Rape Allegations – what surveys say

The question of rape anonymity for defendants is doggedly and persistently opposed by women MPs convinced that it will harm the prosecution chances of the person arrested.

But is that what we want ? Wouldn’t we rather convict the right person ?

Women MPs and female lobby groups fail to see the distinction between an arrested person and a guilty person. To them the person arrested is the guilty party and thus there is only one category.

Mention ‘false allegation’ to this female company and it will induce an  apoplectic fit. They will,  in calmer moments, concede that there are “about 2%” of reported rapes which are false.

In fact, no one knows for certain as no one has done the research on a large enough scale – and no one does the research because it is so politically sensitive, it would probably end their academic career.

But we are not entirely without data and the data we have – spread over 2 decades – is pretty consistent even though political meddling (in the form of Home Office harassment and HO Circulars sent to both the police and CPS) has attempted to pervert outcomes and bias comparisons.

What is a false allegation ?

It could be defined as an allegation of rape made to the police which, in actuality, did not happen.

If the rape did not happen how are the police to know this ? They could test for DNA, they could arrest the person identified and check his or her alibi, or, of course, the person making the accusation could ‘own up’ to making it all up, ie confess. Women were are always reprimanded would never lie or make up an alleation of rape if it weren’t true.

Fortunately, the Home Office has already collected pilot research data on women who confess to making it all up. In governmental research it’s listed under the heading where “the complainant retracts completely and admits to fabrication.” Nor is the public fooled’ it reads almost monthly of one false rape allegation after another.

Britain has currently about 14,000 ‘reported rapes’ every year. If 2% were a true reflection of the number of false rape allegations made, this would amount to 280 false allegations.


It is therefore revealing to realise that where rapes are retracted completely and where fabrication is admitted the total not 2% but 45% (see Table 1 below). This 1989 figure of 45% “fell” in a 1999 study to 25% – the reason for which will become clearer a little later as Home Office Circulars as discussed.

Using the same 14,000 ‘reported rapes’ figure, 45% would mean that 6,300 were false.

In addition to HORS 196 (1999), there are two earlier HO papers covering this topic. One is mentioned in the Table below, i.e. HORS 105 (1989), but there is an even earlier one from 1979 entitled HORS 54. [1]

Immediately, one can see that although the figure for ‘No-crimed’ has almost halved (45 v 25), the total number of cases where no further action is taken is static at 55% – 56% in the 10 years between both studies.

The reason why the 45% has been transformed to 25% yet the overall attrition subtotal is still around 55% is due to a series of Home Office Circulars. [2]

The effect of 55% of the 14,000 rape claims perhaps being categorised as false gives a total of 7,700 with only 6,300 having some basis for believing they occurred.

No further action

Study 196 found that although the most important single reason for the police deciding to no-crime a rape was that the complaint was false or malicious, many rape cases were dropped for evidential reasons or because the complainant withdrew. This is in line with the finding of the studies in the 1980s and 1970s.

One could (simplistically) differentiate between ‘no-crimed’ and ‘no further action’ (NFA), by saying no-crimed were totally false and inspired by the complainant but that NFAs tended to have more substance to them and had to be disproved as baseless by the accused before the police could dismiss them. In 20% of case the police consulted with the CPS to confirm their concerns over evidential sufficiency and were advised to go no further.

The role of HO Circulars has had the effect of cosmetically diminishing the number of ‘No-crimed’ rape reports. This has left the police in a position where they must please their political masters but are at a loss to know how to dispose of rape allegations they know are very unlikely to have happened. The result has been a huge increase in the number of NFAs (Table 1).

The Role of Spite

It is difficult for a newcomer to this subject to imagine that people will bear false witness just to see the person they once had warm affections for arrested. Hurt feelings and ‘pay back’ are not terms often associated with rape or the debate about rape anonymity for defendants. Yet time and again, it plays a pivotal part in the humiliation and degradation of the accused – a humiliation that is premeditated and a public degradation relished by the false accuser in many cases.

Of the ‘no crimes’, listed in the 1999 study, almost half (45% of the 25%) of allegations were made maliciously and in 35% of instances the complaints was withdrawn (thus making 80%).

With regards ‘NFA’s, the study found that 51% of complainants withdraw their allegation, and in 37% of cases there was insufficient evidence (making 88%).

Unfortunately, there are no comparisons possible with earlier studies vis-a-vis malicious allegations. This does not mean they were not present rather it suggests that they were present but not in great enough numbers to flag up an alert. When there was no pressure to reduce ‘no-crimg’ and the increase in rape offending only modest, it is understandable that the 1979 and 1989 studies did not deal with this aspect as fully as the 1999 study.

From the 1999 study we learn that the police and CPS are most likely to adopt the ‘no further action’ option where 1/. ‘intimates’ are involved, 2/. where the complainants are aged between 26 and 45, and 3/. where there has been some consensual contact.

“Although one-quarter of all cases were ‘no-crimed’ [3] the level is much lower than previously. In a study based on 1985 data, Lloyd and Walmsley (1989) found that the average no-criming rate during the second quarter of 1985 was 45% (though ranging from nil to 86 per cent between forces). The fall is consistent with guidance given to the police in Home Office Circular 69/1986, which states that no-criming is only appropriate where ‘the complainant retracts completely and admits to fabrication’. However, there was variation between forces in the study, from 14% to 41%, and Table 3.3 shows that reasons for no-criming were not confined to complaints being false.”

Playing with Numbers

This view is not going to be accepted by those in entrenched positions. It was in Feb 2000 that the Home Office published what it called ‘new data’ (it was soon proven not to be) that in England;

“295,000 women were raped in 1997”

At that rate of offending the next 50 years would see 50% of all adult women raped – in some instances more than once. And given that there are, at any given time, only about 2,000 sex offenders either in jail or on our streets, the practicalities of it would mean they would be kept busy around the clock, 365 days of the year. In fact the number of rapes each rapist would have to perpetrate would increase beyond their physical capabilities as weekly police apprehended more offenders leaving those rapists till a liberty to make up the numbers.

What the Home Office had done (as it was shown later) was to add together the 6,000 reported rapes of that year to the 17,600 cases of sexual assault, making 23,600, called them rapes and sprinkled on some fairy dust.

At the time, serious newspapers, like the Daily Telegraph (Feb 19th 2000) and the Sunday Times, realised it was impossible for the HO to sustain the figures, and ran articles to that effect.

Undaunted, the HO published 2 years later, in 2002 “Rape and Sexual Assault of Women: findings from the British Crime Survey” (No 159), by Andy Myhill and Jonathan Allen. This confirmed the 6,000 reported rapes but went further. The authors claimed that using data from the BCS (British Crime Survey 2000) the overall number of rapes was not 295,000 but 754,000 (¾ million).

Looking into their methodology it bore a striking resemblance with that used to panic the public and politicians into funding domestic violence projects. Myhill & Allen claimed HORS 327 that:

  • Around 1 in 10 women (9.7%) said they had experienced some form of sexual victimisation (including rape) since age 16.

Some form of sexual victimisation” is a very nebulous expression wide open to a variety of  interpretations. The same could be said of 10% of men – they could at some time in their lives have been subjected to ‘some form of sexual victimisation’. Indeed, as is slowly being acknowledged men have suffered for many years from domestic violence from their female partners at alarming levels.

The 754,000 rapes were simply an extrapolation – but at current and possibly future levels of offending – over a 43 year time period, that is to say, they measured what would be the number of theoretical / potential rapes of women aged 16 to 59.

Myhill & Allen also estimated that there had been 61,000 rapes in the previous years, i.e. in 2001, which would be approx. 10 times the number reported to police.

The figure of 61,000 sounds a lot but even the authors had to point out that it amounts for no more than 0.4% of women aged 16 to 59).

What commentators and readers might not realise, in this giddy mixture of exiting numbers, is that rape is a common ‘human condition’ and is unlikely to increase in the population as if it were a viral infection such as Avian or Swine Flu. Therefore, if the rate of rape is 0.4% in one year it is unlikely to be very much higher in later years.

As a result the headline grabbing figure of 754,000 rapes amounts to ‘only’ 17,534 rapes pa (when the 754,000 is dived by 43 years, i.e.  16 – 59.

Myhill & Allen failed to take into account NFA’s and No-criming. At 55% this would have reduced the yearly incidence rate from 0.4% to 0.2%. It would have reduced the claimed yearly amount from 17,534 to 9,644 per annun.

Unreported Rapes

Figures derived from New Zealand police statistics point to 84% of rape complaints being false. [4] A similar figure can be arrived at for the UK if one supposes the claims that the police consider not to be worth proceeding can be categorised false.

For very many years organisations as respectable as WNC and the Fawcett society have complained that police records show only a fraction of the actual number of rapes that occur in Britain every year.

Some less august organisations, e.g. Refuge, WAR (Women Against Rape), Rape Crisis etc, suggest that “Less than 7% had reported the assault to the police.” Some groups suggest only 3%, 7% or 10% of rapes are reported to police. But HO papers usually adopt the figure of 15% though once again a source is never given. [5]  From this we have to conclude that any where between 85% and 97% of rapes are allegedly unreported to the police.

To ram home the point and underline that no one is immune from rape, Rape Crisis Federation have claimed in the past that:

  • “90% of disabled women are raped, abused or assaulted at some time in their lives ……”.[6]
The long and the short of it is that no one has any idea how any rape go unreported. Dig behind the proclamations and the source data is either not there or hedged with words like ‘estimated’, ‘thought to be’, ‘possibly.’ This is the character of the argument that has shaped and warped legislation for more than 10 years. All the amendments have been premised on a complete lack of data that even the CPS would be wary to proceed with.

The latest manifestation of this finger in the air approach is the Fawcett Society’s claim that it “suggests” that 47,000 women are raped every year (Hansard 7/6/2010).

Ignoring that for a moment, if we were to accept, for arguments sake that the quoted figures were indeed approximately correct look at the results. If we choose the halfway point, i.e. 7%, it would mean that the 14,000 rapes presently recorded as representing only 7%, would jump to 280,000 per annum at the 100% level.

In that way and using those methods, the rape industry arrives at the earlier headline of “295,000 women were raped in 1997” (see above).

Using the same stream of conscious thinking – the same bizarre, nonsensical reasoning  –  would have the arithmetic consequences that over the same 43-years (16 – 59), 12 million women would be raped. A prospect that seems to escape the realms of believability and a prospect that seems to owe more to manic advocacy than cool logic.
HORS 196 then helpfully points out that its sample size of 483 reported rapes arose from 456 complainants, indicting that some victims were raped more than once. Scaling this up it might mean, say, 11.5 million women would be raped once and ½ million would be raped twice (or more).


HOS 196, written by Jessica Harris and Sharon Grace, had the objective of “identifying the factors which led to so few rapists being prosecuted.”

It has to be recalled (least we forget by 2015 or 2019), that in 1999 the Home Office was still persistently confusing conviction with attrition, and at the top of its agenda was the conviction of every one arrested of rape regardless of the weight of evidence. It is apparent from their writing that Harris & Grace knew of the impending S.O.R.T. work and 2003 legislation yet they still failed to point out the basic technical error of confusing attrition with conviction.

A summary of their analysis is shown in Table 3 and immediately one can see that the conviction rate is not the highly publicised “6% “ but 45% (26 + 19).

The percentage totals in Table 3 do not add up to 100% in the conventional sense but instead represent how the process of attrition works. As each case moves from allegation to investigation, from police inquiries to being charged, and from forensic evidence to the CPS deciding whether the case has enough merit to proceed, a percentage of cases fall by the wayside.

Thus we see that in addition to the No-crime and NFA categories discussed above, cases can be ‘discontinued’ i.e. where the CPS is not prepared to pursue the matter or ‘discharged’ where the judge is not prepared to let the case continue and steps in to rule the evidence is too flimsy.

Of the remainder, 31% are charged with rape, 11% are acquitted and 19% found guilty. In 26% of cases the accused is found guilty of a lesser charge, e.g. buggery (copulation with man or beast), sodomy (anal or oral copulation), indecent assault etc. It is this category where the Home Office hopes to see a little profit. By altering the rule of engagement the prospect of pleas bargaining down to a lesser offence (once common), is reduced. It is hoping with eth definition of rape altered after 2003, that those 26% will find their way into the ‘found guilty’ of rape category.

Looking back to earlier reports can often be illuminating and the influence of subsequent politics laid bare. In the 1979 and 1989 HO study the impression of the authors is that ‘the rise in reported rapes’ can be put down to ‘changes in society’ and its attitudes of being ‘less tolerant’ towards rape and those who commit it.

Compared with when – 1955 of 1855 ?

This view must amaze those who lived through the 1950s and 1960s. In those decades – and the ones prior – rape was in no way tolerated, to such a degree that men accused of it stood little chance of a fair trial and some would even commit suicide.

Rape, in the 19th century, was a hanging offence (Offences Against the Person Act 1828, sect16). The alternative sentence was “penal servitude” for life. However having said that the Act also se the tariff at penal servitude for any term ‘not less than three years’ or simple imprisonment  “for any term not exceeding two years.” How liberal is that compared with 2010 ?

A well known feminist, Fay Weldon, in an interview with Andrew Duncan (Radio Times, 4th July 1998), identified what everyone dare not discuss:

  • “It’s very unfashionable to say this, but rape actually isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a woman if you’re safe, alive and unmarked after the event.”

[1] HORS 105 “Changes in Rape Offences and Sentencing” by Lloyd & Walmsley, and HORS 54 “Sexual Offences, Consent and Sentencing” by Walmsley & White.

[2] Home Office Circular 25/1983, HO Circular 69/1986, HO Circular 52/1988, HO Circular60/1990, etc

[3] This figure was an estimate based on the 1985 data also used in the previous rape study (Grace et al, 1992). See Appendix B of HORS 196 for more information on the bases on which the two rape studies are compared.

[4]   A submission to the UN Secretary  General, Koffee Annan (1999).

[5] According to the British Crime Survey Interpersonal Violence Module (2001), only 15% of rapes came to the attention of the police. – Hansard 25/11/2005.

[6] Margaret Kennedy, keynote address, Violence, Abuse and Women’s Citizenship Conference, Nov 10 1996. See also MACSAS Conference 2009 – Edinburgh Saturday 17th October 2009. Quote,” Liz Kelly has identified a continuum of abuse from verbal grooming through to murder.”


4 Responses to Rape Allegations – what surveys say

  1. Ivor Catt says:

    In England, the day after many newspapers reported that the Home Office wanted to change the law and in future require men to prove that sexual intercourse was invited (reversing the classic onus of proof in our English courts), an assertion in more than three papers which Moxon denies, a man came out of jail after 15 years when the appeal judge said the rape almost certainly never happened. Initial compensation estimated at £230 per day = £1.25 millions. (False allegation woman’s name – she botched another false allegation last year – continues to be kept secret, to protect her child!)
    Note that immediately after Moxon’s 10sep99 conference, I reported [Ill Eagle sep99 p3] that none of the 50 attenders had the concept of a false allegation. Six months later she conceded that false allegations were not within the remit of anybody in government. Note that the FBI report that for cases tried before DNA could be identified, the DNA match fails for one third of men in jail in the US for rape. One shudders to think of the compensation payments faced by the British Govt. in future, unless our system worked better than the US system which our successive Home Secretaries study so assiduously, and also try to copy. !) [My rough calculation is that should a class action ever come to trial in the US courts for compensation for all the men (mostly black) falsely jailed for rape, the compensation total will be something like $200,000,000,000. The US govt will need to declare bankruptcy. This is where Jay and Home Office radfems are driving us. – IC, 14apr00.]

    Catharine A MacKinnon, who helped to draft Canadian and also American laws. In her seminal book, “Towards a Feminist Theory of the State” (Harvard University Press, 1989, 1, 2), she writes;
    “…. Rape, which by a conservative definition happens to almost half of all women at least once in their lives ….

  2. George Piskor says:

    A solid analysis of false allegations in rape, and one that mirrors North American findings. While rape is abhorrent, society is not going to make any progress on this issue as long as it is politicized and morphed to the point of losing street credibility.This also extends to other forms of false allegations ( domestic, violence, child abuse) that are commonplace tactical legal weapons in family court. Ultimately, the false benefits accruing to the alleging party are heavily outweighed by the personal and societal carnage wreaked.

    Ironically, it is the state that is most culpable by lacking the political and moral spine to confront the “Victimhood Industry” that extorts funding from governments to support the victims of mania manufactured largely by radical feminist elements that have taken over the once healthy Feminist Movement as a means of securing funding as their private preserve to sustain a lucrative victimhood extortion racket while promoting socialist marxist policies of division.

    Erin Pizzey exposed the “shelter home” racket long ago as a self-funding pyramid scheme to line the pockets of radfems at exorbitant taxpayer expense. Seeing that they had successfully cowed the government, it was inevitable for the radfem mafia to expand its product offerings into domestic violence and false allegation market sectors- not only in the UK, but across the western world.

    This in not meant to downplay the validity of rape, DV, false allegations as legitimate concerns, but rather to point out that they have become fronts for white collar crime of the radfem victimhood industry which is run like a traditional charity racket in which a disproportionate amount of contributions intended for the needy is siphoned off as “administrative expenses”.

    While governments are quick to shut down charities funnelling contributions to terrorists, they leave the victimhood industry alone as it is well understand that radfems command politcal extortion power that is several orders of magnitude larger….and that’s where state culpability come in…and that’s how victims become double victimized, and all at taxpayer expense.

  3. Pingback: Single Parents and Feminism - Part 1 - A Voice for Single Parents

    • rwhiston says:

      There are signs that the penny has, at last, dropped with some of the advocates. The emerging debate is now assembling around what can be called a false allegations with some sort of fine distinction being made about deliberately malicious claims and those made ‘by mistaken’ (in the confusion), and therefore not malicious.
      These second types take the form of the police at last getting to the heart of the matter and finding the man they’ve arrested did not in fact rape the accusers but the victim still maintains that although it wasn’t him after all she has been raped but can’t remember by who and or where.
      Who is the real victim here ? I would say the man falsely accused every time – would you ?

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