To tell us that actually, you know, maybe the rape rate is rising?
I’m just not convinced that we can go on explaining the entire rise in rape reports by saying that victims are more likely to make a complaint. The possibility of an actual increase is starting to be discussed among senior police officers, prosecutors and organisations that work with victims, and there are a number of factors that might explain it. After all, it isn’t just victims who read angry articles by campaigners about how easy it is to get away with rape.
It’s an interesting thought isn’t it? Because it would mean, if true, that absolutely everything we’ve been doing about rape, all those consent classes and so on, has been wrong. As in achieving what we didn’t want, a rise in the number of rapes.
I look forward to the mea culpas on this point.
If you think victims are treated more sympathetically by the media these days, I suggest you read reports of rape trials in the Daily Mail. The paper regularly splashes on stories about men who have been found not guilty, going into prurient detail about the accuser’s “past” – it recently described one young woman as having “an extraordinary sexual appetite” – and failing to acknowledge that false accusations are rare.
Actually, the false accusation rate seems to be about the same as a successful conviction rate.