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College Official on Why We Must Believe Alleged Crime Victims: It May Not Be the Truth, 'But It Is That Person's Truth'

"Let's believe what that person said."

ClackamasTedder / Wikimedia CommonsThe mask slips yet again. When challenged to defend flyers posted around an Oregon campus that warn of a widespread sexual assault problem, a college official said the following: "Believing survivors means let's sit down and understand each other's experience. Let's believe what that person said, he or she has experienced, that we have experienced. It may not be the truth, as has been determined, but it is that person's truth and what they were going through."

Clackamas Community College Dean of Human Resources Patricia Wieck reportedly made the comments during an interview with The College Fix's Autumn Berend, who had been seeking more information about sexual violence prevention flyers that had recently appeared on campus. Wieck did not respond to a request for comment.

The posters call on students to plant 1,201 flags, each representing a survivor of sexual assault at Clackamas. But Clackamas's main campus has just 6,000 female students, and the last reported sexual assault—a fondling—took place in 2014.

The flyers, apparently posted by the Associated Student Government, referenced the oft-cited statistic that 1 in 5 women on college campuses are sexually assaulted. But even if that accurately reflects the average female student's odds of being raped (and there are good reasons to doubt that it does), it probably wouldn't apply to Clackamas, which lacks on-campus housing.

But accuracy doesn't seem to matter much in the eyes of Clackamas's Title IX office, which is responsible for investigating sexual misconduct claims. After all, one person's "truth" is as valid as anybody else's.

Photo Credit: Tedder

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  • Tom Bombadil||

    Is this a backup career for failed High School guidance counselors?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Government Almighty stole all my money, then stole my brain, then raped me!!!

    Everyone MUST believe me, right!?!?! Where's my lawsuit payoff?!?!?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Now that Art Bell has passed, who will defend people such as you or I?

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    Well. You still have me.

    :D

  • Conchfritters||

    Art Bell defended against a much more real horror - alien rape.

  • albo||

    We're the United States of Oprah.

    My truth is that you are truly an idiot, dean.

  • RWW||

    Can we tase anyone who uses any variation of the phrase "that person's truth"? Why can't we just call it what it is, that person's opinion? There is a scary amount of stupid in the world.

  • Anomalous||

    Tasing them is way too kind.

  • colorblindkid||

    People make fun of people who think post-modernism is a serious or growing threat, but it actively seeks to dismantle centuries of philosophical progress.

  • Longtobefree||

    How about the more likely phrase 'that person's delusion'?

  • ||

    Lies aren't even an opinion. They're just lies. No one is obligated to believe or repeat other people's lies.

  • Mark22||

    Why can't we just call it what it is, that person's opinion madness self-serving lie?

    FTFY

  • plusafdotcom||

    Absolutely! And if I say I'm offended by something (anything) or someone (anyone,) That's MY Truth, so the perp MUST automatically be guilty!

    Hell, under that alleged 'thought process,' no trial is needed at all... we can go directly to Sentencing!
    Such a money-saver! Why didn't someone implement that LONG ago?!

    /sarc, for those who need that reminder...

  • StackOfCoins||

    Don't tase me bro!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Only a hardhearted libertarian would think when he should feel.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    If you've seen what the co-eds were wearing on campus these days, you'd get in a lot of trouble for feeling.

  • Brian||

    Ok: you're full of shit, now listen, understand, and believe my truth and go fuck off.

  • Rich||

    "Believing survivors means let's sit down and understand each other's experience."

    What if your private parts are too sore to sit down?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Believing survivors means let's sit down and understand each other's experience."

    Even if my experience is raping college girls? Cool.

  • damikesc||

    I'm betting she is way less willing to understand the issues of men falsely accused of sexual assault.

    THOSE people are bad and must be punished.

    I just wonder why women think so little of other women. If a man gets black out drunk and something terrible happens to him, most guys will say "That was stupid. Why did you get that drunk, you fucking moron?"

    Women seem to think that getting black out drunk with people you don't know should be EXPECTED of women.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Falsely accused? Seriously? This is Current Year +2, you need to get with the times.

    Even glancing at a women's neckline is felony sexual assault, and must be dealt with as such.

  • cc2||

    "Believing survivors means let's sit down and understand each other's experience."
    and yet if they are lying then there is no "experience"--it is just a lie. It is not even like micro-aggressions which are exaggerations of something real.

  • Anomalous||

    What a fucking idiot. There's no such thing as "your truth." There's only THE truth, and your opinion.

  • Rich||

    "Let's believe what that person said, he or she has experienced, that we have experienced."

    If you believe "A" and "~A", you can -- dare I say it? -- RULE THE WORLD!!

  • gormadoc||

    Are you a dirty Matlab user?

  • silver.||

    Stop before you say something you regret.

  • gah87||

    I'm using Dirty Matlab v6.5. It even does 3-D.

  • Rich||

    "It may not be the truth, as has been determined"

    What is this "determined" of which you speak?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think he means the law in this case.

  • Brandybuck||

    College administration: A jobs program for the otherwise unemployable.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    After all, one person's "truth" is as valid as anybody else's.

    Yes, the unfortunate corollary is that an accused who feels he's done nothing wrong is innocent and should be excluded from any assault statistics, much less any punishment.

  • damikesc||

    If one person's truth is that I shot that professor, even though they watched and video taped me doing so...but MY truth is that I did not...am I innocent?

  • General_Tso||

    That depends on which boxes you check off.

  • General_Tso||

    That depends which boxes you can check off.

  • markm23||

    If a blond like Elizabeth Warren can be a "Native American" (which means something quite different than born in America), then is there really any limit to which boxes we can check off?

  • damikesc||

    So, if I said all progs are rapists and criminals, it wouldn't be false because it is "my truth"? Interesting.

    Does the professor oppose ALL libel and slander laws? After all, those lies are the speaker's truth, right?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Natch, the validity of "that person's truth" depends entirely on where that person falls in the Victim Hierarchy.

  • Ron||

    " It may not be the truth, as has been determined, but it is that person's truth "

    so much for the "science believers" can we also assume then that when Trump says a lie I'm to assume its his truth?

  • leninsmummy||

    Logic does not apply

  • Tony||

    Well as a first step maybe Clackamas should get rid of that giant triggering penis sculpture.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That's an observatory, just raping the heavens on a cishet patriarchal unwoke quest to prove that anything can be known.

  • Tony||

    A wise old man once told me that the truth was short but girthy.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    But enough about your Boy Scout experience.

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    There was a pattern that stuck out in the #MeToo furor. People coming forward were being asked why they hadn't come forward sooner. And yet they had. Folks went to the police and tried to file reports, they told agents, managers, colleagues. Corey Feldman hasn't kept quiet. He's been coming forward to the detriment of his career and reputation, and he gets asked why he's kept this so quiet. (Quiet? People think he's a nutball because he won't shut up about it, and yet also feel fine saying he kept too quiet.)

    There's a pattern here. Perhaps it's the just-world hypothesis.

    Could there be a social capital link? Acting on injustice perpetrated by those with high social capital - people who can do things for, or to, another person - against those with low social capital offers a highly skewed short-term cost-reward calculation. It would almost seem to require long-term thinking and an understanding of "me today; you tomorrow" for a person to act. We're not very good at those things.

    I say this because if we don't properly understand the underlying issue, we'll only make it worse. This sounds more like an excellent way for the in-group of the moment to utilize social capital as a weapon against the out-group of the moment; not a way to provide access to justice for out-groups lacking social capital.

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    We shouldn't "just believe" anything or anyone. Justice means knowing what went wrong and correcting it. "Just bleeeve!" seems a red herring that makes us feel better without solving the root problem.

  • ||

    The local NPR affiliate's rock critic, Jim DeRogatis, sounded like he was working his way into a glass bottle talking about R. Kelly being in the news again last night. Apparently, Kelly allegedly knowingly gave a woman an STD and, coincidentally, his lead attorney and his agent quit. The news host was trying to put a positive spin on the two women quitting and DeRogatis' appraisal was along the lines of "They weren't the first, they didn't quit because of how he treats women and, ultimately, he's playing the UIC Pavillion on Mother's Day."

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    Yep. Like that.

    If the root problem is neurological fallacy/social capital dysfunction, then "just believe anyone" will morph naturally into "only believe those who reward us neurologically/increase our social capital".

    Which is what we already have, only moar harder and with fervor. My money is on that ending in a clusterfuck of no-fun proportions.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    So....why are you using your capital-I trick to spoof Hihn's handle if you're not even going to act like him?

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    Personal amusement. It works almost as well as a profit motive.

  • Number 2||

    Richard Nixon's truth was that he was not a crook and that everything he did while in office was lawful and justified. Are you prepared to believe his truth? No? Then it should be no different for anyone else.

  • shawn_dude||

    You misunderstand the point.

    You don't have to believe Nixon's truth in order to believe that Nixon is sincere in his own belief. This is about using empathy as a tool to avoid treating someone like crap because they've accused a possible future olympian athlete of a crime. It matters that the victim believe she can tell her story honestly and people will at least believe that she is sincere.

    I'd say defense attorneys and psychologists both prepared to believe that the person they are listening to is telling the truth as they understand it and also to hold the factual truth in their heads at the same time without anything exploding. This is how they both help their clients navigate their situations. Up, so Yeah, you can believe Nixon's sincerity even if you know he's still a crook. Any normally functioning human is capable of that.

  • Paloma||

    That's why we have courts of law that demand evidence. Nobody wanted to believe Monica Lewinsky until she brought the blue dress.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    I wanted to believe her. Anything to get Bubba out of the White House

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    What this country needs is a good SJW Slapping Zoo! Gather 'em up and put 'em on display where normal people can visit, and CRACK!!, give 'em the pimp hand right up side the head! When you hear that loud CRACK!! ring out, like a tuning fork on steroids, in sympathy with the vibrations of the universe, you know that, just for that moment, all is well in the universe, and everything is just as it should be! A great stress reliever and true example of Social Justice, in every sense of the word!

  • Flinch||

    Say, didn't Einstein slap somebody that tried to go all post modern and take his theory of relativity into the ether with nonsense of a similar caliber? Now that's real...

  • Eidde||

    "Clackamas Community College Dean of Human Resources Patricia Wieck reportedly made the comments during an interview with The College Fix's Autumn Berend"

    "reportedly"? Why are we casting doubt on Autumn Berend's truth?

    My truth is that after making the quoted comments, Wieck smoked a bowl and said, "I as so full of shit it's not even funny!"

    Then she raped me.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I believe it.

  • Paloma||

    #MeToo

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    "Believing survivors means let's sit down and understand each other's experience. Let's believe what that person said, he or she has experienced, that we have experienced. It may not be the truth, as has been determined, but it is that person's truth and what they were going through."

    This is the kind of ridiculous bullshit that always gets in the way of serious philosophical discussions of the nature of truth.

  • Smokert5555||

    There should be no philosophical discussions about truth. Truth is what you can demonstrate to be factual in nature. Any other use of the word is wrong. And just discussing it never determines what might be true. That happens, once again, when you can demonstrate truth. Any philosophical discussion should end with "...what most likely is true.".

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Is That Person's Truth'

    Can people really be this dumb? Sure, there's nothing wrong with having your own truth. But when I'm forced to participate in your truth, or your truth becomes mine at the point of a gun, we have a problem.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "'Sure, there's nothing wrong with having your own truth. "'

    I say there is. You are entitled to your own opinion but not you're own truth.

    But good point.

  • Longtobefree||

    After all, one person's "truth" is as valid as anybody else's.

    Then it IS true that Hillary lost?

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Charlie Sheen is alive, in drag and foaming at the mouth in Clackamas

  • Longtobefree||

    After all, one person's "truth" is as valid as anybody else's.

    So it IS true that Hillary lost? I'll be damned.

  • Longtobefree||

    However, it is NOT true that I posted twice

  • Longtobefree||

    Maybe

  • lap83||

    I'm with her truth!

  • Mark22||

    It's at least truthy.

  • damikesc||

    I am too lazy to check....does Soave list "reportedly" with all quotes from reporters?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Wieck did not respond to a request for comment.

    I suspect El Robbo is being cautious given that he couldn't contact the alleged speaker to confirm her position. But don't let that stop you from getting pissy about his words.

  • damikesc||

    Can you cite the "pissiness" here?

    Just asking if he frequently uses "reportedly" when discussing quotes given to reporters. I've noticed but I could've missed it.

    Does he always reach out to other people who gave quotes to journalists?

  • Sevo||

    Well, you should get a load of "Sevo's Physics"! I mean this time-travel is hot stuff!

  • yawbus||

    Whenever you hear the words "I am going to tell you my truth...", expect what comes next to be pure subjective BS.

  • Árboles de la Barranca||

    "To be perfectly honest, Your Honor, believe it or not...."

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    "I'm walking on air..."

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    You've read too much Penthouse Forum

  • Heraclitus||

    Before the snowflakes at Reason start getting hysterical think this one through for a minute. She is not saying that they are going to necessarily punish the alleged perp. That's what conduct hearings are for. The reporting officer does have the mindset that they believe the person and that is all right. It makes them feel like it is a welcoming and safe place in which to they can share their story. It is then up to an investigating officer and a hearing committee to decide whether there is a preponderance of evidence on the victim's side. Do your research folks and don't make quick judgement based on out-of-context quotes.

  • Mark22||

    The reporting officer does have the mindset that they believe the person and that is all right. It makes them feel like it is a welcoming and safe place in which to they can share their story

    And in what way is it a good thing to validate someone's false beliefs about reality? In the case of false beliefs about rape, if you validate that delusion, they aren't going to consider campus a "welcoming and safe place", they are going to consider campus a place where they get raped. The right and kind thing is to tell a delusional person to return to reality, not to aid their descent into madness because you don't want to hurt their feelings.

    It is then up to an investigating officer and a hearing committee to decide whether there is a preponderance of evidence on the victim's side.

    The standard for criminal acts is, and ought to be, "beyond a reasonable doubt".

  • shawn_dude||

    Well, as the reporting officer, you don't know if their story is false until you hear it and weigh it against the evidence. So it's all well and good to say that you shouldn't validate "false beliefs" by using a sincere approach as a listener, but you don't know if those beliefs are false or not until after you've listened. Asking your alleged victim about her rapists swim scores during the interview should be avoided.

    The standard for criminal acts applies to police and district attorneys. The standard for civil complaints is often less rigorous. And the standard required for institutions, especially private ones, is even less rigorous.

  • Paloma||

    And if the preponderance of evidence suggests she's lying?

  • markm23||

    Then you make sure the preponderance of evidence won't go against her, by not allowing that dirty rapist to present evidence, be represented by counsel, or cross-examine the accuser.

  • Smokert5555||

    The problem is the women report it to campus authorities instead of the cops. All campus authorities can do is kick the guilty one out of their college and (from the stories i've read) generally screw up the process of achieving justice. Are the women really saying they are satisfied with that as punishment instead of jail time?

  • NicholasStix||

    shawn_dude|4.25.18 @ 4:40PM|#

    "The standard for criminal acts applies to police and district attorneys. The standard for civil complaints is often less rigorous. And the standard required for institutions, especially private ones, is even less rigorous."

    What on earth are you talking about? There is no standard at all for non-court institutions.

    There is no legal basis for educational institutions to be investigating and adjudicating rape accusations. This nonsense was illegally imposed by Obama. And you're just making up crap, to cover for him.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    All of which sounds well and good, except for the fact that the report itself is usually enough to send the accused straight to hell. People should be encouraged to report truth, not just their version of it. And a reporting officer had better have some idea of how to sift the matters stated to figure out what's what before submitting a report that will account for almost all the damage capable of being done in a given case.

  • Flinch||

    I'm not so sure. These days, it seems like 'due process' is the punishment. It would have cost Bill Clinton alot less if Monica had just brought out the blue dress from the word go - he could have been spared an incursion into perjury and getting his law license yanked. Being innocent is no protection under the law either: you can be dragged from appeal to appeal until you are bankrupt and can no longer fight in civil matters. Is there much difference between ten years behind bars and the wiping out the entirety of someones assets [using a valise instead of a cutlass and cannon]?

  • Duelles||

    Guys on campi ! Just make sure you don't date a bi-polar, alcoholic. Their story will be a doosey and you will be screwed again and again.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    But not in a good way

  • shawn_dude||

    Rape is a type of sexual assault. You shift from one to the other without noting it and then cite an article about campus rape. The scope of what is defined as sexual assault is broader than rape.

    "But accuracy doesn't seem to matter much in the eyes of Robby Soave." FTFY

  • Malvolio||

    "Truth is singular. Its 'versions' are mistruths."
    — Sonmi 461

  • Marshal||

    " But even if that accurately reflects the average female student's odds of being raped (and there are good reasons to doubt that it does), it probably wouldn't apply to Clackamas, which lacks on-campus housing."

    There's a bigger problem. The 1 in 5 statistic is dependent on a 4 year tenure. Activists arrived at it by taking the ~5% annual response and multiplying by 4. Since community colleges are 2 year programs the rate of women effected would be 1 in ten even if we ignore their inclusion of nonsense categories.

  • HaddadLawFirm||

    "It may not be the truth, as has been determined, but it is that person's truth and what they were going through."

    What are the qualifications for being a college official these days? As a criminal defense lawyer, it is terrifying that someone, not only college educated but in the business of educating, could be a proponent of treating allegations of sexual assault as truth even when facts do not support the charge.

    As with any allegation of criminal misconduct, its validity should be based on the results of a thorough investigation. In my experience, it has become for too common, and easy, for jurors to lose sight of the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Flinch||

    It's bad enough to conflate understanding with knowledge, but now understanding is truth? This level of confusion threatens our society as surely as a terrorist. But first things first: knowledge is accrued by experience, in that we either do something or have something happen to us. Anything outside of that is understanding. Truth can be found by either mode, but the certitude is not guaranteed and in the case of understanding may not exist at all. Title IX is a menace, and has grown from a niche form of affirmative action to become a cancer on logic itself.

  • Raoul Duke||

    But isn't "truth" a construct of the patriarchy or something?

  • MaleMatters||

    Yes, and so is logic and rationality and objectivity -- you know, all the things that keep societies from disintegrating.

  • IceTrey||

    "It may not be the truth, as has been determined,..."

    Seriously? That line negates the entire article. It clearly states that their is an objective truth and it might not agree with their truth. It's basically saying give them sympathy. Remember sympathy? Now it's called believeing their truth.

  • Cloudbuster||

    "I am innocent of all charges," may not be the truth, but it's my truth!

  • IceTrey||

    And I will believe you when I visit you in prison.

  • Dimas Anggara||

    People insult those who think postmodernism is a serious or growing threat, but actively seek to dismantle the centuries of impending philosophical advancement.
    Thanks for sharing this article

    http://prediksiwla.com/api/liv.....tHK6D.aspx

  • cc2||

    Have these people never witnessed someone lying? Do they come from the Twilight Zone episode where the guy is compelled to tell the truth? How naive do you have to be to throw around "rape" numbers like that? So many questions...

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    So, we're going to make the law relative; which means there is no law, only feelings.
    That way lies anarchy.

  • Peter Duncan||

    The funny thing is we locals pronounce it Crack-in-my-ass Community College.

    Just a little perspective here.

  • Eman||

    So is "your [as opposed to 'the'] truth" going to be the media's favorite meme (if that's what it is) for the next six months? Cuz I was still intrigued by all the new and exciting uses we were finding for "nothingburger". An alternative minimum explanation could be I just spend too much time on the internet.

  • John McElroy||

    From kindergarten to post graduate schools, one is more likely to find a person with a rational thought process in a residential mental health facility than you are to find such a person in the halls of any educational institution.

  • MaleMatters||

    Re: "It may not be the truth, as has been determined, but it is that person's truth and what they were going through."

    That person is delusional. But by all means, let's nurture everyone's delusions and fertilize their falsehoods.

  • Smokert5555||

    What this woman fails to note is the difference between "truth" and "facts. Facts are something demonstrably true. Truth should be the same thing, but in our society we tend to argue over what's true/truth. Even this woman's use of the word "truth" is faulty. Truth is not what you want something to be, or what you think something is, but is something that you can show is fact based.
    The stats women use to show a rape based culture on campus's in specific and men in general were faulty from the start. But good luck getting a rape culture proponent to listen to the facts.

  • HenryC||

    There is a huge difference between believing some else believes something and having any proof they are right. It is morally wrong, evil even, to take any action against that second person without some form of proof.

  • PG23COLO||

    This isn't a new phenomenon. Has been going on for decades, especially re allegations of sexual abuse or of child abuse. "Believe the victim." They have no reason to lie. Similar to "believe the cop," he has no reason to lie.

    District attorneys often sell the same story.

    Makes it hard to pick an unbiased jury when it comes time for trial.

    The presumption that an allegation is true too often prevails over the presumption of innocence.

  • Liberty Lover||

    "It May Not Be the Truth, 'But It Is That Person's Truth'" That persons "not the truth, but that person's truth" could put innocent people in prison for years. Talk about altered reality.

  • LiveNLetLive||

    There is no such thing as personal truth. There is only one set of facts that fit reality.

  • Jim knows||

    This idiocy is called relativism and it is pure evil. The truth is the truth, there are no varying degrees of truth. There is only truth and lies. The only "experience" they could be having of a lie is called a delusion. Here's the big problem with political correctness - they want to create their own dictionary and scrap 5000 years of philosophy because they are spoiled little bitches that just want their way.

  • Duelles||

    The dean must have a BS, MS & PHD in BS as well as being a mouth breathing dolt.

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