EVAWI recently hosted a webinar titled “False Reports of Sexual Assault: Moving Beyond the Issues.” The recording is now available free of charge in the webinar archive.
One of the most important challenges for law enforcement training in sexual assault investigation is the idea that many – or even most – reports are false. These cases often have a number of “red flags” that raise suspicion in the minds of officers, investigators, and others, but actually represent the realistic dynamics of sexual assault.
The presenter reviewed differences between a false report versus a baseless report, and inconsistent statements versus lying. He also discussed how law enforcement can unintentionally create a “false report,” by creating an environment where victims recant or withdraw. This was contrasted with real case examples of false reports he has investigated throughout his career.