Letter to the Editor: Rhys Kuzdas

This response has been written to clarify some essential points of my last letter to the editor. This will be my last one, as it’s inappropriate for one subject to dominate the editorial section of this publication.

It is necessary to answer the academic charge regarding my “lack of citations.” This primarily came from the fact that I followed the 350-word limit regarding editorial submissions, the same one that The Lawrentian’s staff obviously failed to apply to SAASHA & SHARB’s response. So — again — due to space constraints, I suggest readers look at Philip N.S. Rumney’s meta-analysis on the subject in his 2006 article “False Allegations of Rape,” published in the Cambridge Law Journal. The 41 percent statistic, also reviewed, came from Eugene J. Kanin’s study “False Rape Allegations.” Interestingly, Rumney discovered flaws in the methods of many of those studies, but mirrored my argument that it was impossible accurately know what the true percentage is.

Also, their own willingness to concede to the very narrowly defined “5 percent” and “2-8 percent” false accusation statistics in itself invalidates their charge that it is “a myth.” If 19 in 20 individuals put on trial for murder were found guilty, would we then assume that there is a “myth” of false imprisonment for the one in 20? Should we call the up the “Innocence Project” and tell them to stand down? Also, just as it shouldn’t be denied that rapes go underreported, so too it shouldn’t be denied that false accusations go underreported as well. It is ludicrous and, in fact, evidence of a double standard to argue that we include underreporting as evidence for the former while refusing to apply the same for the latter.

This shouldn’t be portrayed as some gender dichotomy of who is more victimized. The point is not for one “side” to “win” over the other, but that injustice be equally recognized; that victims be protected, including those of false accusation; and that we don’t dismiss the problems of a victimized “minority” — whether 5 percent or 41 percent — simply in an overzealous effort protect the victimized “majority.”