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The Contender
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Should people who lie about rape be punished with the same punishment actual rapists get?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 689 times Debate No: 55224
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Hello! I would like to explain what I mean by my question before I begin.

When I talk about "False Rape Accusers" I mean people who claim someone raped them when in fact, they did not. These people exist and there is a startling number of them. This debate is about whether or not these people should be given a punishment equal to the punishment that their victims would have received had it not been learned that the Accuser was lying. Anyway, ON WITH THE DEBATE! :D

The main problem here is that these people have no real repercussions for their actions. In the best case scenario, they get charged with a misdemeanor. Which is what, 1 - 2 years in prison? Compared to the immense punishment that a potential rapist gets, this is trivial. So ultimately, a False Rape Accuser (abbreviated as FPA from now on) has little to lose if their lie is found out. While their victim, if found guilty, has everything to lose. And in fact, even if he is not found guilty he could end up in serious trouble. If you are charged with rape, then you will lose your job and most likely your friends/family, regardless of your innocence or guilt. This means that FPAs are able to attack someone, devastate their life in the short term, potentially destroy their life in the long term, and the only repercussions they have to worry about are a couple of years in prison.

This is a power that NO ONE should have. It destroys people's lives, and these people deserve justice. Not only that, but having a punishment would be a detriment to FPAs and may convince them to not lie in the first place. And it's worth mentioning that FPAs also harm REAL rape victims, as it makes their claims less believable.

What I propose is that if someone is found to be lying about someone committing a crime, they should be given the same amount of time in prison as their victim PLUS any time their victim has already served in jail due to their lie (if the victim was somehow wrongfully found guilty). This would make FPAs more weary about using lies to ruin someone's life.

Here are some sources for you to read about the subject:


There are a few main issues with your position:

1-You are assuming that false accusations of rape are premeditated and intentionally designed to do harm to an individual.
2-You are asserting that the punishment for false accusations of rape should be treated in an "eye for an eye" manner, and that there is no discretionary differentiation between raping an individual and lying about having been raped.
3-You are comparing rape to perjury.

My thoughts on these issues:

By taking a position in which the "big picture" illustrates a sea of evil women who are intentionally pushing false narratives in order to inflict some sort of harm on men is false. You have effectively dismissed any other possible explanation(s) for their actions as outliers and that these do not need to be understood. By allowing your emotional understanding of such a complex and bizarre issue, like falsely accusing someone of rape, you have jumped to many poorly calculated and subjective conclusions.
You are assuming that all of these women should be dealt with in a manner that is consistent with their original intent. But you are also asserting that there should be no discretionary authority as to whether or not there are more complicated variables that have supplemented this woman's ability to lie about having been raped. You have outlined a blanketed punishment that is comparable to the 3-strike law, which states that if one commits three felonies, no matter the seriousness, he/she will be locked away for life. So, in effect, you have jumped to the hasty conclusion that the original intent of the woman is comparable to that of a rapist. This is simply not true. If we were to use a situation that is conducive with your position: that a woman who deceivingly accused a man of rape, with the intention to harm or inflict pain, is convicted of a perjures crime. We then compare this to a situation where a man has been found guilty of raping a woman. Here are the impacts that the victim (both of whom were innocent and should not have experienced such horrible acts):

Rape Victim
1. Forced sexual intercourse
2. Emotional/Psychological trauma
3. Relationship issues
4. Pregnancy/STD possibilities
5. Physical harm

Falsely Accused Victim
1. Poor Public support
2. Prison Sentence
3. End of job/career
4. Depression/Emotional issues
5. Loss of family/friends

Let us first keep in mind that I am analyzing this situation based on the collective moral norms that the majority would adhere to in America. I am also complying with the majority due to the fact that the legal system would also do so. Now, comparing and contrasting the differences between the two impacts that these acts would have on a victim, are the impacts equally traumatic in line with the moral norms that the majority of American society accepts? Can we safely say that innocence can be proved even after the delivery of a conviction? Therefore, the innocent victim would have ample opportunity to regain lost family, career, and wipe out the prison sentence. The only factor that would prevent this individual from regaining almost full function ability would be the depression and or emotional issues. Now, if we examine the rape victim, the contrast becomes a little bit fuzzy. The rape victim cannot appeal the sentencing that was involuntarily delivered to her, she cannot wipe away the memory of the encounter, she cannot change that she got pregnant or contracted an STD (if it so happened), and she cannot completely go through life in the same way emotionally ever again. So, I would ask you, are the impacts on both victims capable of being remedied in an equal manner? I would argue that no, they cannot. And I would conclude that the punishments for falsely accusing someone of rape and raping someone are proportionately illogical as a foundation for comparison.
Debate Round No. 1


PatrickAVG forfeited this round.


The Pro has forfeited this round. I have no further information to provide at this point.
Debate Round No. 2


PatrickAVG forfeited this round.


I believe that my rebuttal for the opening statement addressed the burden of proof in which the Pro has asserted to be the foundation for his premise.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
@PeacefulChaos lol
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Cowmaneater already pointed out the problems, I second those statements from him.
Posted by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
For a second I thought Pro was arguing that False Rape Accusers should actually be raped.
Posted by Cowmaneater 2 years ago
Agreed, false rape accusations are more prevalent then thought by many and they have no real punishment for ruining peoples lives whether through jail time if found guilty or the ruining of reputation of the accused. Although this may discourage people from actually reporting real rape, the punishment should only be there if proof of lying was found seeing as if they can't prove the rape happened isn't the same as lying about it. An interesting idea proposed to help solve the ruining of lives thing the accused face is to have anonymity for the accused unless found guilty.
Posted by philochristos 2 years ago
I suppose she might've gotten worse, but she took a plea bargain.
Posted by philochristos 2 years ago
I know somebody who falsely accused two guys of raping her, and all she got was two years of probation and a $2000 fine.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments were about even. For con to be a clear winner there he needed to elaborate on the following point he brought up: "1-You are assuming that false accusations of rape are premeditated and intentionally designed to do harm to an individual." Pro does not get sources, because the links don't qualify as citations for his argument. Conduct to con for the forfeits.