One the areas that where the police and the Crown Prosecution Service have both been unequivocal has been prosecuting women who falsely accuse men of raping them.
For those falsely accused men it destroys them and families and also damages the cases of women who have been raped. These recent cases (Nicola Osborne and Jemima Knights) show how this remains the case and remember the government's own report (where it infamously u-turned on anonymity for rape defendants) said 8-10% of allegations were false and 61 women were convicted in 2010 for false allegations and 7 prosecutions failed.
Earlier this month the Crown Prosecution Service launched a consultation on false allegations of rape and domestic violence to ensure that women are not prosecuted when they retracted the allegation based on fear (the cause celebre is where a woman had her sentence for a false allegation rightly quashed).
While the press release and consultation make it clear that there is no intention to water down prosecutions for false accusations, you cannot help but feel this is a fig-leaf for more discrimination against men and boys (just like believers in the positive discrimination clauses of the Equality Act always state that it can mean more male primary school teachers).
It has been clear and clearly identified by the brilliant False Rape Society website who have identified the growing trend from the Guardian and organisations like Women Against Rape complaining about false rape prosecutions because they believe there is no such thing as a false allegation and that no women should ever be prosecuted for false rape allegations. Normally based on the doe-eyed naive view that all women-are-good-all-men-are-bad-no-smoke-without-fire world view attitude.
When do you ever hear organisations supporting raped women attack those women for making false accusations which damages the women these organisations rightly support?
The anti-male feminist tactics are clear on the rape issue. In their first victory when the government u-turned on the anonymity issue, they cited the evil rapist Warboys where because he had been named and pictured when accused, more women came forward. This time, they are using this case in the same way where a woman was being wrongly being prosecuted for a false allegation when there were clear reasons which the CPS should have taken into account. Because of their mistake, they let the whole anti-male feminists brigade to use it as an issue to continually beat them up on it.
The victims of this again will be those men and boys falsely accused of rape.
Firstly, there are strong enough rules and also the application of 'common-sense' and the 'reasonable' test mean that if an allegation is retracted but there are extenuating circumstances like being bullied, then the CPS should be sensible enough not to prosecute. You do not need new rules, just people with brains.
Secondly, by putting pressure on the police and Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute and making it harder to do so, means they will be more reluctant to do so. It is more hassle, the political pressure from on high will mean some cases will now be dropped when they should not be. It is the same when the police automatically arrest the man in domestic abuse cases when both are making accusations (or of course they arrest the man anyway).
Thirdly, there will be less chance of justice for those men and boys who were accused. At least if there name was in the papers, those who had made a false allegations would have their reputations damaged as well and be prosecuted and on occasion jailed. There will be fewer examples of this now.
This will be a further victory for the anti-male feminists on this issue within six months.
First they succeed in stopping men accused of rape from remaining anonymous unless found guilty. Now they have succeeded in making it harder for women who make false allegations to be prosecuted.
The Government says it is consulting but it did so on the anonymity issue and did not take any notice of those wanting anonymity so it won't do now for those groups asking them not to water down existing law and procedures.
Posted by Skimmington
Postscript - The False Rape Society is absolutely brilliant on this subject and please read these posts: