image of man giving owman unwanted attention

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group backed financially by the Koch brothers that “fights for student and faculty rights” — is representing students who say they have been falsely accused of sex crimes or “denied fair treatment under state or college judicial processes” in relation to sex crimes on campus, according to The Record.

The group says the oft-cited figure that one in five one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college has been cited by the Obama administration and in frequent news reports is inflated — however, they have offered no alternative research.

“It’s not a question of whether the university needs to address this,” said Samantha Harris, ­director of policy ­research at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. “It is allowing a moral panic to prevail and preventing clear heads from crafting a so­lution that is fair to everyone involved.”

The one-in-five number comes from a 2007 survey by the National Institute of Justice, a division of the Justice Department.  Other large studies have found similar rates of rape and assault among women and advocates for women say that even if the statistic is inflated, the problem is real and deserves to be taken seriously. Other studies of sexual assault have led to findings that between one-fifth and one-quarter of women were raped during college, and those studies have also faced scrutiny and criticism over their methods and findings.

The Foundation for Individual Rights will be taking up lawsuits on behalf of men who say they have been falsely accused of sexual assault or rape on campus. “We get reports from accused students,” Harris said. “It seems like the pressure to address this effectively leads to abandonment of due process that universities should be offering.”

If taken to court, the lawsuits will mark a new direction for the Koch-funded organization, which typically fights — in court — for “free speech” for the student body and has filed (and won) dozens of lawsuits targeting so-called “free speech zones” on campus.

  • Ratcraft

    May I cite the Brian Banks story? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Banks_(American_football)
    Duke Lacrosse? Rape is about the worse crime one can commit. To falsely accuse someone of this act is one of only a few things worse than rape. To have that stigma, without having committed the crime, is surely just as damaging if not more.

    • Maheni

      What happens when they are proved to be the responsible party? I do think people should have the right to a fair trial but what exactly went wrong the first time around that they need a second opinion?

      • Ratcraft

        What happens when they are proved to be the responsible party?
        You hang them…… simple. Same if you falsely accuse.

        • But you are not talking realistic, legal justice here. We don’t hang anybody in America. If you want lynchings, go to the Taliban or ISIS where they hang bodies to make an example of people.

          In America, we use the justice system – as flawed as that may be, it’s still more fair than other nations. The penalty for rape isn’t death. Neither is the penalty for false accusations.

          Hang them” really is just hyperbole. It’s not a realistic solution and it’s not even anything close to what would happen in the US.

          Why hang them, any way? Why not recommend we prosecute them and jail them?

          It’s kind of like how gun enthusiasts sometimes say that would shoot a man who raped their daugther — as if you could literally just shoot a man for raping your daughter and walk away. It’s much more complicated than that. You would be arrested, tried with murder or manslaughter, etc. So while that’s a solution to rape, it’s not the end of the matter

          If you are seriously going to talk solutions — then talk solutions.

          “Hang them” is just violent rhetoric that doesn’t explore viable solutions. If you hang them — you’ll be in jail, charged with the murder of somebody else, and eligible for the death penalty lol. Just like if you shoot them.

          • Ratcraft

            Charles Campbell. Westley Allen Dodd. Yes we can hang.

            Would you prefer they go thru treatment? Like sex predators? If homosexuals are “born that way” and therapy would never work on them, how can you even remotely explain a treatment for these deviant rapist freaks.

            Fathers do kill their daughters rapists. Just like people defending themselves with guns, the media selectively doesn’t report it.

            http://www.inquisitr.com/935683/father-who-beat-daughters-rapist-to-death-not-charged-in-texas/

            http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/man-calls-daughters-rapist-home-tortures-and-kills-him-say-police/

            Gun enthusiasts don’t say they would shoot their daughters rapist. I myself an avid gun nut would rather use my hands.
            Just different worlds we would like to live in.

          • ShellyStow

            You do understand, don’t you, that the “deviant rapist freaks” are few? The majority of college rapes as well as many others are situations of morning-after regret, situations where too much alcohol was involved, and situations of breaking up and wanting revenge. Rape is a serious crime. Colleges should not be handling it at all. Any rape claim should be made to the police. Rapists should be charged and, if found guilty, punished according to the law. Anything else is belittling the victims of rape and violent assault. A good rule to follow, in my estimation, is that if you don’t think it’s rape when it’s happening, then it probably isn’t.

          • Ratcraft

            I totally agree. That is why I want the false accusers to be punished just as bad as those who commit. I have read 1 in 5 is raped? Really? 1 in 5. maybe 1 in 5 that get drunk black out and start flashing girls gone wild style.

          • ShellyStow

            That one in five figure is coming under strong scrutiny and skepticism. There seems to be little to no evidence supporting it. And for your daughters, Daddy, be sure they understand that stranger rape is a very small portion of the total. True, they are likely to be the most violent, but young women are far, far more likely to be raped by “friends” and acquaintances. And, in keeping with the subject of this article and thread, a survey/study has just come out showing that college women are in actuality at slightly less risk for s*xual assault and rape than their counterparts outside of the academic setting.

          • gotitall

            Did you know that the overwhelming majority of false rape reports actually do not contain an accusation? That is, the false rape reports do not name anyone as the suspected rapist. Extremely few fake rape claims actually name any individual as the perpetrator of the fake rape claim.

            Did you also know that false rape reports are comparable in number to false reports of burglary and vandalism?

            I envy the living frick out of you if your circle of female acquaintances can boast a lower than 20% claim of having been raped/sexually assaulted. Of course, maybe you just don’t know many women. Or the women who for whatever reason must be in your life simply know what kind of “fake-rape guy” you are, so they keep quiet so as not to hear your ignorance on the matter. If you take into account the admittedly very large number of rape victims who never come forward, who will always keep their trauma secret, who will never let openly acknowledge that they were raped, then the number of female rape victims is much, much higher than 1 in 5.

          • gotitall

            >>>A good rule to follow, in my estimation, is that if you don’t think it’s rape when it’s happening, then it probably isn’t.

            UNBELIEVABLY wrong. My wife told me about two separate “encounters” that still make her cry today, wherein “she had sex” with guys who refused to hear her no, no matter how many ways she said it. Their tactics included, You wouldn’t go out of your way to look so good if you didn’t want this, and shhh, the harder you struggle, the longer this is gonna take, so just chill and we can both be done all the quicker“. She went ten years not thinking those were rapes even though she was crying through the unwanted attacks, she was told by the two [separate] guys that she was just hot and they were just doing what young people do, it wasn’t “The R Word”.

            So, she didn’t think it was rape when it was happening, and she still struggles to call those occurrences rape today. Very likely her two rapists merrily raped many more women and girls and also didn’t think it was rape — just girls playing hard to get.

          • I am saying that you literally cannot hang somebody for a violent crime aside from murder. And even that is something decided by a court room.

            So saying it 1000 times doesn’t make it a realistic solution or technically legal. If you want to change the laws to create a death penalty for sex offenders, I wouldn’t mind it but then one day some 18 year old kid has sex with a 16 year old and he’s a sex offender b/c her parents hate him and jsutice would end up miscarried again

            To pretend that we can literally just hang them without consequences is silly. Fathers who kill their daughters rapists are often caught up in the legal system for years. You don’t just take justice into your own hands and walk away from it. Actions have consequences.

            Sometimes people who kill — even in self-defense or defense of family — go to prison.

            So that is technically not my idea of justice.

            The laws say you can’t play judge, jury and executioner.

          • Ratcraft

            I see your point, sure do. I take rape and false accusers serious. it is a heinous crime. As far as an 18 year old and a 16 year old, that is a different matter. The rape I talk of is the violent brutality type. Where it is as much about beating woman up as it is raping. I have 2 daughters and that is my biggest fear for them. They are both well trained and well armed. Daddy buys 9mm pistols for 21st birthdays.

        • Maheni

          I really hope that is a euphemism for something else. Are we really going to back to hanging people? How well did that turn out the last time around? Oh wait, are we going to stone them too?

          • Pedro

            Only if it’s a Muslim nation.

  • ShellyStow

    From the wonderful Emily Yoffe piece: “To stand up for the rights of the accused is not to attack victims or women.”

  • La Cabesa Roja

    The timing of this piece is a bit unfortunate.

    Two days after this piece was published, the Department of Justice released a massive study which conclusively debunked the vaunted “1 in 5” statistic. Even the people behind the 1 in 5 stat have backtracked in recent months. Claiming that it was never meant to be nationally representative.

    I also strongly object to your characterization of FIRE as a “Koch funded” operation. While they have received donations from Koch, you seem to imply that they are a Koch entity. Started with Koch money and controlled by Koch interests. Which is provably untrue. Koch has given some money to FIRE, but they are not responsible for anything close to the majority of FIRE’s funding. Nor do they control the organization. It’s founding members are former ACLU attorneys and I’d characterize them as more libertarian-leaning than strictly conservative. They’ve also taken on more than a few cases for progressive causes. Pro-choice groups censored at christian colleges, for example.