Danielle Wozniak

danielle-wozniak-picDanielle F. Wozniak, MSW, ACSW, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Social Work and Directs the Bachelors of Social Work Program at The University of Montana, and is co-creator of the university’s sexual assault prevention program, known as Personal Empowerment Through Self Awareness (PETSA).

The program, recently praised on the Inside Higher Ed website, is mandatory for all UM students, who are required to view PETSA’s series of videos and pass a quiz.

In theory, it’s a laudable program. One glaring problem, however, is the following is a pillar of of PETSA:

“MYTH — People lie about sexual assault”

Wozniak boasted to the local newspaper, The Missoulan, “the team that developed the program relied on the best data available when shaping the tutorial,” and did not explain why a fundamental teaching in the program is a flat lie (see bottom of this page for just a few recent cases involving false claims of sexual assault).

Nor did Wozniak explain how requiring that students “learn” that false allegations are a “myth” will enable them to make impartial decisions in disciplinary hearings for accused students (the results of which affect not only the future of the accused at UM, but at any other school they might attend). It seems clear that any student who stands accused, by Wozniak’s rubric, is automatically guilty.

To say nothing of the bad information with which the entire student body at UM then re-enters the world: according to The Missoulan, as of 13 March 2013, roughly 14,000 students have taken the test.

“The information in PETSA is based on national sources from researchers in the field of rape prevention and reduction,” said Wozniak. “They are standard and accepted.”

Which, of course, is also a flat lie.

At least one national group is already asking UM to discontinue PETSA until it can be peer reviewed by independent researchers and updated with a degree of factual accuracy.

The Maryland-based victim-advocacy group, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), issued a letter to UM President Royce Engstrom, requesting that he discontinue the program.

According to the Missoulan, SAVE President Everett Bartlett says

he believes the UM program succeeds on several levels and is a good first step in addressing the issue. He also said victims of sexual assault deserve support.

But Bartlett also noted that false rape cases have been reported at a growing number of universities .. and that false claims often divert services, protection and credibility from true victims.

“Any person who claims to be a victim of sexual assault certainly should be respected and supported…. But given the reality of false allegations, it is inappropriate to insist that the complainant be believed until after the case has been fully adjudicated in a court of law.”

See more posts related to Professor Danielle Wozniak:

December 3, 2013: Blog explores paraphilia, paraphrenia, parapornography, and ethical and legal issues in the work of Twenty-Two Faces of Jenny Hill author and Utah-based private therapist Judy Byington (LCSW), who claims expert knowledge of intergenerational, global Satanic cults; multiple personalities / dissociative identity disorder as a form of mind control; divine instruction and intercession; levitation; and the ritual abuse, rape, and murder of thousands of children.

June 16, 2013: Gibson was recorded, speaking about the millions she had earned through her false-rape claim against Brian Banks -- "All that money they gave us, I mean, gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back, all of it, because that would take a long time" -- and now Gibson indeed has to pay it all back. And then some.

May 2, 2013: Trista Leanne Dennis of Hanover, York County, PA, has been arrested for lying to police and endangering the welfare of children-- to say nothing of the adult she tried to destroy.

March 30, 2013: Katelyn Webster, 18, of Venetia, PA, has been arrested and charged with making a false claim of rape against Matthew Folino, a young man with no prior history of arrest, whom she'd met only weeks before. Folino spent months in jail and faced 10 years at trial, having been arrested, charged, and jailed awaiting adjudication, on the basis of Webster's statements alone.

February 16, 2013: Professors Justin Brooks and Jan Stiglitz, and attorneys Alissa Bjerkhoel and Michael A. Semanchik — all associated with the California Innocence Project — will be among 60 lawyers honored at the 17th annual California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Awards March 12 in San Francisco. Banks was wrongfully convicted of rape as a teenager, after being given 10 minutes to accept a plea deal.

October 6, 2012: According to Detective Amber Rogers with the Special Victim's Unit, "The girl made up the story so she wouldn't have to tell her father she had sex and she could still get protected with the Plan B."

July 6, 2012: Pansie Saddler, 51, of 345 Buckland Hills Drive, Manchester, CT, was angry at her boyfriend, Antonio. She thought Antonio might be messing around with someone else. So Pansie decided she’d accuse Antonio of rape. Three days later, police arrested Antonio. They charged him with four counts of first-degree sexual assault. They also charged him with […]

June 28, 2012: Pasadena Star News reporter Greg Mellen asks, "Should Brian Banks even have been prosecuted?" (link only) Also: three weeks after release of a video of Wanetta Gibson confessing to a false claim of rape, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is hosting a conference in Washington DC devoted to the problem of false allegations.... The False Allegations Summit, to be held on June 30, will feature presentations and workshops on how to survive and prevent false allegations of abuse. Presenters include persons who have been wrongfully accused of abuse."

June 26, 2012: From the WNYC News Blog Charges Dropped in Crown Heights Rape Case Tuesday, June 26, 2012 – 11:00 AM By Mirela Iverac Prosecutors on Tuesday dismissed the case against four black men from Crown Heights accused of raping and prostituting an Orthodox Jewish woman for eight years, starting when she was 13. All charges against […]

June 8, 2012: PDF of the lawsuit filed as a result of the false rape claims made by Autumn Jimenez and Tonia McDonough.

June 7, 2012: According to the lawsuit regarding the false rape claims of Autumn Jimenez and Tonia McDonough, one of the accusers also had a "history of lodging unfounded rape allegations, and her own family believed she was a pathological liar." Officers jumped at the false case anyway, "to create the illusion that they were taking action to combat the highly publicized and growing problem of violent crime in the Poconos, especially gang-related crime." Officers appealed to the one white teen among the five accused: "You're white, what are you doing hanging out with these black kids in the first place, you should know better.... If you roll on these niggers now, you can walk away." The lawsuit names more than a dozen entities and people as defendants, including the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department and Monroe County.

December 21, 2011: Nicole Snyder, 33, was arraigned on two counts of felony criminal conspiracy, accused of assisting Laurie Martinez, a supervising psychologist with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, to "stage a crime in Martinez's Norgard Court home in April so Martinez could persuade her husband to move to another neighborhood."

December 9, 2011: According to authorities, Sacramento County Prison Psychologist Laurie Ann Martinez "was so determined to convince her husband of a need to move to a safer neighborhood that she faked being raped. She split her own lip with a pin, scraped her knuckles with sandpaper, had her friend [Nicole April Snyder,] punch Martinez in the face, and even wet her pants to give the appearance she had been knocked unconscious."

September 15, 2011: Racist and psychopath Heidi Jones, who has worked for stations in New York and Texas and filled in on ABC's "Good Morning America," has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor [!] false-reporting charges after police spent 350+ hours searching for a Hispanic (of course) rapist who doesn't exist.