More men would prefer to be falsely accused of murder than sexual assault.
That’s the unsettling finding of a new poll conducted by the Independent Women’s Voice, a women’s advocacy group that in its own words fights for women by expanding support for policies that enhance freedom, choices and opportunities.
In the case of sexual assault, that does not mean eliminating the basic presumption of innocence, the group says.
“Sexual assault needs to be taken seriously, but so does the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and questions of fundamental fairness,” said Heather Higgins, the organization’s CEO.
“If we don’t find the right balance, the relations of women and men, both personal and professional, will be seriously impaired,” Higgins said.
The foundational concept of “innocent until proven guilty” was scrapped by Democrats during recent Supreme Court hearings involving the now-confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Universities have also up-ended the constitutional principle, instead opting for a system where mere allegations of sexual assault serve as damning charges to be refuted by the accused, rather than proved by the accusers.
The Independent Women’s Voice contracted the polling firm McLaughlin & Associates to conduct the survey.
The results were astonishing. Only 22 percent of male respondents preferred charges of sexual assault if they faced being accused of it, as opposed to murder. The decision is odd because murder carries such heavier penalties. But four times as many men either chose murder or said they couldn’t make up their mind which would be worse.
Incredibly, a follow-up question about the presumption of innocence showed that a whopping 57 percent of male and female respondents believe that men who are accused of sexual assault today are already presumed guilty before any legitimate fact-finding begins—the inference being that men accused of murder would face a fairer judicial process.
Another four in 10 people said “an unsupported allegation of sexual assault” made against a man should either lead to the denial of future jobs, or that they weren’t sure if it should.
“In the wake of the divisive confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the presumption of guilt espoused by the #MeToo movement, our polling shows what many have discussed anecdotally: Nearly twice as many men would prefer to be accused of murder than sexual assault, and an equal number of men don’t know. This is truly disturbing and should come as a great concern for everyone—male and female,” Higgins said.