Imagine that you’re a young man in college, eager to get the education you’ve been told your whole life was necessary for any degree of success. Then, there’s a knock on your dorm room door. It turns out that a girl you know has accused you of raping her. You know you didn’t do anything wrong, but the campus police don’t seem to be particularly interested in your protestations of innocence. It’s clear from the start that the police don’t seem interested in right or wrong, only in making sure you get punished.
Sounds terrifying, right? It’s also far too likely to happen now that several campuses are adopting something called a “victim-centric” approach to investigating rape accusations.
It actively harms accusers to ask them basic factual questions about their accusations, according to Strand, former chief of behavioral sciences at the Army’s military police school:
The questions he teaches cops to ask are open-ended and center on the victim’s experience — their thoughts before and during a crime, tactile memories such as smells, sounds and feelings, and details of the experience that they can’t forget.
UMinn police chief Matthew Clark says it’s important for officers to “learn how to adapt to victims’ experiences” before they have any clue whether an accuser is a victim, as adjudicated by a non-police body:
“When you start talking about your experience based on your senses, you actually start telling the tale of what happened,” Clark said. “But you can’t dictate it; you’ve got to let those victims go with it the way they experienced it.”
It’s not clear whether UMinn police are going as far as University of Texas police, which started explicitly refusing to collect evidence that may exonerate an accused student a year ago.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education warned that UT police were being politicized when they were told to avoid asking certain questions of accusers.
Those who have been raped experience significant trauma, and an officer with a disbelieving tone may not help the accuser feel that justice is being served.
But that doesn’t mean that police officers can neglect our nation’s laws when investigating. Their job is to gather evidence. All evidence. The only acceptable outcome is based on the entirety of the evidence.
When people ask why fewer men are going to college — a question that brings up over 43 million hits on Google — they should consider that colleges are now hostile environments for men. In addition to the constant indoctrination that Y chromosomes are the reason the whole world sucks, the mere accusation of sexual misconduct can ruin a man’s life.
Now campuses are creating an environment where those expected to take an impartial gathering of the facts are explicitly told to not be impartial. It’s enough to make many parents and sons reconsider college as an option.
Meanwhile, this abomination of justice is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.