Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst filed a lawsuit last Thursday seeking $1 million in damages from the woman who accused him of raping her in the comments section on an xoJane article. Now a domestic violence advocacy is asking him to drop the suit, even if he's innocent.
According to Spin, Right to Speak Out contends that the lawsuit contributes to the culture of silence surrounding rape:
According to Right to Speak Out, the lawsuit will hurt victims. "It is offensive to imply that filing such a lawsuit is a respectable way to procure money regardless of what he declares he intends to do with it," the group said in a statement. "Even if Ms. Faircloth was not truthful, vilifying discussion of sexual assault by filing such a lawsuit only adds to the problem of under-reporting that enables sexual assault to proliferate at alarming rates." Only 21 percent of rapes are reported, according to the nonprofit, with only 7 percent of those ending in convictions.
That said, I definitely understand Oberst filing a defamation lawsuit over this if the accusations that allegedly damaged his career were in fact false.
Perhaps Right to Speak Out decided to target this case because of the lawsuit's inclusion of the alleged victim's positive social media comments about Oberst? That information could be used to cast a suspicious light on an accuser's decision to come forward with these accusations 10 years after the fact. When it comes to defending an accused rapist, it's a classic move — and another high profile case that makes use of that strategy could intimidate victims from coming forward.
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