Research

Observing court responses to victims of rape and sexual assault


Reference:

Smith, O. and Skinner, T., 2012. Observing court responses to victims of rape and sexual assault. Feminist Criminology, 7 (4), pp. 298-326.

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    Official URL:

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1557085112437875

    Abstract

    Despite years of policy reform in England and Wales, court responses to rape and sexual assault victims remain inadequate. Existing literature often relies on interviews, is outdated by policy, or ignores underlying assumptions. This study therefore observed rape and sexual assault trials, identifying underlying assumptions using critical discourse analysis (CDA). The main themes that arose were routine delays, notions of “rational” behavior, extreme interpretations of “beyond reasonable doubt” (BRD) and “burden of proof,” and winning as priority. These highlight the need to move beyond prioritizing shorter term change and begin addressing the fundamental inadequacies of court responses to rape and sexual assault victims.

    Details

    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsSmith, O.and Skinner, T.
    DOI10.1177/1557085112437875
    DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Social & Policy Sciences
    Research CentresCentre for Analysis of Social Policy (CASP)
    RefereedYes
    StatusPublished
    ID Code30528

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