when speaking to men about false accusations

[content note: sexual violence]

I want to preface today’s post with a few things: first, I’m going to be talking about my own personal experiences online and off, and I’m not going to be arguing about absolutes, or saying that what I’ve observed is the way it always is with no exceptions. However, I’ve noticed a pattern, and I think it’s happened often enough that it warrants a post.

Also, I have been the victim of a false accusation. My accuser did not go to the police to file a report; instead, he convinced many people– all of whom I had considered friends– that I was an abuser and a rapist, which made my life hellishly difficult. It was miserable– and one of the worst periods in my life for a variety of reasons; being ostracized by people I had once trusted was excruciating. So I do understand the pain this causes. I’ve been there. It should never happen to anyone, and I understand that.

I also want to make it abundantly clear that I am not talking about those who have been falsely convicted of rape, which is completely and totally different.

All of that being said, I’ve noticed a few things when I’ve talked to men about being “falsely accused.”

The first time I noticed this was a little over a year ago. At that point I was still really new to feminist conversations about rape culture and I was just beginning to familiarize myself with the data, and was sharing what I’d been learning. He brought up how he’d been “falsely accused” of raping a woman he’d been dating for a short time, and I did my best to not minimize what I saw as legitimate pain.

But, the conversation continued, and as he kept talking I realized something: the “false accusation” he felt so victimized by wasn’t actually false. In this particular case she hadn’t actually said he’d raped her, but that he’d assaulted her– and he had, by his own admission to me. He didn’t see it as assault; to him it was a small thing that he described with phrases like “being a little pushy.”

I didn’t have the chutzpah at the time to call him on it, but that conversation stuck with me.

Since then, I’ve noticed that when men bring up their personal experience with “false accusations,” they tend to be exaggerating, or omitting the fact that they’ve been accused of assault, not rape. In those particular cases, when I’ve been able to hear “their side of the story,” so far without exception they actually have assaulted a woman, but they’re such magnificent douchebags that they refuse to even recognize that’s what they’ve done. Instead they go on gigantic screeds about how much they’ve suffered. And, trust me, I know what it’s like to have people think that you’re capable of assault or rape. It’s worse than unpleasant.

However, most of the time, the only consequences these men have suffered is losing access to some of their victim’s friends. Their employment is completely unaffected. Most of the people in their friend groups support them. Their “suffering” is usually limited to not being able to bang a few women who’ve decided they’re a jerk– almost always because they are.

In the cases when they actually have been accused of rape, it’s unusual for their victim to have gone to the police and for them to have been investigated, much less charged with anything. These men—who have not been investigated, charged, tried, or convicted– go on and on about how much their lives have been destroyed and ruined, and I’m left scratching my head because I’ve been through this. I know what it’s like to have most of the people around you believe that you’re a rapist. It’s horrible in a way that few things in my life have been, and I’ve been through some tough shit.

But life-destroying? How about no.

I graduated. I got a job as a graduate assistant. I got a Master’s degree. I’m now happily married to one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. My family supports me. I have a few very good friends. Despite the hundreds of people who still believe I’m a rapist, I have a just-beginning-t0-bud career as a writer and activist. My life, overall, is pretty sweet. It hurts when I think that some of the people I thought were my friend believe me capable of rape, and I would do anything to help an innocent person escape that same burden– but my life is anything but ruined.

What I am not saying is that being falsely accused is something to laugh at or no big deal. However, from personal experience I know that the typical rhetoric surrounding “false accusations” is more than just a little overblown. I have had men look me in the eye and tell me that being falsely accused is worse than being raped, and in my experience that is ridiculously untrue. Even being a convicted rapist doesn’t necessarily result in having their lives destroyed: look no further than Ma’lik Richmond, one of the Stuebenville rapists, who got right back on the football team after serving out his sentence.

It’s also usually played out that these men who are talking about being “falsely accused” of rape actually are rapists. They have a lot of justifications for why what they did wasn’t rape, I’ve found out. There are multiple communities dedicated to convincing men that forcing a woman who is saying “no” isn’t actually rape, it’s just them “asserting their male dominance” and other such bullshit. I’ve had posts and articles mailed to me by MRAs who believe all of that to their core. I’ve talked to people that see no means yes and yes means anal as a legitimate statement. There are so many places online that are filled to the eyeballs-floating-in-shit brim with rape myths– they preach tactics like “those bitches actually do want your cock, you just have to convince them by giving it to them.”

We see these sorts of rape myths played out on a daily basis in our popular culture– Cersei and Jaime Lannister, for example. What many people saw as a “gray area” or “dubious consent” was actually just a rape myth. Cersei said “No” seven times, but Jaime assaulted her into shutting up and then raped her until she gave up being such a bitch and just admitted she actually did want it.

These are the sorts of things the men I’ve talked to who say they’ve been “falsely accused” tend to believe. There are victims of false accusations– I’m one of them. It should never happen to anyone.

However, I have yet to speak to a rapist– not even once– who see that what they did was rape. They are delusional, but they have huge communities backing them up online, telling them all of the things they want to hear. It wasn’t rape– it was rough sex. It wasn’t rape– I just knew that she didn’t actually mean “no.” It wasn’t rape– I just got her drunk enough. It wasn’t rape– she was just unresponsive. It wasn’t rape– she was just crying because she was a virgin.

And on and on it goes.

So, basically, anytime a man says “I’ve been falsely accused,” I give them the side-eye accompanied by a heavy dose of skepticism, because every single rapist who’s been accused is going to say the same exact thing. I believe in the prudence of trusting victims—and I can say that, because I’m in the somewhat unique position of being both a rape victim and being falsely accused. But it’s important to highlight the fact that believing victims comes with the flipside of understanding that rapists will lie.

We can’t afford to take “I’ve been falsely accused” at face value.

edit 11/25/14: For those who are new here, please read my comment policy. I especially do not tolerate rape apologia– and if you make any sort of statement or argument that defends rapists or blames victims or in any way minimizes rape, your comment will not published and you will be immediately banned.

edit 12/9/14: this post has been changed slightly for clarity.

Photo by Marc Smith
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  • A.nonny.mouse

    Several years ago, a guy friend of mine was accused of sexual harassment by a woman we both knew. I ended up talking about both of them to campus authorities because they had both come to me after the event & we had talked separately. I knew the guy better and I knew personally that the woman had made stuff up out of whole cloth & so I was inclined to believe him…until he told me after the campus hearing that oh yeah, what she said happened actually happened for a few seconds but that didn’t count.

    I never spoke to him again.

    And now, if an accused admits to any kind of personal interaction with the accuser, I believe the accuser.

  • This is a very important post and I want to thank you truly for sharing. Very brave, very strong words.

  • Crystal

    I’m sorry to hear you were accused of being a rapist but that’s as far as some big fat liars in this life are willing to go.

    That being said, I wonder why it is that some men want to hurt us so. Don’t you think that a man would naturally feel very gentle and protective of the woman he was in love with? That’s what I always thought made up the psyche of a man who loved a woman – the way of a man with a maid – loving, protecting, caring for her more than his own life. What pleasure can a man get out of hurting a woman? I know if I hurt someone (unless I’m extremely angry with them or hate their guts – but hating is rare as I only hate Nazis and ISIS) then I will be very pained inside and I will – well you get the point.

    • Samantha’s mentioned Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That a few times. I’d suggest getting it from the library and reading it–it’s worth it–and, as you might imagine from the title, what an abusive man gets from abusing his partner is something Bancroft goes into in some detail. In brief, the abuser gains a lot, from “not having to do anything around the house that he doesn’t want to” to “sex whenever and however he wants it” to “having his every desire catered to constantly by a woman who’s terrified to risk him being unhappy.” If one accepts the premise “women exist to serve me,” suddenly being an abuser is the only rational approach. (He loses real intimacy in the relationship, of course–but he probably didn’t expect or want that from a relationship with a woman anyway.)

      • Crystal

        I’ve never heard of Lundy Bancroft’s book. I will see what I can do about reading it. And do you think it’s a good strategy for the police to test the accuser’s DNA instead of dismissing their testimony? I do. As it stands 99.9% the accuser WILL be telling the truth and the rapist can be punished.

        • I don’t know if you’re addressing me or everyone here.

          If it’s me, my answer is that I don’t know enough about how reliable DNA testing is to know whether mandatorially relying on it would be a good idea or a really bad idea.

        • Bri

          Absolutely not. Demanding a DNA sample from the accuser would be a tremendous violation of their rights. Victims already face horrific treatment from the police when reporting sexual assault. Besides, if they did find DNA evidence of sexual contact, the police and the attacker could all just claim that it was consensual. DNA can’t prove a lack of consent. The only way it could prove anything is if the victim were incapable of consenting.

          • Crystal

            Bother. It’s my ignorance again – I am not being sarcastic when I say that. Do you think that instead that the victim should be just believed? That makes sense to me. I have a few more questions but I think they can wait until everyone else has finished with what I’ve said so far as I want to be sensitive to the fact I am writing on a rape victim’s web-log and I DON’T want to be the cause of panic attacks for her.

          • I think what’s necessary, huge as it is, is to fundamentally change the cultural narrative: Make it that the default association for “rapist” is “clean-cut, charming young man who knew and was probably dating his victim,” rather than “dirty trenchcoat-wearing stranger who never did anything in his life that wasn’t a felony and dragged her into the bushes at midnight.” Reject the idea that the victim’s prior sexual history means anything whenever it’s brought up. Not let people who think women lie by default because they’re women have any say in shaping public policies. Make everyone know, whether or not they like, that nonconsensual sex and rape are one and the same and there are no grey areas there.

          • Crystal

            I have a humble request – that people write on all of the string of remarks related to the subject, not just the first one, and they’ll get the full gist of what I’m saying, if that’s okay with everyone.

            And as for what you say, Beroli – I totally applaud you and give you internet hugs. Good definition. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

          • The thing that DNA can in fact do is rule out a false (or more likely mistaken) identification. I don’t have data, but my “back of the hand calculation” is that most – and certainly the best known – cases where accusations were proven to be false occurred in “stranger rape” cases. Typically, a woman would be raped by an African American, but would identify the wrong man. (Hey, they all look alike, right. Sarcasm font. I don’t agree with that, of course.) Eyewitness identifications of strangers are notoriously unreliable. DNA in that case can in fact rule out a person arrested by mistake, which is a good thing. As the Kobe Bryant case illustrates, however, it is of no use when both parties agree that there was sexual contact. It can’t determine consent. On the other hand, I don’t see the downside for the victim. If she is accusing him, surely she is asserting that there was sexual contact, and the presence of DNA would at least corroborate that it was him. But obviously, it doesn’t prove consent or a lack.

          • If she *wants* to give a sample, that’s one thing. But compelling one would be wrong.

          • Crystal

            That makes sense about being compelled because it’s an invasion and intrusion on her privacy. How would you respond if some people said that refusal to take a DNA test proved that she was guilty of a false accusation? My answer would be that she wanted to preserve her privacy, but I’m curious as to your line of reasoning on how you would handle such an accusation – if you wouldn’t mind answering the question, that is.

      • Crystal

        And I think the accused person’s DNA should be tested too. I think a rape victim’s testimony should be TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY. However, if there is any disagreement with testing the DNA I am open to correction on the point.

      • Crystal

        Also, if I’ve said anything in my remarks that shows ignorance of a person’s situation, doubt of a testimony, or anything else of that character (or if I am engaging in any offensive behaviour on the web-log), I am also open to correction on these points – so please feel free to correct me.

  • Monica

    I read this article by a man who was falsely accused by his ex-girlfriend. You can take this with as much salt as you want, but it sounds like he was in the same position as Samantha.

    • I don’t know this person and haven’t shown to him, so I’m not going to make a judgment here, but I think this does illustrate my point.

      He tries to build this case about how everyone was against him … Except the Rhodes Scholar committee, and the judge, and … He’s gone on to have a pretty amazing life by the sound of it.

      He also does some things that aren’t cool:

      You shouldn’t believe her because it took her a whole TWO YEARS to say anything. As if “real” rape victims come forward right a way … which they can, but usually don’t.

      You shouldn’t believe her because she’s had so many boyfriends and she said they’d ALL hurt her in some way — implying that she’s a little “loose” and that it would just be impossible for a woman to date more than one abuser, right?

      Focusing on her stalkery behavior and the threats would have been enough, but he went out of his way to paint her as a liar using a few rape myths to do it.

      • Kathleen Schwab

        Could you explain how he ‘went out of his way to paint her as a liar using a few rape myths to do it’? I feel dumb asking, and once you explain it will probably look obvious. But I don’t understand and I would like to.

        • Stephanie Gertsch

          Read Samantha’s comment above. She lists several clear examples.

          Also, Google is your friend.

  • Nine

    A question: how does changing the narrative to side by default with the victim reconcile with the concept of innocent until proven guilty? I realize that this concept is a legal fiction, but I have always considered it a necessary one. I also realize, however, that it is a contributing factor in making rape the most under-reported crime. It is a shield that a rapist can hide behind, knowing his crime is difficult to prove to a legal standard… But it is also a shield for people at risk of persecution by legal authorities.

    The statistics and the stories of millions of women prove that both the law and the culture are set against victims of rape. Can this paradigm be altered without weakening the rights of the criminally accused to have their guilt indisputably proven in a court of law?

    • “Innocent until proven guilty” is a vital legal concept. That is, no one should be officially punished for a crime without compelling evidence of guilt.

      That’s different from saying private individuals are obligated to, or should, assume anyone who is accused of a crime is innocent unless they see proof. And in the specific case of someone accusing someone else of rape, there is no question of innocence: Someone is guilty, either of rape or making a false accusation. Assuming the accused person is innocent is ipso facto assuming the accuser is guilty. That being the case, it’s particularly ironic that the application of “innocent until proven guilty” to private judgments seems only to get brought up for rape cases; I’ve never heard of anyone saying, “You say you were mugged? I’m gonna need to hear the alleged mugger’s side. You say your car was stolen? Ah, but what does the person you’re calling a thief say?”

    • Innocent until proven guilty is a legal procedure, not necessarily a moral requirement.

      Our legal system has a few assumptions– that the burden of proof is on the prosecution, that the court favors the defendant, etc. Those things shouldn’t be changed.

      However, supporting a victim has no effect on that unless you’re the actual jury.

      • Nine

        I suppose that’s true. I also didn’t think about your last sentence… The point is to support and validate the victim. My paranoia-prone mind immediately jumped to vigilantism, but nobody was saying that.

        I think it’s problematic to use social pressure against people with whom the legal system has no issue… That’s the kind of thing we see in fundamentalism, isn’t it? No, it’s not illegal to wear short skirts, or to dress in a manner that doesn’t “conform to your gender”, but we’ll punish you for it anyway! That’s where my mind goes. I’m not a rape victim, though, and have never been disbelieved about something so terrible.

        Giving this discussion the context of supporting the victim rather than punishing the accused helps me understand better, thank you.

        • I think it’s problematic to use social pressure against people with whom the legal system has no issue… That’s the kind of thing we see in fundamentalism, isn’t it?

          Rather, that’s the kind of thing everyone does. If I (just for an example) deliberately exclude from friendship someone because s/he has only one word for black people and it begins with the letter N, that’s “using social pressure against people with whom the legal system has no issue.” The problem with fundamentalist judgments is that they’re not based on valid morals, not that they have moral standards that don’t start and stop at “it’s wrong if you get arrested for it.”

          • Nine

            That’s very true. I tend to take ideas to their worst-case-scenario extremes, so I often miss the obvious, sensible applications.

      • MaryGarth

        “So, basically, anytime a man says “I’ve been falsely accused,” I give them the side-eye accompanied by a heavy dose of skepticism, because every single rapist who’s been accused is going to say the same exact thing.”

        I believe that you were innocent in your situation because you were not proven guilty, and since I’m not on your jury, I will support your alleged victim as well. Sounds like he went through some tough stuff and deserves the same respect as any other alleged victim. Oh, wait…damn, it’s so complicated, isn’t it?

        • Complicated, absolutely. The fact that I’ve been on the receiving end of “SHE RAPED ME!!1!” means that I can’t unequivocally say always believe the victim. I don’t blame the people who decided to believe him. It hurt, and it made my life a complete and total living hell, but I don’t blame them.

          However, I think one should lean toward believing the victim because false accusations are so incredibly rare– and my personal experience has consistently shown that even the people saying they’ve been falsely accused will openly admit to assault and rape when questioned.

  • Tim

    I appreciate the way you’ve couched your comments on this topic, by both pointing out that there are false accusations and that they are a bad thing (as you can attest) and also that you’re discussing the topic from the perspective of your personal and on-line interaction with people who say they’ve been falsely accused. I can appreciate what you’re saying as being reflective of your personal experience.

    As I’ve thought back over my own experience, with close friends and relatives, I know eight women and five men who have suffered sexual abuse or rape and have told me about it, or reported it. Four of them – one man and three women – were raped. Another man was manipulated into performing oral sex on his therapist, and I don’t think legally that’s rape, but it is criminal and pretty severe sexual abuse (he actually attempted suicide the next year because of the depression he suffered in the aftermath of that event.) In most cases it was less severe sexual abuse. In at least four cases the victim was abused by more than one perpetrator. In none of those cases did I have any reason to doubt the accuser. In every one of those cases when the abuse was on-going when I learned about it, our families and communities supported the accuser. But in the case of the man who was raped, I’m sorry to say that he was initially not believed. He was raped, starting when he was 12, by a trusted uncle who was a father-figure to him since his own father had abandoned his family and when he tried to tell his mom about the uncle, he was beaten. I’ve never met anyone yet in real life or on-line who has told a story of being falsely accused. There was only one case where a woman (who really had been sexually abused, but not by the person she accused) later admitted that she had falsely accused someone of rape. In all the other cases, I think the accusations were true. In only three cases were the perpetrators actually charged. In all of those cases they were convicted and served time. One of the cases of rape sounds very similar to your account; not quite as severe as yours. The young woman was raped by her fiance. She didn’t detest having sex with him, but she had wanted to hold off on sex till they got married, and he kept pressuring her and not listening to her no. Now she’s married to him, and he is abusive in many other ways and it’s a pretty miserable situation, but she’s not ready to divorce him for a variety of reasons.

    I don’t know how I would respond to someone protesting that they had been falsely accused. I guess it would depend on the circumstances.

    In broader terms of public policy, I think there are some issues with the way society as a whole deals with accusations, and I thought this Slate article on the topic was good: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/09/false_rape_accusations_why_must_be_pretend_they_never_happen.html

  • Gonzo

    “These men go on and on about how much their lives have been destroyed and ruined, and I’m left scratching my head because I’ve been through this. I know what it’s like to have most of the people around you believe that you’re a rapist. It’s horrible in a way that few things in my life have been, and I’ve been through some tough shit.
    But life-destroying? How about no.”
    Well, you did say yourself that your accuser never went to the authorities. So yeah, it was merely unpleasant for you, Samantha. I knew a man who went through the entire legal gamut related to a false accusation. It royally screwed up his life. He was ultimately found innocent, but the financial damage that this “lying little slut” (judge’s words to her at the trial) put him through derailed his education and put his life on hold for well over a year.

    • I did make it ABSOLUTELY clear that I wasn’t talking about this sort of situation.

  • Gonzo

    And if you think that taking an unwanted penis in your ass or vagina is worse than spending 5 to 10 years in jail when you’re innocent… then I have no words for you.

  • Gonzo

    “I did make it ABSOLUTELY clear that I wasn’t talking about this sort of situation.”
    What sort of situation were you talking about? Where a significant other tells friends and family that you raped them? No, you didn’t make this clear. You wrote this entire article to belittle false accusations, and you know it.

    • You’re hilariously wrong, especially since the bit you quoted was IMMEDIATELY preceeded by this:

      “(I haven’t personally spoken with a man who was formally charged and convicted, so please be aware that’s not what I’m talking about)”

    • And obviously you haven’t read my comment policy. Your last comment will remain unpublished because it contains rape apologia and you are now banned.

  • Abby Normal

    Just as an aside, this weekend I finally watched “An American In Paris”.

    Anyone ever notice how jacked-up the plot is? Gene Kelly’s character is pretty much a stalker in that movie! He meets Leslie Caron by butting in to dance when she clearly says she doesn’t want to. He weasels her phone number out of the guy she’s with so he can call her and then find out where she works (which she, again, very clearly tells him not to do.) Of course, since this is a musical and the stalker is Gene Kelly, everything works out okay.

    Kinda messed up when you think about all the guys out there that think that this is how you’re supposed to get the girl.

    • Tim

      Do a search on “nerd stalking trope” or “stalking is love trope”. This is all over the place in TV and movies. Sometimes guys consuming the media actually think it reflects reality and do from just crazy to actually criminal things. It is a stumper.

    • Pam

      I watched Rocky Horror for the first time a few months back and have to admit I was a bit skeeved by the rapeyness of it. I don’t think it’s something I would have noticed or thought about even a few years back. I guess it’s good to start noticing these things, but it’s also disturbing how much rapey or stalkery behaviour is shown as normal or romantic or sexy in all forms of media.

  • I used to teach law in high school and am currently a legal assistant. Pardon the lecture.

    It’s important common law sides with the accused. The accuser is required to offer proof be it individual or state. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted, but it does damage a person’s reputation and follows them the rest of their lives. When it is one word against another tie goes to the accused, even if there is DNA evidence, cuts, bruises, etc. It isn’t meant to be fair, common law is purposely biased in favor of the accused. In rape and sexual harassment the victim is at the disadvantage for this reason, but there is also something called preponderance of evidence. In the Exodus and Leviticus two witnesses or accusers outweigh the accused. If another woman or multiple women come forward with the same charge things change in the favor of the victims. This is why it is important women come forward, even if they are not believed, but when the next one or the tenth one the possibility of a conviction or civil suit ruling in your favor improve. A serial rapist can get away with it for a long time and damage innumerable women if no one accuses him.
    (This applies to all rape and sexual assault, but men are the predominate predators and women are the most violated)
    Public opinion is different, that’s why Samantha could be falsely accused by her real rapist and he could get away with it. She is a remarkable young woman to have weathered the blind eye of authority and the scorn of her peers only to come out wiser and able to build a loving and lasting relationship. More voices like hers need to be heard and heeded.
    It is heartening this weekend for University of Virginia to suspend all fraternities and sororities for a whole month and that women on the campus are protesting the whitewashing of rapes and assaults. Not all of them take place in frat houses, but if more who are abused stand up and say: “No more.” Maybe the risk will outweigh the rewards for this crime.

    • Tim

      Patrick, I appreciate your discussion of why English common law sides with the accused vice the accuser, and the idea that it’s important to make a report, even if you know, going in, that there’s a great chance there will be no investigation because the detective or prosecutor looks at the facts and says, well there’s no chance we’ll get a conviction on this, so let’s use our limited resources on something else. I’ve found that in some jurisdictions, detectives will pursue a case even when there’s little evidence beyond the victim’s word because of the chance that in an interview the perpetrator will provide good evidence against himself. This often happens because of what Samantha talks about in the article above – even though the typically male perpetrator doesn’t see himself as having committed sexual assault or rape, when he describes the situation to a detective, he may unwittingly, while trying to defend himself, describe himself as having committed acts that meet the legal definition.

      Perhaps because I’ve only been following this blog for a few months I had not previously understood that Samantha’s rapist/fiance was the one who accused her of rape. And people believed him? That seems crazy to me. How does that even work? It would seem to me that for a woman to be credibly accused of rape, her victim would have to be underage and incapable of consent for that reason, in a position of substantially less power (i.e. female boss coerces male or female employee, or perhaps blackmail), or unable to give consent because of incapacitation. Right? How else does a big strong man say that a substantially smaller woman forced him to engage in a sex act with her? And people find it credible? I’m honestly just confused.

  • Tim, as am I. You would think a big man on campus planning on being a preacher would be afraid to admit he was raped by a woman.

    • Margaret N

      From what Samantha has shared, this was a long term relationship – a couple of years or so? As the courtship progressed, her fiance increasingly isolated her from her friends – insisting she spend time with him. When the relationship ended, he put his own spin on “what happened” and told their remaining friends that she would lie about it. I don’t know what he said, but in the rigid fundamentalist environment they were in, it wouldn’t take much to discredit her. I don’t think the size of the people involved has any relevance on the question of “who did what to who.” She wasn’t talking – he was.
      It took a long time (years) for her to process what really happened. At the time, no one was asking, and i don’t think she could have told them if they did.

      • Tim

        Thanks. That’s understandable. I’m curious about what kind of asshole spin he put on the story in the same way that it’s hard to look away from a train wreck. But I know it would just make me mad and apalled to know the details, and I can only imagine how painful it would be to repeat the lies. Enough said.

  • Thank you for making it clear what sexual abuse it. I am angry and sad that so many men don’t seem to understand that violence/force is never acceptable.