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Farrah Abraham’s latest actions are incredibly damaging for rape survivors

Farrah Abraham has gone too far this time.

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Teen Mom OG star Abraham claimed on her podcast last week that she was nearly raped by an Uber driver in New York, sharing details of what she said was a harrowing ordeal.

Now, it turns out, none of it was true.

Abraham came clean this week, admitting that the driver never touched her. Instead, she says he was “looking at her lecherously” and she worried that “it could have escalated into a rape situation.” It’s a far cry from the story she told previously about being chased and harassed by the driver.

What Abraham seemingly doesn’t understand is that her decision to fabricate a story of an attempted rape is horribly damaging for all women (and men) who have survived actual sexual assault. While FBI statistics estimate the number of false rape accusations to be as low as 2 percent of all allegations, victims still face an uphill battle when it comes to seeking justice for rape. Rape is the only crime in which the onus is on the victim to prove that the crime occurred, and many survivors face law enforcement officials, health care workers and even family and friends who doubt the veracity of their stories.

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When a high-profile celebrity woman like Abraham falsely claims she was almost raped, she gives ammunition to those who might doubt actual rape survivors’ stories, allowing them to draw on a well-publicized anecdote of a woman who falsely cried “rape” to discount a true story of sexual assault. In a country where, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, only an estimated 32 percent of rapes are even reported to police and only 2 percent of accused rapists will ever serve time behind bars, Abraham needs to know that her lies make other women less likely to come forward, and make real rapists less likely to be prosecuted, and that is simply unacceptable.

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