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To the Person Who Lied About Sexual Assault Accusations

First of all, to any victim of sexual assault: you are not to blame for what happened to you. Unfortunately, rape and assault still exist in our society. Please do not hesitate, and do not be afraid to report your sexual assault. This is an extremely serious matter, and those who commit these acts deserve to be held accountable for their actions. You are not alone in this, and should not be afraid to speak out again someone who assaulted you. However, accusations as serious as those of sexual assault should never be fabricated to be used as revenge or to get back at someone. 

For the past few years, the world has taken sexual assault and domestic violence much more seriously than it has in the past. Documentaries such as “The Hunting Ground,” initiatives such as “It’s On Us” and “Put the Nail in it,” and support from political leaders, like Joe Biden, have successfully drawn attention to the nature of abuse.

And you just significantly damaged those movements.

Filing a false report, falsely accusing someone of domestic violence or rape, or whatever it may be, is plain wrong. It delegitimizes the ground that society has covered in increasing awareness and prevention about these sensitive topics. It fuels the fire of those who criticize the anti-domestic violence and anti-rape campaigns, and gives them leverage. Your false accusation causes the campus officials, law enforcement officials, and others, to validate turning a blind eye to rape culture.

And this supports the abusers. That’s right, the abusers. Abusers’ usual tactic is to claim that the victims are liars…and now you have given them the support they needed. What’s even worse, is that you have hurt the victims. The victims who have actually been bruised, beaten, and sexually assaulted. The victims who wear sunglasses to cover up their black eyes, and suffer from regular night terrors. You cared more about yourself and your revenge, than the damage you caused to people who actually experience this abuse as part of their reality.

Aside from all this, you have irreparably damaged the individual you accused.

You might have been angry, and in a moment of angry disregard, you filed your false claim. But then you forgot about it, ate some chocolate, watched Gilmore Girls, and moved on. While you might have been able to move on, the person you accused in that moment cannot. What you don’t realize is that one moment of anger potentially creates a lifetime of pain for the person you accused.

Not only do you damage the person’s record, but you damage their career and job prospects, the relationships that person has, their reputation, etc. Your moment of malice and vindictiveness follows them wherever they go. In one fell swoop you could erase the years of training, preparing, and studying that person endured…and you don’t care. They may know that they are completely innocent, but how can society easily believe them?

Bottom line: how could you do it?

How could you lie as if it was nothing? How could you claim that they hit you, abused you, slammed you against walls, and pinned you down as you tried to resist? How could you fabricate that when you know to your very core that they have never, and would never, do anything like that?

There are so many abusive people in this world, but there are so many that are good. You hurt an innocent person, and took advantage of a sensitive movement to do it.

I hope that one day you realize the effects your selfishness can have. I hope you realize that you not only hurt countless others, but you hurt yourself as well. Most importantly, I hope you learn from your mistakes and make amends for the damage you have done.

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