Hey, y’all remember that Jackie girl? The one from that UVA rape story. Remember how she probably lied about at least some of her allegations? That was bad. So we should probably go ahead and start naming all accusers when reporting on rape cases, dontcha think? Paul Farhi is just asking.

Sure, experts think that anonymity is crucial for empowering survivors who otherwise might not come forward out of fear of the social consequences. And lots of survivors think they want anonymity. And maybe identifying the name of the accuser can’t possibly add anything valuable to reporting on a rape.

But there’s an “emerging faction” of one lady who’s had at least two jobs who says that’s just some dumb bullshit. Geneva Overholser spent a minute journalisming about a rape victim whom she identified (with consent), and got a Pulitzer. So this lady/faction knows what’s up.

And did you know that, even though we generally grant rape accusers anonymity, rape is still underreported and survivors still face retaliation? Seems pretty clear anonymity never accomplishes anything.

Oh and also, “silence and anonymity only perpetuate the social climate that rape victims and their advocates are fighting against.” You see, granting anonymity to accusers

is a particular slice of silence that I believe has consistently undermined society’s attempts to deal effectively with rape. . . . Nothing affects public opinion like real stories with real faces and names attached. Attribution brings accountability, a climate within which both empathy and credibility flourish.


Like most folks, I find it really hard to believe a rape accuser unless I can look up her address, knock on her door, and watch her cry. That’s the type of accountability that really gets my empathy going.

On the bright side, it’s finally getting cold here and nothing gets my fireplace started like WaPo.