The ITV drama has thrown up lots of questions regarding how we treat and handle rape offenses.
There was a peculiar, however, palpable, awareness of relief once we discovered at last Monday’s episode of ITV’s Liar which Laura was right all along.
Relief since this wasn’t yet another drama of a false rape accusation destroying an innocent person’s life, a situation that has arguably had much too much air time in movies and TV shows today, especially given how infrequent false accusations are in actual life.
And at the few of instances where a lady will falsely accuse a man of raping her, the authorized penalties are unpleasant. Lately, 25-year old Londoner Jemma Beale obtained a 10-year prison sentence for falsely claiming she was assaulted by fifteen unique guys.
Statistically, it is a lot more realistic to get a victim of sexual assault to discover he or she’s not considered, which might explain why 75 percent of people who experience sexual violence won’t ever report it to police.
During this Monday’s episode of Liar, we found that Laura’s rape wasn’t a one-off. Andrew seems to be a veteran and sequential offender, revealed — in a few of the funniest moments of this show so much — breaking in to DI Vanessa Harmon’s home while she’s annoyed to drug her.
Laura currently faces the stern struggle of demonstrating Andrew’s guilt to authorities with another reluctant victim, all while her rapist sues her for defamation.
We requested Katie Russell, spokesperson for Rape Crisis England & Wales, to inform us exactly what she believes.
‘Every victim or survivor of rape or any sort of sexual abuse is exceptional and each person reacts in their own approach to their own experience(s). So necessarily not all of survivors who see any specific programme concerning sexual abuse will see something that they relate to mirrored back. There are definitely some facets of Laura’s behavior that are typical among rape survivors though, such as her anxiety, anger, hyper-vigilance, trouble sleeping and difficulties with confidence in the wake of what she has been put through.
By contrast, rape and sexual offences themselves are much more common than most people realise. In this context, it would’ve been insensitive and inappropriate, potentially even damaging, if this programme had chosen to portray the accuser as the eponymous ‘Liar’, especially when there is already a widespread myth that women frequently lie about rape.
It’s important to remember that rapists have much more to gain from lying about sexual violence than someone who reports a rape to the police. And in that respect, Andrew’s deviousness perhaps shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
There’s also a lot of research to suggest that rapists are often serial offenders, as Liar’s Andrew is now being revealed to be. At the same time, rapists are ordinary people, who can and often do lead ordinary lives in which they may be trusted, well-regarded, even loved. There aren’t obvious traits that can help us spot a rapist and they often aren’t the stereotypical “loner” or “weirdo” people expect.
The police officers investigating Laura’s case have been seen treating her with respect, empathy and impartiality so far, which is good practice and the least any victim or survivor reporting the crime against them should be able to expect.’
Liar continues next Monday on ITV1