Eleanor de Freitas falsely accused Alexander Economou of raping her. The police let her get away with it, so he brought a private prosecution of perverting the course of justice to clear his name. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) took over the prosecution. De Freitas then killed herself three days before her trial. She had bipolar disorder, but a forensic psychiatrist instructed by her own legal team had “recommended that she was aware of the implications of making a false allegation and was fit to stand trial.” Her father was ‘“still astonished” that the CPS had decided to prosecute her.
For a contrast, consider this hypothetical case. Jack raped Jill. The police let him get away with it, so she brought a private prosecution of rape. The Crown Prosecution Service took over the prosecution. Jack then killed himself three days before his trial. He had bipolar disorder, but a forensic psychiatrist instructed by his own legal team had “recommended that he was aware of the implications of rape and was fit to stand trial.” His mother was ‘“still astonished” that the CPS had decided to prosecute him.
The contrast is salutary. Many will feel some sympathy for Eleanor de Freitas. None will feel sympathy for Jack. This is the first double standard.
Many will feel sympathy for the father of de Freitas. Most will regard the mother of Jack as callously failing to realise the severity of the crime her son committed. This is the second double standard.
Jill will be offered all sorts of help and support. Men who are falsely accused are shunned and shamed. This is the third double standard.
Jill is regarded as a victim deserving of special care whether or not Jack is convicted. Men who are falsely accused are regarded for the rest of their life as probably guilty unless the malicious woman is prosecuted. This is the fourth double standard.
A false accusation of rape is an attempt to destroy someone’s life. It frequently succeeds. The person accused is regarded as guilty until proven innocent. They will be shamed and shunned. If the accusation is successful, he will be imprisoned with an average sentence of eight years. He may well be raped while in prison. An accusation will usually cost a man his job, his home, his marriage, and his children, and he won’t get them back even if he proves himself innocent. It often results in suicidal ideation. It can result in him committing suicide. It often results in him being assaulted. Most outrageous of all, it can result in him being beaten to death. A false accusation is therefore a more serious crime than attempted rape. It is an attempt at much more than that. The only crime commensurate with such effects on the victim is attempted murder. Eleanor de Freitas, however, was prosecuted for perverting the course of justice, which has an average sentence of 10 months. This is the fifth double standard. I wish it were the last, but it’s not.
The charity War Against Rape wants to stop the prosecution of false accusers of rape. They are being supported in this by Professor Lisa Avalos of the University of Arkansas, who said that false allegations in the US were dealt with as a misdemeanour offence, not a felony—and most women were not jailed if found guilty (sixth double standard). She is also quoted as saying, “In the course of my research I have not found any country that pursues these cases against women rape complainants in the way the UK does. The UK has an unusual approach, and I think their approach violates human rights.”
Let’s get clear about this. This woman thinks that prosecuting a malicious lying woman who has sought to destroy a man’s life by a false accusation—possibly resulting in suicide, assault, rape or murder for him—violates her human rights. I do not understand how anyone could seriously say this unless they hate men. If anyone said anything remotely similar to this about rape, they would be accused not merely of rape apology but of promoting rape as a tool for the oppression, subjugation, and humiliation of women.
 http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/may/15/perverting-course-justice-maximum-life-sentence and https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-statistics-quarterly-april-2013-to-march-2014