It’s like a nightmare: imagine you report a sexual assault to police and you end up handcuffed and criminalized for fabricating your account. This is the shocking reality for hundreds of people all over the U.S.We are Rachel de Leon and Nancy Schartzman. We tackled this harrowing topic in the documentary, Victim/Suspect on Netflix. A years-long reporting journey uncovered police using troubling techniques leading to victim’s recanting or backing down from their sexual assault claims and charged with crimes. One young woman took her life, and the alleged perpetrator was never arrested.Today from 12:30–2:00 p.m. ET, please send us questions about the documentary, our findings, and what’s ahead for us. We’ll also share information everyone should know in case they or someone they care about needs to report a sexual assault to authorities.

Proof:’s the Victim/Suspect trailer.

We spoke with Alyssa Milano for this week’s episode of her Sorry Not Sorry podcast.

Edit: Thanks for all your questions! We appreciate them so much! That's all we have time for today, but we’ll hop back on sporadically to answer any others that may come up. Follow us at "victimsuspect" on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for more updates and ways to engage with us!

For Victims-Survivors, if you’re in emotional distress or in crisis, help is available:

Call or Text 988Mental Health Match

Find licensed therapists near you.

If you or someone you know reported a sex assault and was charged with falsely reporting it and wants to talk to Rae, find her email here:

Comments: 190 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

dmd59625239 karma

I listened to Sorry Not Sorry this week and was enraged hearing how it took you (a non-profit journalist) watching 4hrs of surveillance tape to prove a young woman wasn’t making up her sexual assault claim. Forget about the footage’s potential value in SOLVING A SEX CRIME, if cops won’t even carefully review evidence when it’s being used to file bogus charges against young rape victims, what hope do any of us have of actually receiving help from the police if we’re sexually assaulted? (I’m sincerely asking, because your film provides compelling reasons to not trust police with anything.)

RevealNews136 karma

(Nancy) Yes - that is one of the very troubling take aways of VICTIM/SUSPECT. Our hope is to put these tactics and police departments out in public — for relying on rape myths, and not properly investigating these violent crimes.
Our first step is to shed light on the problem. And yes - as a filmmaker, I have been questioning what systems can work for victims. As our current one is so broken. I take hope in restorative and transformational justice, but we have not caught up to that as a larger society.
Know your rights - whatever you choose.

BigSur33195 karma

What techniques do police employ that make it more or less likely for a victim to be found credible, or to be challenged and end up recanting?

RevealNews236 karma

Another great question. First and foremost - victims should know that they have the right to attorney and an advocate in the room with them. Many times the victim was alone with law enforcement, with no indication that they were becoming a suspect.
“Credibility” is subjective, but as we learned from Ret. Detective Carl Hershman, if a young person has been drinking, they might debunk them as credible (although - law enforcement should keep in mind that if a person is incapacitated they can not consent, and not weaponize a victims’ drinking against them).
Another lack of “credibility” in the bias against victims can be “inconsistencies” or perceived inconsistencies in a victim’s memory or story. This is completely normal, especially when trauma is involved.
Dr. Avalos in the film also points out that often the targets are vulnerable, young - not strong, savvier older people.

ElectrikDonuts72 karma

I always hear about right to attorney, but how does one excessive that right when they don’t know an attorney and are put in this position or others like breathalyzers, traffic stops, search, etc

RevealNews103 karma

(Rae) Great question. If you are arrested, all you say is “I want an attorney” and police have to stop questioning you and provide you with an attorney. If you are not under arrest, then it is up to you to find an attorney. However, if you’re a victim, some departments must provide you with an advocate. They cannot and should not provide legal advice, but they are there to support you emotionally.

You might find the Know Your Rights Camp helpful:\~:text=Know%20Your%20Rights%20Camp%20is,KNOW%20YOUR%20RIGHTS%20CAMP%20HERE!

sweetmercy94 karma

This should be required viewing for every jerk out there who says "why didn't you report it?"

RevealNews69 karma

(Nancy) Right? That’s exactly how we feel! We are also making sure and doing our best to get this to every police station willing to take a hard look at themselves and their own bias. Follow our impact campaign - here. We intend to bring this to the DOJ, and other venues who can help promote this issue and advocate for safer reporting structures.

Count_Rugens_Finger42 karma

What should police do when the assault is actually fabricated?

RevealNews9 karma

(Rae) Important question. Looking for some research and will respond.

RevealNews24 karma

First, police should have evidence that no crime occurred or was attempted. That is already a pretty high investigative bar.
Next, police should have evidence that the person knowingly and intentionally made up the claim.
Our expert Dr. Lisa Avalos, has several requirements for police, which I will paste below:
1. Do a thorough investigation of the sexual assault.
2. You have to have actual evidence proving that no crime was committed or attempted against the victim who's complaining of the crime.
3. You've got to make sure that you're not relying on rape myths or other misinterpreted victim behaviors in order to reach the conclusion that the report is false.
4. You must ensure that you are not relying on a victim recantation as the only evidence that a sexual assault did not happen.

eeon00839 karma

From a personal perspective, can you describe some of the struggle you deal with internally with not being advocates for the victims and having to keep an "open mind" like you said in the beginning of the film where the victim could be lying and they could not be?

RevealNews65 karma

(Rae) Thank you for asking this. I had to remind myself that it’s a service to them to remain open-minded and fair throughout my investigation. If I appeared that I was a friend doing them a favor, police and others could question my reporting as biased or accuse me of being hired by the survivor’s family.
What helped me was to be transparent with these women, first and foremost, share with them exactly why I am asking the question and what information I am hoping to get. I found that to be really helpful for everyone involved!

MrSnowden39 karma

When selecting footage, did you focus on those you felt were unjustly accused/coerced? Where there any cases of accused becoming suspect you felt were more questionable cases?

Edit:clarified question

RevealNews53 karma

Great question. Rae found footage she was able to obtain through FOIAs. Some states have exempted investigative records, like video footage, so she wasn't able to get them all the time (or even most of the time).
As a filmmaker, I (Nancy) wanted to use footage that we could legally use, and that also had egregious pivot points from law enforcement. That really illustrated some of their bias and tactics.
In terms of stories, we chose to pursue those where the victim was open to being part of the documentary, and gave us permission to use the footage with their face and voice included.

MrSnowden19 karma

I guess It’s fair to say those willing to go on camera are also those most likely to have felt unjustly accused?

RevealNews61 karma

(Rae) I have gotten so many messages since the film came out of people sharing their stories that are similar to Emma's and Dyanie's in the film. People reaching out to me are asking for help, and hoping to clear their name, or prevent others from going through the same thing.

I'm not basing my reporting on "feelings", I'm basing it on what the police did or didn't do and whether it follows best practices.

One_Patience678936 karma

Excited to stumble into this AMA! I just watched Victim/Suspect and couldn’t help but think of Gabby Petito. A totally different set of circumstances, but a familiar “let’s just wrap this up and not cause any trouble for a fine young man” vibe from law enforcement. Do you have any evidence to suggest what you uncovered occurs to victims of other types of crimes? (E.g. women who report intimate partner violence)

RevealNews62 karma

Gosh - The Gabby Petito case is so horrendous because you see law enforcement just walking away from a woman in distress, taking his word for it - and she ends up dead. We did not focus on other areas of crimes against women, but I do think sending women home to their abusers and “not ruining his reputation” is a theme that occurs within all sexual violence. We definitely saw preferential treatment in Victim/Suspect in the Tuscaloosa case, where the alleged perpetrator was questioned for under 30m, and the alleged victim was in there for 3h. (Nancy)

toddlg30 karma

What is the name of the training course Det. Hershman was doing at the end, and what are others like it around the country you would recommend that we can promote to the police agencies in our area?

RevealNews30 karma

(Rae) Wonderful question!
I can’t remember the exact name, but I think it was something like “Sexual assault victim interviewing and evidence-based investigations”. Or "Trauma-informed investigations" "Victim-centered and Offender-focused" are other course names I’ve heard.

RevealNews25 karma

(Rae) This is also where I have to shout out EVAWI (End Violence Against Women International) for all of their work and helping me throughout this loooong process.

toddlg23 karma

What are some "next steps" for us? Off the top of my head...

  • Ask local police agencies if they have trauma-informed detective/interview policies and training
  • Ask that they include it in their budget if not
  • Locate and inform local advocacy groups of the documentary
  • Recommend the doc on Nextdoor, Facebook, Twitter(X), Instagram, etc.
  • If the police agencies are stone-wally, FOIA!

RevealNews20 karma

(Nancy) YES TODD! Those are great next steps. I’d add recommend to local universities as well. Follow us on socials u/VictimSuspect for screenings, events and Q/A opportunities. Love the idea of NextDoor too — we need to really seed the idea that law enforcement works for the citizens. And we all have a right to know what they are doing behind closed doors.
Lastly: I’d add: support local journalism and investigative reporting! Question media reports (in the comments/call the stations) if they are blasting victims’ names/information widely and trusting police reports to be “fact”.
Add any additional thoughts you have here or on socials to us as they come!

abramorama20 karma

Journalists haven’t had it easy the last couple years… or ever, really. Your careers are a testament to the importance of good journalism. Besides supporting local and nonprofit news sources, how can the average person help make sure important work like yours continues?

RevealNews14 karma

Hi Abramorama! Thanks for jumping in. Good journalism is the cornerstone of a free, open and transparent society. Now more than ever we need to support, pay for and read it! And acknowledge it’s importance. To that end, Victim/Suspect was incredibly lucky to work with Netflix from the beginning - where they really, deeply understood the importance of the story - and framing it through the lens of journalistic inquiry. (Nancy)

jcmaci0315 karma

Your film couldn’t be more important. It deserves an Academy Award. For real. My question: how can someone find out if their local police department deploys these awful tactics? Would local sexual assault assistance organizations know? Do I ask my local police department’s public information officer? I guess I’m asking how I prevent this from happening in my own community

RevealNews18 karma

(Nancy) Rae can give you more detailed answers but for sure checking the police dept public information officer is a good start. And checking with local advocacy groups
(Rae) Yes! Do a FOI or public records request to the department asking for all of their sexual assault cases that resulted in false reporting charges. They probably don’t categorize their cases this way, but it’s a good start. And it lets them know someone is watching!!

grithum14 karma

I’ve heard a lot about consent when drinking isn’t valid in terms of sexual assault. But I also know law enforcement holds people accountable for all sorts of things they do under the influence. What are the criteria that make consent under the influence invalid?

RevealNews5 karma

(Nancy) Depends on state law, but for the most part if a person is "incapacitated" they can not consent. And sometimes, for example in the Steubenville case, the perpetrators were using the fact that the victim was "so wasted" as a way to shame her, but didn't realize they were actually criminalizing their behavior. It is illegal to drink and drive, or operate heavy machinery, so these things are criminalized. However, it is rare with sexual assault to use a victim's incapacitation as a way to help bolster the prosecution of a perpetrator

RevealNews2 karma

(Rae) Intoxication is one of many metrics used to determine whether consent was available and given – just like age and cognitive functions. Every case should be reviewed individually, but certainly, the first question that should be asked is whether everyone involved remembers consenting throughout the entire act. If investigators focus on feeling, thinking, and experiencing questions, they'll get closer to understanding the dynamics surrounding the act in question.

rodneyrodge14 karma

I don’t think the local police in your film realize how awful they look. I think you portrayed them in the absolute fairest way possible, but they couldn’t help themselves… even when they were attempting to school you on why they didn’t do anything wrong, they just kept revealing their ineptitude. Have you heard from them since the film was released on Netflix?

RevealNews20 karma

(Nancy) Thanks for watching. As a filmmaker I always want to show and not tell, and we had real opportunity to do that in Victim/Suspect. Rae was dogged in her pursuit of answers, and the moment that stands out to me so strongly is when law enforcement in Tuscaloosa tells her “I am not willing to speak to you about anything at all.” This feels so egregious to me - as it is our tax payer dollars who are paying their salaries, they do owe citizens answers. We have not heard from any of the officers shown in the film thus far (besides Cotto). But did hear from the news outlets in Dyanie’s case, and they took down their posts. Which is encouraging.

BringBackAoE13 karma

I watched that documentary a while ago! It was amazing! Rachel: especially astounded this was your first solo investigation! Way to go!

A must watch!

Q1: Rachel: how did you come to select this topic?

Q2: have there been any consequences or actions flowing from this documentary? That was my key takeaway: “This has to stop!”

RevealNews18 karma

(Rae) Thank you kindly!

  1. I found Nikki Yovino’s story early in 2018 and I was astounded by how long of a prison sentence she was facing. So I dug in and met Lisa Avalos who told me that there were many others.

  2. We’ve have seen a lot of anger on social media! I think the biggest “consequence” or impact we’ve had so far is local media reconsidering how they cover these stories. Dyanie had two stories taken down, so her online presence has been sanitized a bit. Which was healing for her. We’re still working on the accountability front! So please keep up with us by following us on socials and signing up for our newsletter:

Uncommon_Brain13 karma

I realize broad generalizations aren’t helpful and that plenty of police officers who DON’T deploy these tactics are out there doing good work. Your film presents enough examples, however, for an objective viewer to be worried. Be honest, is this a result of being under-resourced? Because that’s the mantra we always hear, yet police budgets are almost always the biggest expense in municipalities of all sizes, so I’m skeptical. How much funding does a department need to give a damn when a woman is raped?

RevealNews28 karma

(Nancy) Great question, Uncommon Brain. It is absolutely disheartening isn’t it? Police depts have huge budgets (think if even a fraction of that money could go to to community programs, mental health, libraries, arts).
However in the film we do include Det. Carl Hershman who is truly dedicated to this work and throughout my career I have encountered some very talented and caring detectives. However — it is not simply a question of money. It is bias. Bias against women, reliance on rape myths and the false notion that women “lie” and make it up. Until we can really shed light on this issue, and find ways to hold police accountable, (and D.As! And mayors!) this will continue

Uncommon_Brain7 karma

Thank you for this response! I do have a follow up for you on the point of bias, however, given that we are talking about policing. Do you have any sense of the experiences that BIPOC and/or trans women have in these contexts and/or are you considering a future project that takes a more intersectional/expansive view of this issue to include women from historically marginalized/minoritized groups? It seems to me that this would be even more serious and pervasive for Indigenous women, for example.

RevealNews25 karma

(Nancy) Yes - thank you for that point. Something we found that is fascinating and important to point out is that the majority of victims of this process are White women - because they are the ones making reports. They believe that the system is in place, and working for them. Many BIPOC victims, in the stories we heard, don’t trust the police, wouldn’t even bother reporting either from prior experiences of being discarded, disbelieved and turned away - and/or through absolutely earned distrust of law enforcement and the criminalization of their communities due to race.
So — while looking for stories, to be more diverse, the majority of sexual assault victims that walk into police stations, hoping for care and justice, were white.
BIPOC women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than white women. But the systemic bias against them means they don’t even go in to report.

bigfatmatt0112 karma

We're any of the law enforcement in these videos confronted with this evidence?

RevealNews28 karma

(Rae) Oh yeah. I tried to talk to all the ones who were featured in the film. The only detective who would talk to me on camera was in Bridgeport, CT. He stood by his arrest because she confessed.

Uncommon_Brain11 karma

I can’t remember the stat Nancy provided in the podcast, but in an entire large college town in Alabama, something like 10 rapes are reported a year. The number seemed staggeringly low. Whatever the stat is, it makes me believe that what you’ve documented has already had an (intended?) effect of creating a culture where sexual assaults don’t get reported. At best it’s a hassle with no sense of justice… and at worst, it’ll ruin you. 1. Do you think that’s true? 2. If so (or even if it’s a little bit true), what does it take to change back — new police chief, outreach, what?

RevealNews31 karma

(Nancy) It’s important to clarify that the most vulnerable time for a college student is the first 3 months of college. This is when the majority of assaults occur. The numbers of assaults reported per year at Univ of Alabama (one of the biggest party schools in America! With one of the most successful college football teams in the country!) seem quite low. 31 in 2021, 19 in 2020, and 29 in 2019.
People have theorized that universities push to keep the numbers down, so that it doesn’t scare away parents and donors. They might discourage victims - or who knows, they may even discuss with law enforcement their desire to keep numbers down…
Parents should know and understand that a high number of reports - is actually a good thing. It doesn’t mean “rape is rampant here, unlike other places where the numbers are low” - it means that victims/women and students feel safe and supported when they report.

toddlg11 karma

What should armchair sleuths/Redditors, knows about FOIA, court docs, etc. if they were to advocate for a victim/suspect?

RevealNews20 karma

Step 1. Harness all the patience you can. :) Put in a FOIA or public records request to the law enforcement agency. The National Freedom of Information Coalition has templates for each state:
Ask for all the investigative records for a case, and include as much info of the case that you have. Name, date of arrest, charge, etc. Ask for footage, texts, case reports, supplemental reports, photographs, and as much as you can think would exist.
You may find additional information on the court website, like whether or not the person entered a plea.
Also, ask for the police department’s sexual assault investigation protocols, and for the training history of the detectives/officers who investigated the alleged false report.
If you get a partial or full denial, Muckrock has listed great appeal resources for states:
We LOVE and ENCOURAGE citizens to use their rights - such as, obtaining FOIAS and court docs. Transparency is something we all need to fight for and insist on.

One_Look_5618 karma

Nancy, before the SAG and WGA strikes, the outlook for quality, nonfiction content wasn’t looking great. A lot of great documentaries from Sundance still don’t have distribution. Pragmatically speaking, are films like VICTIM/SUSPECT and ROLL RED ROLL less likely to get made — or distributed to broad audiences — in the years ahead?

RevealNews9 karma

(Nancy) Wow - I wish I had the answer, I do not! The market has been volatile and mysterious in terms of buying and distribution, and independent voices are needed now more than ever. We were incredibly fortunate to work with such brilliant folks at Netflix who believed in this small, mighty film about journalism (!), but we know this is the exception. All I can say and hope for - is keep pushing to tell stories that matter and matter to YOU - and hopefully you will find people that believe in it, too - to help you get it out into the world.

In terms of supporting independent film, we can do our little part, by buying tickets! Showing up for screenings and being part of our gorgeous documentary community…

sparrowhawk737 karma

How prevalent are the false accusations that we hear about occasionally in the news, and what can be done to deter these lies without also scaring away the many real victims of sexual assault?

RevealNews-1 karma

(Nancy) Great question! False accusations are incredibly rare- anywhere from 2-8% of reports are false accusations. Compared to the stat that 1 in 3 women in their lifetime will be raped — and that horrific statistic does not make the news, is something we should all be thinking about! It took 70+ victims to take down Bill Cosby…
The local media especially tends to take police reports and police outputs as “fact” so then they run the story. That should be questioned, and news outlets should do their own investigating before publishing.

One_Look_5616 karma

In the podcast you mention that legislative solutions are difficult to enact. 1) Why is that the case? 2) What would legislative solutions look like?

RevealNews6 karma

(Nancy) Legislative solutions take a long time - and we all want action now! But if we can be targeted about our asks, and get the right advocates on board inside Congress and the Senate and the DOJ we can work together to hopefully make some change - to start, locally, and then nationally.
(Rae) Change is possible. I think that sex assault investigations in many places already looks much different now than they did 20 years ago. That is thanks to the many organizers, survivors, and advocates who have been pushing for change. Sadly, sometimes it takes a series of terrible events to force that (look at Austin, Philadelphia, Baltimore PD).
There are people at EVAWI who I would say are working within the system to try to enact change. I’ve met some of them, and they’re passionate and smart.

tokenblak5 karma

Does participating in a project like this move you to “believe all women”, or do you feel that it is still necessary wait and sort out the facts before treating either the woman or man as suspect or victim?

(I hope I phrased that question well enough)

RevealNews9 karma

(Rae) I think I understand your question! Thank you.

This project proved to me just how important it is for investigators to be trained, specifically, in sexual crimes. It is so different from a robbery or a homicide. Someone who has recently been traumatized is suggestible, meaning psychological tricks or ploys won't get you closer to the truth.

So thorough and complete investigations should be completed before you take the extreme step of arresting and charging anyone with any crime. But it is particularly egregious and harmful if you do it to someone who is likely a victim. You may just be leaving a dangerous perp free to do it again, like in this story:

RevealNews2 karma


This question comes up a lot - appreciate you asking it. My job as a filmmaker is to tell stories and give voice to multiple points of view, while holding to a truth. With respect to survivors of sexual violence, it is phenomenally painful and shameful to come forward, and it is so incredibly rare (2-8%) for anyone to make it up - if I'm going by the numbers and a "cost benefit analysis" of why someone would lie v. knnowing how common rape is, how rare it is to lie, and how hard it is to come forward, there is very little reason I would hold to *not* believe someone if they come forward. (Nancy)

patricksaurus5 karma

How difficult is it to maintain the professional detachment required to accurately tell such an evocative story as a journalist or filmmaker? I was only sitting there watching, and I was ready to grab a pitchfork at the twenty minute mark.

RevealNews6 karma

(Nancy) Ha ha! Great question. I'm lucky, I get to make the film - that makes you mad. Rae has the bigger burden of remaining as neutral as possible. I wanted you to be angry, it is motivating! It inspires a fight for justice, so I guess I did my job :) And Rae's job is to investigate and show everything she found, and make it unassailable. So it's a delicate narrative balance, but sounds like we did it!

Presidentofsleep3 karma

What is your favorite kind of peanut butter?

RevealNews1 karma

Earth Balance, crunchy, with flax seed and/or coconut oil.

Se7enLC2 karma

Does the documentary include both people who did and people who didn't fabricate their accounts? Or just those that didn't and were being falsely suspected of it?

I think it would be fascinating to see a mix of both and try to tell the difference just like the detectives would be.

RevealNews-1 karma

(Rae) First, I'd invite you to watch the documentary.

If a detective is approaching a case wondering "Is this real or fake," then they've lost the victim's trust, and likely the case. I go with the approach of trust, then verify.

r0bman992 karma

Haven’t watched the documentary but I can wholeheartedly assume that the vast majority of the victims that were coerced into becoming suspects by the cops were men?

laserdollars4206 karma

I think the person replying misread your question. You seem to have been asking if the victims were men, and if you watch the trailer you'll see that the vast majority of the victims are women.

RevealNews6 karma

(Nancy) The majority of the victims are women, absolutely. There is a transman who is treated terribly in the film as well. Dr. Avalos in the film makes clear that younger, more vulnerable girls are often the target, or someone who is marginalized within the larger community.

r0bman99-15 karma

Victims that were turned into suspects?? I find that very difficult to believe. I’ll have to watch the documentary.

RevealNews13 karma

Yes, please first watch the film and come back! Would love to hear what you think.

RevealNews6 karma

(Rae) Most were men, but then again, most detectives and investigators are men.
However, I found at least 5 cases involving female detectives. Women can be just as or even more susceptible to rape myths or victim-blaming. It’s about organizational culture, socialization, and peer pressure. I would say those factors matter more than the gender of the detective.

zenith2925 karma

Hi! I think the intent was to ask about the gender trends within victims of your film, not the gender of the detectives.

RevealNews5 karma

(Rae) Thank you! We responded below.

victorgrigas2 karma

Did you think the people who were doing this were psychopaths?

RevealNews9 karma

(Nancy) Oh yes! I do love to mull on people’s motivations for anything. Not sure if you are talking about those who commit the sexual assaults, or the police officers who arrest victims?
In general we know that those who commit sexual assaults when they are finally caught, are serial offenders. They do it multiple times. A serial rapist, someone who chooses to commit violence and harm repeatedly is definitely someone who exhibits sociopathic tendencies, lack of empathy, power/over behaviors. If they are unable to acknowledge their harms, and will not take responsibility - that is a dangerous individual.
In our story, we are looking at the systemic. The systemic reasons this is going on within departments, to keep it short, seem to be: 1. False belief in rape myths, “women lie” 2. Lack of trust/care toward victims of assault. 3. Lack of time/will to do proper investigating 4. Lack of proper training

Mykahl792 karma


RevealNews11 karma

(Nancy) Sorry for what happened to your wife. We have a punitive, unjust and often violent system. It can hurt and harm victims more than it can help them.
You’re asking the age-old question - “what can we do outside the system?” and “is vigilante justice appropriate”? In ROLL RED ROLL, my first film, Alexandria Godard works within legal bounds to expose the rape culture in Steubenville, and at the heart of the viral gang rape that occurred there. Anonymous (the hackers) came in and put it on blast - exposing the case all over the world. They took matters in their own hands and divided the town. It was incredibly helpful for many, and harmful in other ways. The hacker was sentenced to prison.
I think working within the legal system to FOIA, call out, name and shame as best as possible is key. While also supporting local advocacy/crisis centers so they can keep doing their work. And challenging anything that seems off to you in the media.
It is painful when those responsible are not held accountable, so I am sorry for what happened.

RevealNews1 karma

Thanks for all your questions! We appreciate them so much! That's all we have time for today, but we’ll hop back on sporadically to answer any others that may come up.

Follow us on Threads, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for more updates and ways to engage with us!

For Victims-Survivors:
If you’re in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, help is available:
Suicide + Crisis Lifeline
Call or Text 988
Mental Health Match
Find licensed therapists near you

If you or someone you know reported a sex assault and was charged with falsely reporting it and wants to talk to Rae, find her email here:

TheCharalampos-1 karma

Why do they do this?

RevealNews3 karma

(Rae) Help me out. Who is "they" and what is "this"?

Orangebeardo-6 karma

How can a person be a suspect in their own rape? I assume that's not what you meant, but what are they suspected of then?

RevealNews24 karma

(Rae) Person reports they were raped. Police think they lied about the rape. Police charge them with falsely reporting an incident, making a false alarm, or providing a false statement – some variation of that.

Mr__Random-8 karma

Is it possible to combat the narrative pushed by certain sites "cough, Reddit, cough" that false rape accusations are some kind of weapon used by women against men, that women who report themselves as having been raped need to be held to an incredibly high level of scrutiny, and that reporting a rape should have the potential to put the reporter in a lot of legal trouble?

RevealNews-5 karma

(Nancy) Right? These “women lie” narratives have been pushed all over society, and they are dangerous and untrue. Rae and I also did a wonderful podcast with Alyssa Milano Sorry Not Sorry about the historical legacy of women making it up:
The fact that rapes aren’t properly investigated by actually looking at patterns of predation - how perpetrators target victims, their tactics, scouring evidence that pertains to a perpetrators behavior (not a victims drinking or outfit) is so outrageous and outdated.
In Victim/Suspect, one of the young women has video of her assailants’ accomplice! Another, the alleged perpetrator already had a complaint about him - why were none of these leads followed?
(Rae) I hope that the film can combat that narrative. I think that when people see police accuse someone of lying, they assume that the police are the best people to determine that. But honestly, often times it comes down to whether or not the alleged victim consented, and many police officers are not good at drilling down on what that means or looks like. So I would just continue to challenge police narratives, ask for complete and thorough investigations.