From Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine’s new press release Governor Kaine Announces 2008 Legislative Initiatives on Domestic and Sexual Violence (1/2/08):

“The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 also prohibits law enforcement officers from asking or requiring a victim of an alleged sex offense to submit to a polygraph examination as a condition for proceeding with the investigation of such an offense…

“In 2004, the Department of Criminal Justice Services conducted a survey of sexual Assault policies of law enforcement agencies. A little over 72% of respondents indicated that they sometimes performed polygraph exams on victims of sexual assault. Only 14.6% indicated that they never asked a victim to submit to a polygraph exam.

“The Governor’s proposed legislation would prohibit law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or other government officials from asking or requiring a victim of an alleged sex offense to submit to a polygraph examination, limiting the use of polygraph tests to those victims who specifically request them.”

In this news article Kaine (pictured) says, “We don’t do that with other crimes. Why would we do that routinely in a sexual assault?”

A few points:

1) I don’t know anything about how effective polygraph tests are, and Kaine is correct in his concern for further traumatizing rape victims. On the other hand, it is interesting that police use polygraphs far more for sexual assault cases than for other crimes.

One reason is probably that these crimes are often more intimate and less likely to have witnesses. But another reason is probably that the officers, through their own experiences, have seen that false accusations of sexual assault are much more common than false accusations of other crimes. Feminists insist that false rape claims are not any more common than false claims of other crimes.

To learn more about the prevalence of false accusations of rape, see my recent column U. of Maryland right to deny protesters a forum to publicly name alleged rapists, (Baltimore Sun, 10/15/07).

2) It is interesting that VAWA prohibits police from “asking or requiring a victim of an alleged sex offense to submit to a polygraph examination as a condition for proceeding with the investigation of such an offense.” For one, there’s a big difference between “asking” and “requiring.” I can understand feminist concern over requiring. On the other hand, their opposition to even asking is yet another example of feminists’ utter lack of concern over false rape allegations.

Glenn Sacks, www.GlennSacks.com

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