Woman Teaches Friend A Valuable Lesson With False Rape Accusations

Illustration for article titled Woman Teaches Friend A Valuable Lesson With False Rape Accusations

In the most disturbing story of the day, if not the week, a woman was jailed for falsely claiming she was raped — all because her friend wouldn't lend her money for a taxi.

Advertisement

According to the BBC, twenty-two-year-old Leyla Ibrahim decided to "teach a friend a lesson" when that friend refused to lend her cab fare to get back to her home in Cumbria, England. She cut her hair and clothes with scissors, and even gave herself a black eye. Then she told police she'd been raped by two men on her way home; she wouldn't have been walking had it not been for her penny-pinching friend. Authorities actually arrested four men, one of whom was so distraught he tried to hurt himself in jail. Ibrahim's story started to fall apart when police found the scissors she'd used to cut her clothes, and she's now been sentenced to three years in prison. Making the story even more upsetting: Ibrahim is seven months pregnant, meaning she'll probably spend her child's infancy behind bars.

As we and others have written, all too often false rape claims are yet another symptom of rape culture, which shames women for consenting to sex. But sometimes, people are just thoughtless, self-interested jerks — and that seems to be the case here. Judge Paul Batty told Ibrahim, "Every false allegation of rape worsens the plight of those women who have been the victim of such a dreadful crime and makes it harder to prove when a crime really has taken place." And indeed, Ibrahim's false accusation is likely to give more ammunition to those who think women are always making up their rapes. Of course, people can — and do — make false accusations about all crimes, and Ibrahim's assholishness says nothing about the problem of rape as a whole. But we wish she'd thought about the men accused, the money wasted, and the other women whose real pain would be taken less seriously, before she turned a stupid fight about cab fare into a fruitless investigation of rape.

Image via Daily Mail.

Rape Lie Woman Who Injured Herself Jailed In Cumbria [BBC]
'Wicked' Woman Who Cried Rape Is Jailed For Three Years Despite Being Seven Months Pregnant [Daily Mail]

Earlier: Lessons From Hofstra: Why Rape And False Accusations Are Part Of The Same Problem

DISCUSSION

betweentwolungs-old
betweentwolungs

This is a long story but I tried to keep it as short as possible...I just have to tell my story somewhere

When I was 13 I had been attacked by my neighbor. My mom found out and made me got to the police. Despite this being one of the most damaging experiences of my adolescence that I still have not recovered from, the police treated me like dirt. I understand that fake allegations are made and police have to get all the facts straight, but they interrogated me like I was a suspect, not the victim. They humiliated me, questioned my story over and over, treated me like a moron for trusting the boy who hurt me. One officer told me that the story was "he said she said" and would never win a case. What I remember most was their body language, the sighs, the blantant look of distrust from 2 male detectives. (I requested to have a woman officer in the room but it just never happened) I know that this was a long time ago, but I swear I am not exaggerating. After their abuse I begged my mother to let me drop the case (It was her choice, not mine, because I was a minor) The lead detective, cold as stone said to me

"Well you can file the charges or not, it doesn't matter to me, I still get paid"

To this day I blame not false allegations themselves but the police officers who let those stories alter their view of woman. Their job is to protect and SERVE the people. I was told that just telling my story and pointing the finger would make me feel better and empowered. It did the opposite. If I had to go through it again, I would not have told anyone what happened to me. I would rather keep silent then go through what the police put me through. To this day I don't trust police officers. Which is a terrible thing to say. We kept the charges but it never went to court. All I know is that "Risk Of Injury To A Minor" was the main thing the monster got charged with. But after the last time they questioned me I never heard about my case ever again. It was never in the paper, I never received one update, my mothers calls to the detectives were left unanswered. So I can confidently say they just didn't believe me. But I swear on everything I was telling the truth, I begged the police to believe me through sobs. I was just a kid. So yes, we can be angry with this woman for making all this up, but in the end it's the officers who make the call whether or not to believe someone.