So, this is a plea to the Mail. Yes, we know that women make up stories about sexual assault. But - and please note this - they are very few and far between.She's not the only one.
The fact is that at least 50,000 women are raped every year in the UK, but only a tiny percentage result in convictions of the rapist.
A while back I wrote about the way that papers like the Mail report rape cases - nearly every time it will be case where 'an innocent man's life has been ruined' or 'a woman made sickening claims in a revenge attack on her ex' or some such tale. I'm not saying these cases aren't true. I'm not saying that false accusations aren't made. But that fact is they are FAR outweighed by actual rapes and assaults. Of course you wouldn't know this, because the Mail only reports rape cases when the attack has happened to a beautiful, young, virginal, middle class white woman.
Ever since I wrote that post I've been noticing that 'cry rape' stories have been appearing with a terrifying frequency on the Mail's website. Every day it seems like someone is tweeting about another one and despairing at the way that a national newspaper (although I'm not sure its content warrants the 'news' part any more) is creating a picture of a society where 99% of rape accusations are made by evil and vicious liars. And the more the tabloids report rape cases in this way, the more society will believe it applies to the majority of incidents.
I'm not going to lie, it's getting depressing. It's getting beyond a joke. It's no longer just the odd story; it's absolutely relentless (presumably these stories are becoming more frequent as the furore surrounding possible anonymity for rape defendants intensifies).
The question is, what can be done? I've been taking part in a couple of discussions about possible action but find myself wondering what I, personally, could do as I'm not affiliated to any particular group of organisation. There are so many of us who feel the same but it's hard to know where to go next. Any ideas would be welcomed at this point. It's difficult to imagine the paper ever changing its outlook but the way it's going about things is sending out an unpleasant message and we all know the power it has. Whether we like it or not, people believe what they read.
Please discuss via comments! In addition I am talking about it a lot on Twitter at the moment so feel free to tweet opinions and ideas @boudledidge.