Sexual Assault

Clinical Guide: False Allegations in Adult Sexual Assault

We had a robust discussion today around false allegations of sexual assault in adult cases, and I figured it was probably time to post a clinical guide on the topic (I get asked for the research often). I’m only posting the published literature from the past 10 years–if you’re looking for something earlier than 2005 let me know.


Law & Society Review 2014 Jan; 48(1): 161-192. Unfounding Sexual Assault: Examining the Decision to Unfound and Identifying False Reports. Spohn C, White C, Tellis K.

Violence Against Women. 2010 Dec;16(12):1318-34. False allegations of sexual assualt: an analysis of ten years of reported cases. Lisak D, Gardinier L, Nicksa SC, Cote AM.

Violence Against Women. 2010 Dec;16(12):1356-71; discussion 1372-4. Trying to move the elephant in the living room: responding to the challenge of false rape reports. Lonsway KA.

Violence Against Women. 2010 Dec;16(12):1345-55; discussion 1372-4. The (in)credible words of women: false allegations in European rape research. Kelly L.

Psychol Rep. 2005 Oct;97(2):589-98. Characteristics of true versus false allegations of sexual offences. Rassin E, van der Sleen J.



False Reports: Moving Beyond the Issue to Successfully Investigate and Prosecute NonStranger Sexual Assault (2009). Lonsway, K Archambault J, Lisak D: National District Attorneys Association

False Allegations of Rape: A Critique of Kanin (2007). Lisak D.: Sexual Assault Report

(Did I miss something? Let me know and I’ll update the guide.)

One reply on “Clinical Guide: False Allegations in Adult Sexual Assault”

I know first-hand just how excellently robust these discussions can get. This is a hot polarizing topic across the country. Thanks for keeping the literature in forefront.
Safe travels wherever you’re headed today. 🙂

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