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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

False Reports: Moving Beyond the Issue to Successfully Investigate and Prosecute Non-Stranger Sexual Assault

General Material
Training Tools
Published Date
February, 2019

This module is designed to directly confront this issue of false reporting. The material provided throughout this module will attempt to answer several key questions that have historically created a bigger hurdle for sexual assault victims than any lack of training or experience on the part of law enforcement professionals. These questions include:
• What are the “red flags” that raise suspicion of a sexual assault report?
• What is our gut reaction to these “red flags?”
How are these “red flags” based on cultural stereotypes of “real rape?”
• What is the actual definition of a false report?
• But what if part of the report is false?
• How can law enforcement investigators create a “false report?”
• How many sexual assault reports are actually false?
• How should law enforcement handle the frustrating reality of “real” false reports?
• How can investigators reverse this cycle of suspicion?