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Trying to Move the Elephant in the Living Room: Responding to the Challenge of False Rape Reports

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 16 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2010 Pages: 1356-1371
Kimberly A. Lonsway
Date Published
December 2010
16 pages
The author examines how educators respond to this challenge of false rape reports.
The issue of false reports can be characterized as "the elephant in the middle of the living room" for the field of sexual violence. In this commentary, the author examines how educators respond to this challenge. The author begins by discussing the "2 percent statistic," which is drawn from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) program. Although it has been used in training presentations for more than two decades, it is time to stop. She then describes some alternative strategies for responding to this challenge, drawing from perpetrator narratives, serial cases, and common sense. Finally, she concludes with a wish list for future tools to help address this issue, including further research. (Published Abstract)