I actually don’t know any cases of people falsely accused of rape. I mean, I know they exist, but I’ve never seen it happen.
I don’t think there is some magic number. I think it’s impossible to even wrap my head around because we live in a world where somewhere between 25 and 60% of women get raped. Like, the only reason I haven’t been raped is because I’m lucky. It’s commonplace.
I also don’t think there’s a blanket answer because we haven’t defined what it actually means to treat someone as guilty. I’m not suggesting that we incarcerate everyone who is accused of rape. I’m suggesting that we do things like limit access.
Here’s an example, and the entire reason this came up. A local food delivery company hired back a man who was accused of rape. They were sending this person to people’s home addresses in the course of his job. I think it is reasonable that if someone has been accused of rape by more than one person, that the owners of that company should not be handing him people’s home addresses.
Yes, it means he’d have to find another job. He can do that. It’s not going to take his life away from him. It’s not like he’s going to be locked up. I’m not suggesting we put a GPS tracker on him or whatever. I’m suggesting that because the likelihood that an accusation is true is so high, we should treat it as if it is true in order to protect people.
If you live in Australia and two kids come up to you and one says, I saw a kangaroo! And the other says, I saw a giraffe! Which one are you going to believe? The kangaroo one. Because it’s not impossible you’d see a giraffe in Australia, but it’s super unlikely.
By ignoring the data and acting like accusations of rape are “rumors” or “hearsay” or “just something some female is saying” or “a slippery slope,” we are giving more weight to the person accused than the person who has had a crime committed against them.