In February of this year, PolitiFact judged Barack Obama’s most recent iteration of the claim that 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have been raped to be “mostly true,” explaining that “the statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information” — by which the authors meant that findings by researchers have varied widely. Nevertheless “mostly true” is a big win for the president, whose “facts” are often judged as blatant lies.
In its lengthy analysis, PolitiFact made no mention of the fact that the 1-in-5 claim was actually a weaker version of the earlier assertion that 1 in 5 women in college are sexually assaulted. That long-since discredited claim took another hit this past week when University of Minnesota police announced that a female student who reported being raped by armed strangers was “in crisis” and in need of “professional assistance.”
The Star Tribune elaborates:
They no longer believe that she was the victim of an armed sexual assault, as originally reported, according to Vice President Pam Wheelock, who oversees the Police Department.
The case sparked a wave of concern across campus after the student, an 18-year-old woman, told police that she was sexually assaulted early Sunday in her dorm room at Sanford Hall by two strangers, one carrying a knife.
In a brief written statement Thursday, university officials said: “After continued University of Minnesota Police Department investigation, the previously reported sexual assault in Sanford Hall early Sunday morning is now being considered a student crisis intervention case.”
Asked whether the student had changed her story, Wheelock declined to comment, citing confidentiality laws. “Our priority right now is on providing the support to this student that she needs,” she said.
Shorter Star Tribune: The coed lied and has been diagnosed as a troubled individual who needs psychological counseling.
But not everyone at the university is viewing the situation in such black-and-white terms. Katie Eichele, director of the Aurora Center, which is described as “a safe and confidential space” for victims of sexual assault, cautions against making quick judgments, adding:
The victim-survivor is the most important person in all of this, and supporting what it is they’re going through and what they may want in the process.
It sounds as though Katie Eichele could use some help, too.
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