The Oct. 2 front-page article “For GOP men feeling under siege, a rising tide of rage,” cited the “wave of unbridled anger and anxiety from many Republican men, who say they are in danger of being swept up by false accusers who are biased against them.” These concerns, triggered by the Kavanaugh allegations and the #MeToo movement, surely are an example of putting the cart before the horse. A review of the research by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center shows about 63 percent of sexual assaults are never reported and only 2 to 10 percent of reports are false.
The data also show that only 0.06 percent of the perpetrators are incarcerated. Using data from the Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey, that means that an average of 321,500 people are the victims of rape and sexual assault in the United States annually but only 1,900 are incarcerated.
While it is always important to ensure due process for individuals, surely our first priority must be to find ways to reduce the number of these horrific crimes that scar the lives of so many people and to put away the criminals who commit them.
Peter Kinzler, Alexandria
There is a notion being floated that men must now fear false allegations of sexual assault. This is a political strategy meant to elicit fear to effect a particular voting outcome. Donald Trump Jr.’s statement that he fears for his sons is an example. There is no need for fear if one’s sons are raised to respect people, women included. There is no need for fear if one’s sons understand women are an invaluable part of the American fabric, whose contributions to our society and its progress in realizing the American democratic experiment are as vital as those of men. There is no need for fear if one’s sons are taught that every person has a right to be free from unwanted acts against his or her body.
That Mr. Trump and Jared Kushner have not been accused of sexual misconduct — nor have thousands of other men in positions of power — evidences the falsity of the premise and the fear.
These are challenging times. Cultural shifts are by nature a challenge. And in times of challenge, far better outcomes result from pulling together based on an element of thought than from pulling apart based on fear.
Pamela Hunter, Washington