It’s not a pleasant thing to consider, but as experts like Strange Law, divorce lawyer in Oklahoma City, point out, there’s a real possibility of being falsely accused of sexual violence, and it can place an incredible strain on your personal relationships. Here’s what you should know about the far-reaching effects of false sexual assault allegations.
False Accusations and Their Effects
First, it’s important to lay out exactly what is meant by a false rape allegation, and, in addition, how prevalent such false allegations are before discussing their effects. The definition used by Psychology Today covers the following potential situations:
- Reports of forced sexual contact that are completely fabricated (did not happen at all)
- Reports of forced sexual contact that, in actuality, were consensual
- Reports of forced sexual contact attributed to one individual when the accuser knows full well the true perpetrator was another individual
As for how often such scenarios occur, that depends on which source you turn to. Some researchers argue that false claims are overestimated and that sexual violence is actually heavily underreported. Furthermore, those arguing this position contend that the very rare instances of false reports are caused by varying degrees of mental illness (as opposed to motivations such as revenge or jealousy). Conversely, though, some put the number of false claims higher, arguing that the rates are much higher than most would expect.
Writing for Forbes, Karlyn Borysenko acknowledged both the severity of real instances of sexual violence while pointing out that even on the lower end, the number of individuals who were falsely accused in 2019 alone had to be at least 150 (going by EEOC data).
Regardless, the fact remains that false accusations of sexual violence do happen, and even if rare, the effects can be quite serious. False claims can impact the psychological health of the accused. They might cause irreparable harm to a reputation, and, in some cases, as most LA sex crimes attorneys might tell you, they can land individuals in jail.
False claims might leave you feeling confused, angered, or even completely powerless over the situation. Your relationships, as a consequence, can become strained, and some might even become eroded to the point where you are incapable of repairing them.
You might feel uneasy about forging new relationships, and could even enter a state of withdrawal from life and activities altogether. Be that as it may, it’s important to carefully consider how you respond to false allegations, and keep your wits about you so that you can work through what is undoubtedly a trying time in your life.