people have a history of abuse that goes back to their early childhood. It then becomes a challenge to sort the lies from the truth. Not only for the people around them, but the disordered people themselves.

I hope your uncle can recover from this betrayal of trust. He sounds like a caring man. He deserved better.

So do women lie about rape? I think the better question is- what kind of woman would lie about rape? I doubt any emotionally healthy woman would ever lie about rape. The stigma incurred far outweighs any possible benefit. But these women have not suffered life-long trauma. They don’t have a long history of crying wolf. They don’t have a desperate need for attention. However, about 3-5% of women do fit this profile. (Coincidentally, this about the same percentage of rape allegations that are found to be untrue.)

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know what kind of woman would lie about rape. You’re already familiar with the evils of untreated BPD and other trauma-related disorders. You’ve witnessed the mind games that borderlines play. You’ve witnessed such people taking great efforts to re-write the truth, to justify their horrid behavior.

Why would a disordered woman lie about rape? There are a myriad of reasons. As the commenter above mentioned, some do it for power and control. Some lie to transfer pain, to stay in denial, to avoid persecution, to avoid shame, etc. They lie to avoid PAIN. Pain that most can only imagine. The kind of pain that these people will do anything to avoid, including destroying another person’s life.

False accusations are pretty common with people in this much pain. Accusations that include accusations of rape, but are not limited to rape. Accusations of infidelity and abuse. Accusations that you’re crazy, not them. Accusations are the primary line of defense for the emotionally troubled. Rarely, are these accusations based on truth or at least the whole truth. If anything, they are projections of their own guilt.

Realize that most of these rape allegations are made by young women. Coincidentally, this is about the same time when lifelong issues turn into full-blown personality disorders. If you think it is normal for teens to act out (behave badly), imagine what is possible when a teen has been exposed to abuse and alcoholism their whole life. If you were to track their history, you would probably find repeated patterns of acting out followed by elaborate efforts to cover up their acts of indiscretion.

Remember these are people who have spent their whole lives convincing others that they are ok. Lies and manipulations have become a survival skill for the emotionally damaged. These are the best actors in the world. They can lie without even breaking a sweat.

False memories and triggered memories are also very common with trauma survivors. And until recently, recovered memories were also common. Fortunately, guidelines have been set up to prevent bad therapists from coaxing memories of events that never happened. All this can complicate the search for the truth.

In some cases, the liar doesn’t even know what the truth is. Or if they do, they have convinced themselves that they are telling the truth. If the borderline is in a dissociative state, it can block the ability to properly store memories. Evidence has shown that borderlines have distorted perceptions when it comes to interpersonal events.

Then, on top of that, you add alcohol and substance abuse. All of which are very familiar to trauma survivors. Black outs and dissociation not only make them easy targets, it makes it hard for them to remember what they did the night before. It makes it hard for others to take their claims seriously. If a person passes out in the middle of sex, can they still call it rape? Some do. When personality disorders are mixed with alcohol it presents questionable circumstances.

Does this mean that all lifelong trauma survivors lie about their rape? No. But the possibility is always there. The only thing we can be certain of is the uncertainty of such claims. The tragic irony is that the possibility of this person being raped is as great as the possibility of that same person lying about rape. It’s a frightening possibility either way.

17 Responses to “Do Women Lie About Rape?”

  1. savorydish said

    I thought you should know that Ms. Magazine has deleted my comments from their article(the one reblogged above).So much for truth in journalism. Or should we call it propaganda? What was I saying about cover ups?

  2. savorydish said

    Do women lie about rape? or do they just cover up the truth? Clearly this Ms Blogger has a personal interest in deleting comments that tell the rest of the story. Is the deletion of certain FACTS technically lying? Or is it a manipulation of the truth?

    By deleting the other side of the story, Ms Mag has done harm to the reputation of feminism and survivors. Censorship says more about those who censor than the material it seeks to censor.

  3. savorydish said

    If you want to know why a woman would lie about rape, ask Ms Magazine why they deleted my comments.

    • savorydish said

      My dear Mtthw,
      When you make an intelligent comment based on FACTS, then we’ll talk about publishing your comments.

      • savorydish said

        As you can see, there was no reason for Ms Magazine to delete my comments. Unlike the ad hom attacks by Tiger Jerkoffs like Mtthw, I was providing facts conveniently left out by the author. Ms Magazine does not want to talk about personality disorders. Why?

      • savorydish said

        Poor Mtthw. Even if I did post his comments I suspect he would still be unhappy. His little jabs are his way of dealing with the pain of truth. Sadly feminist journalists like Shady and my Ex have been engaging in half-truths and manipulations of the truth. Why? To re-write their dark past. Theirs is not a fight for social justice. It’s a fight to clear their conscience and shed their shame.

  4. savorydish said

    To those who want to make this a gender issue, BPD and PTSD affects both men and women. Regardless of sex, it is this 3-5% of the population that seems to create drama, conflict and tragedy wherever they go.

  5. savorydish said

    There’s a reason why tragedy follows a borderline wherever they go. They have been conditioned for drama. In addition, their low self-worth creates self-destructive tendencies.

    Sometime long ago they discovered that evoking sympathy was the best way to ensure they get the attention they so desperately need. It always goes back to this irrational fear of abandonment.

    A rape story is the ultimate victim card. It can be used to explain away all their destructive behavior. It doubles as a “get out of jail free” card. It can be used to fend off intimacy. It can be used to manipulate people, to get what they want. A rape story (in their twisted minds) elevates them to martyr status. It gives them a sense of importance.

  6. savorydish said

    It is absolutely ridiculous for this Ms blogger to say false accusations are not a problem. Lives and reputations are being ruined. That’s a problem. It’s time feminists addressed this as a serious issue. Time to put aside their personal agenda and recognize someone else’s pain and suffering.

  7. savorydish said

    Posted by a feminist and Ms Magazine reader:
    I’ve been an activist feminist since the 70’s. I worked in child protective services for four years and specialized in sex abuse cases. I saw cases where esp. teens made false accusations. This may not happen often but it is a nightmare when it does.
    I wrote on this blog earlier about what happened to my mentally ill son in Baltimore and included a link to show how the girl recanted and the nightmare this caused him and our family. I’m working with feminist groups but also with groups trying to educate the public about the outrageous sex offender laws.
    For some reason, whoever makes the decisions about what gets to be on these comments decided not to put my comments on. I’m 70 years old, a long time Ms.subscriber, a feminist who hates the violence against women but there is another side to this issue. America is a black and white country and black and white thinking is not honest or fair. I hope whoever declined to put my writing on here will reconsider.

  8. savorydish said

    Posted by another feminist and Ms reader:

    Sane women don’t lie about rape. I’m a feminist, strongly support women & err on the side of the person reporting the crime. Last year, a friend of my boyfriend was routinely beaten up, emotionally abused & apologized to by his girlfriend. She was easily 60 pounds lighter (at 110 lbs & 5’3) & a foot shorter. Eventually, she “made up”, took him on a road trip out of state, had crzy sex, called the police & had him booked for rape. He was in federal prison for 2 weeks, despite his protests, no physical evidence & loads of evidence against her for false charges. He got out, but I saw first hand crazy people lie about this shit, and they do it to wreck people’s lives.

  9. savorydish said

    Take a good look at the poster named Amber Dawning.

    This is a woman looking for TROUBLE. She is looking for a fight. If you wanna know what kind of women you should avoid, read her comments. Be very afraid of any women who thinks we live in a “rape culture”. Jesus. Talk about a grim existence. These people are living in a world of hurt, and they are more than happy to dump some of it on you.

    Amber is a woman with a score to settle. Most likely something really bad happened to her a long time ago. But if you think this is where the drama ends, you are failing to see the pattern of chaos. If you’ve been reading this blog you will recognize the behavior.

    She has a degree in Man-Hating from Columbia. A degree that grants her the right to lash out with uncontrolled rage. This is how hate-mongering is legitimized and normalized. She would like you to believe she speaks for all “womyn” but she speaks for herself and her past.

    She fights for the sake of fighting. She has a score to settle. Secretly, she hates being a woman. She probably hates everything about herself. This is how it all begins. Self-hatred is the common link for all troublemakers.

    • savorydish said

      Notice how she says the courts are unfriendly to women. No, the courts are unfriendly to troublemakers. People who have history of creating drama. The 3-5% of the population who are responsible for the bulk of frivolous/wrongful lawsuits. People who are screaming for attention. The courts are wise to their act.

      These are troubled souls. Trouble follows them wherever they go. Remember- victimization is a cycle.

    • savorydish said

      I love how she threatens another poster with legal action, because he suggested that people like her abuse the justice system. When does the irony end? Where have we seen this kind of behavior?

      • savorydish said

        As we have seen time and time again… When you confront an emotionally disturbed person with the truth, they will lash out at you. They want to drag you down to their level. How do they do that? False accusations.

  10. Roman said

    I must say, I’ve read all of your posts along with other web sites during my recovery after my tumultuous break up with my bpdex a year ago. I’ve gone NC since. However, this post, this ONE post struck such a deep cord within me that I must write to you. I’ve asked several friends, people online in forums such as this, and it all seems to be a pattern. Very early on in the relationship, they blatantly drop the R bomb on you, mine told me within a month and half into just meeting her. Along with the whole every guy is horrible and they portray to be the damsel in distress. I recall us having a huge argument (December- For absolutely no reason) in which she said some truly hurtful remarks, I mean those spiteful and hurtful remarks that you feel it deep inside- after the argument she told me “please be patient this is the time when that happened to me”. However, I recall several times before that she stated that it occurred during the summer. So? It does make me think about the validity of it. In addition, am I suppose to just take every hurtful, soul crunching behavior because of something that I didn’t and NEVER WILL DO? On the contrary, I adored, valued, respected her! It’s down right ABUSE. I’m not attacking people with BPD but abuse is abuse no matter what PD a person might have, or what you have gone through in life.
    It’s horrible and anyone who has gone through that my heart goes out to them dearly, there are no words for that. But, like you, I too pose that question. Why throw that word around like nothing? why use it as a form of manipulative behavior? That is to say, well today Savory dish, I’m angry at myself, my life, my parents, friends, work, etc. etc.-so I’m going to take it out on you but please don’t be upset with me when I verbally hurt you please, that happened to me. So in their minds, is it a green light for their behavior? I don’t know. I’ve heard the way she painted me black and my god, calling me the devil would be a step up from what I was made to be by her. My ex is a huge supporter of the Slut Walk. I dunno SD, perhaps it really did occur, perhaps not, but to me at least, It’s not normal for someone to throw that word around so easily and talk about it to people they’re not even that close with about such a personal experience. It’s wrong. Anyway, I do want to thank you for this.

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