One of the howls that has emerged from the #MeToo stories and the ongoing breaking news about accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, abuse, and rape in multiple industries is the objection to those who say we should believe women when they come forward.
“But what about the women who falsely accuse men?” is the inevitable reaction, regardless of how many statistics from multiple countries on the low rate of false reports are cited. I am pretty sure this will always be a knee-jerk reaction to the notion of believing women.
Would the howls stop if we said instead that when a woman comes forward with an accusation that she is taken seriously? Can we please at least get to that point?
This is not about denigrating the vital legal principle of innocence until proven guilty. However, it is about treating women with respect when they come forward to report something that is incredibly serious.
Because there is no other crime where the accuser, the alleged victim, is not taken seriously.