Originally posted on October 21, 2011
I imagine this survey will either anger feminists or feminists will completely ignore it:
One in 10 adults has been falsely accused of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault, according to a survey conducted by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE). The survey also found a strong disparity between the number of males and females falsely accused: more than three quarters of all false accusations are levied against men. Nearly seven in 10 false accusers are female.
The survey is the first of its kind to be undertaken, and uncovers distressing trends within the American abuse-reduction system.
Child abuse is the commonest false charge — about twice as many people have been falsely accused of child abuse as of domestic violence or sexual assault. In over one quarter of cases, the false allegations were made in a child custody case.
SAVE lists the results on its website:
- One in six of the respondents personally knew someone who has been falsely accused of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault
- About twice as many persons have been falsely accused of child abuse as domestic violence or sexual abuse
- Three-quarters of the falsely accused persons were male
- Nearly seven in 10 of the accusers were female
- In over a quarter of the cases, the accusation was made as part of a child custody dispute
- Nearly one in 10 – 9.7% — of respondents said they themselves had been falsely accused of abuse
While the survey is not necessarily representative of the general population, it does show that false accusations are not as rare as some people believe. Unfortunately, the survey does not report how many of these cases involved arrests or charges, nor does it go into why the accusations were made. The information would go a long way in helping people to understand this problem.
Nevertheless, the survey’s results do justify the concern some groups have about false accusations, and should prompt people to take those concerns more seriously rather than mocking them.