Let’s look at the rape statistics for false accusations because it seems that every time a high profile man is accused of rape or any other kind of sexual assault, the people who support him claim women are always malevolently crying rape.

And, before anybody chimes in, yes, of COURSE men can also be victims of rape—only too often—but they’re very rarely accused of fabricating their accusation, unlike females.

Also, as the widely reported Duke lacrosse players scandal and the truly awful Brian Banks case—which resulted in the footballer serving five years in jail before exoneration—prove, there are definitely times when false rape accusations are made.

However, the #HimToo movement claims men are constantly being falsely charged with sexual assault, warning:

Mothers of sons should be scared. It is terrifying that at any time, any girl can make up any story about any boy that can neither be proved or disproved, and ruin any boy’s life.

So, what’s the truth? What are the actual rape statistics for false accusations? What does the data say?

Data behind rape statistics for false accusations 

The data varies from country to country, and also depends on the source. In addition, there’s the definition of what’s deemed rape and what’s viewed as sexual assault. 

The European Union’s sex crimes definition is:

  • Rape is sexual penetration, whether vaginal, anal or oral, through the use of object or body parts, without consent, using force, coercion or by taking advantage of the vulnerability of the victim.
  • Sexual assault means an unwanted sexual act — except rape — as a result of physical force, threat, coercion, intimidation, deception, drugs/alcohol, or abuse of vulnerability.

The USA finally updated their sex crimes definition in 2012, for the first time since 1927, when “forcible rape” had been listed simply as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will”. It now determines:

  • Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
  • Sexual assault means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.

For the purpose of this post, we’re combining the two under the umbrella of “sexual assault”—because that’s how the vast majority of data is presented.

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Also, we’re focusing solely on Europe and the US (because my Spanglish is too bad to include Latin America, and I’m not savvy enough to assess the validity of assault stats from elsewhere).

Rape statistics for false accusations —the numbers

Donald Trump jumped on the #HimToo bandwagon and immediately politicized the issue after Christine Blasey Ford and others accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of past sexual assault and misconduct.

“It is a very scary time for young men in America,” Trump claimed. “It’s a very scary situation where you’re guilty until proven innocent. You could be somebody that was perfect your entire life, and somebody could accuse you of something.”

In reality, it’s really NOT a “scary time” at all, as long as men don’t force themselves on others—in fact, despite Trump’s fear-mongering, the percentage of men falsely charged with sexual assault is actually low.

In Great Britain, only 4% of sexual assault cases are deemed to be false reports, according to research carried out by the Home Office. When it comes to Europe as a whole, studies set the rate at between 2-6%.

In the U.S., between 2 – 10 % of sexual assault reports are determined to be false, according to The National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The FBI backs up the data, claiming 8% of accusations turn out to be “unfounded”.

What’s the TRUE true number though?

Going by the reports from Europe and the States, 2-10 % of accused are falsely charged with sexual assault—however, the rape statistics for false accusations don’t actually paint a complete picture.

“Research shows that rates of false reporting are frequently inflated, in part because of inconsistent definitions and protocols,” according to the NSVRC.

“Some law enforcement agencies might label a rape claim as ‘false’ just because there’s not enough corroborating evidence to prosecute. Those cases would be more accurately described as ‘baseless’ rather than ‘false’.

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“It does not mean that some form of sexual assault may not have occurred, but only that from the legal perspective … the case does not meet the legal criteria, or it is ‘baseless.'” 

Rape statistics quote

Which, ultimately, results in an over-inflated number of sexual assault accusations being labeled as “fake”, adding fuel to the #HimToo movement. 

There’s a major difference between not being able to prove in court that a sexual assault has happened, and in writing the accusation off as “false”.

Heavy focus on false accusations 

According to a UK government report, the rate for false accusations of sexual assault is equal to that of all other crimes.

However, victims of burglary or pickpocketing or physical assault or car theft aren’t routinely treated with suspicion or subjected to doubt as women oftentimes are when they report a sexual assault.

Not to mention, other alleged crime victims rarely become a target for the President of the United States, and threatened with a lawsuit via Twitter, like Christine Blasey Ford was back in September 2019.


Given the fact it’s estimated only 35% of sexual assaults are even reported to authorities, it’s not like rape is a rare occurrence.

So why is there such a heavy focus on the rape statistics for false accusations?

Shut up and put up

Well, one way to allow “boys” to continue just “being boys” is to make sure women shut up and put up.

Just about every woman I know has been subjected to some form of sexual harassment—from a crafty little pinch on the bum, to date rape, to roofie rape, to full-on violent sexual assault rape. I have myself. And, just like the 75% of other women who don’t report sexual assaults, neither did I.

Rape protest signs

Without any doubt, even just one false rape accusation is too many, it can wreak absolute havoc and completely ruin a man’s life. It’s wrong and it’s awful, period.

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Sensationalizing and misreporting the issue is equally as wrong though, in addition to being downright dangerous.

The fake rape claims narrative only adds further to victims’ already unwilling desire to report sexual assaults and allows violators to escape justice. 

Maybe you’re a woman-hating Incel, maybe you don’t care—fuck them all! 

But, you’d care if it was your mom, or grandma, or sister, or aunt, or daughter who was sexually assaulted. Then you’d care…..probably…..maybe.

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1 Comment

  • Zachariah McNaughton, September 17, 2020 @ 11:57 am Reply

    You have no data on false rape accusations since 2011.

    Lisak found that 2-11% of rape accusations taken to the police were PROVEN false to a high standard of evidence. However, Lisak would NOT count the Duke Lacrosse incident as a false rape accusation.

    What that tell us is that AT LEAST 2-11% of rape accusations are false. That is the minimum.

    And that data is nearly ten years old, well before a global social movement in which we have told women ahead of time that they will be “believed” and demonstrated that there is almost never any consequences for lying about rape.

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