Welcome to the release of a brand new psychological thriller from K.C. Sprayberry. Thunder & Lightning is a new adult story suitable for mature young adult readers. It explores the dark world of false rape allegations, how they destroy lives, and leave people wondering what is right and what is wrong,
Why did you decide to approach this subject?
The decision to approach this subject wasn’t an easy one. I was bothered by the reports on social media about men being released from prison, after the woman who accused them of rape recanted many years later. I kept asking myself how a woman could make such an accusation if it wasn’t true. Did she not realize that she was about to destroy someone’s life? Didn’t she realize that eventually the truth would emerge? Mostly, how could any woman make a false rape report and get away with it? Why would they do such a thing? For every false rape report, many other women aren’t believed when they are raped. These women are creating a bigger problem than the men who actually commit rapes.
Are false rape accusations common? What has your research revealed regarding the motives for doing so?
Only eight percent of rape accusations have been called unfounded. This means anything from a false report to uncooperative victims. Currently, the exact number is 1.7% of rape reports have been proven to be false, but there is speculation that number could be much higher. Some might say that’s not much so why make a big deal about it? I’m making a big deal out of it as a woman because even one false rape report can hurt women who have been assaulted, keep them from reporting the crime or the police from believing them easily.
Were there any real life cases to base them on, and also in how those cases were handled?
Yes, there were real life cases to base this story on. Those cases were handled as every other rape case has been handled, to include the assault kit, if the victim was cooperative. That sounds like laziness on the part of the police, but a sexual assault exam can be as traumatizing as the actual assault. Or the individuals doing this exam are sloppy. These people could be determined to make every man pay for some transgression a man did to her in the past. That transgression could have been ignoring her, putting her down, or not noticing how much she wanted him in her life.
One thing I have to say here. Most police officers involved in these cases, be they man or woman, works hard to insure the person reporting the sexual assault is telling the truth. But, if the person reporting the rape is determined to have an individual’s life destroyed for whatever reason, that woman will do everything in her power to be believed. Many of the women who make false reports have convinced themselves they were actually raped, shoving aside any qualms that their accusation will destroy someone’s life.
Do you think there is a gender bias at work here? As in, if she yells rape, everyone believes her, but if he does, no one believes him. The bias is something a certain predator seems to understand quite well.
I think more than gender bias, the false reporters are looking for attention. A rape victim gets a lot of attention from many people immediately following the actual reporting. They are treated gently, told it’s not their fault. In the “victim’s” way of thinking, this attention verifies in her mind that she was actually assaulted. Yet, in the back of her mind, there will be this nugget of information that she wasn’t actually raped. I believe it takes a certain lack of empathy to falsely report a rape. The person accused might not have done anything except ignore the alleged victim in a crowd or said something that offended her. It doesn’t take much but the consequences for the man accused are tremendous.
Anything from our conversations and beyond that you’d like to share.
You do know you have me on my soapbox now. Things like the areas on college campuses where students who are “traumatized” by real life events are training them to be dependent children rather than adults. Good grief, many people in my generation witnessed our sitting president murdered on live TV and while we were saddened, we still went on with our lives. A man is elected in a hotly contested election when everyone thought the woman would be and we had college students rioting in the streets, burning businesses, and basically throwing a massive temper tantrum without consequences. They were allowed to return to their lives, while being told it was their Constitutional right to protest. Those telling these unruly students that forgot one part of that right, as stated in the constitution – they had the right to a peaceful protest. Once these students blocked traffic, set fires, and otherwise interfered in a civil, organized march to express their feelings, they went from being peaceful protestors to criminals. Unfortunately, because the leadership of the areas where this happened decided not to force criminal prosecution, they now believe they can continue with illegal acts and call them peaceful protests when they are in fact acts of anarchy. Or a woman can decide all men are horrendous rapists and report one as her rapist.
For me, it’s a simple decision of obeying the law of the land. Therefore, a peaceful protest can include shouting, signs, and marching in the street if a permit is taken out before the protest. Anything else is illegal, and by allowing these criminal acts to continue, we are also encouraging other criminal acts to happen without consequence. This means is a guy pisses off a girl and she decides to get even by filing a criminal complaint of rape, someone’s life will be destroyed. More than likely the guy’s. Yes, we have evolved (devolved is the more correct term) to this point and it will take what we’ve lost as a country to change that – deciding our personal rights are more important than someone else’s personal rights. Until that happens, we are going to be in for a very rough ride.
Thank you for sharing this with us. It’s an important subject, wrapped up in a good read.
About the story…
The gridiron rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers runs deep. Auburn has a knack of ruining Georgia’s perfect season at the worst possible moment…
The same can be said about Tarit ‘Lightning’ Berenson and his twin, Taren ‘Thunder’ Berenson. Tarit’s a running back for the Dawgs; his speed is legendary. Taren prefers online gaming; her skills are awesome.
Brad Weaver seeks justice for those falsely accused. He’s attempting to make up for his brother’s false arrest and subsequent “suicide” that evidence points to being a murder. Yet, proof of someone else’s involvement is hard to come by and he’s soon running at full speed to rescue Tarit from the same fate.
It all begins at a game, a win and revenge against a tough rival for University of Georgia Bulldogs.
“Dawgs, this is for you!”
Tarit’s words set up a mighty cheer on the night of the SEC Championship football game. His rejection of a girl’s advances at a party later that night turns the last half of his senior year of college into a nightmare without end.
Taren does her best to help her twin despite a lack of support from everyone, even their own parents. Her allegiance to him never wavers, nor does she stop searching for answers no matter what she has to do.
Time is running out…
Evidence mounts against him…
Until Taren makes a startling discovery…
Is it too late to save Tarit?
“We’re in the last quarter of the SEC final game of this season.” The announcer’s voice is barely audible over the roar of the crowd. “Tarit ‘Lightning’ Berenson prepares to receive the ball. Auburn’s Tigers are all over this talented running back, ready to stop him. But nothing has stopped Tarit all season. Will tonight be when ‘Lightning’ learns he’s not invincible?”
The voices echo in my head, reminding me the night that should have been my greatest triumph. The memory is the only thing I have left of what was once a stellar college career. Since the after-game party, when I turned down her advances and walked away alone, I’ve had to justify my every action. Juliana Mullins has been treated like a queen, given all kinds of sympathy and brought horror to my family.
“What can I do to stop this?”
About the author K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.
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