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NCJ Number: 211351 Find in a Library
Title: Gap or a Chasm?: Attrition in Reported Rape Cases
Author(s): Liz Kelly; Jo Lovett; Linda Regan
Date Published: February 2005
Page Count: 136
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate
London, SW1H 9AT, England
Publication Number: ISBN 1-84473-555-9
Sale Source: Great Britain Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate
Information and Publications Group
Room 201
50 Queen Anne's Gate
London, SW1H 9AT,
United Kingdom
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This report presents findings from the evaluation of two Sexual Assault Referral Centers in Great Britain, one support service, and three comparison areas where no special services for rape victims are provided; the focus is on attrition (early withdrawal of complainants from the criminal justice system) in reported rape cases.
Abstract: The evaluation used a number of methods to link quantitative and qualitative data. The base sample included 3,527 cases, which were tracked prospectively through the criminal justice system. Subsamples of victims/survivors agreed to complete a series of questionnaires and in-depth interviews (n=228). Police statements and forensic reports were used where possible. These data were supplemented with interviews of key informants and police officers (n=143). The evaluation found that approximately one-quarter of reported rape cases were determined to have involved "no crime." The vast majority of rape reports did not proceed beyond the investigative stage, and the conviction rate for all reported cases was 8 percent. Nine percent of reported cases were determined to be false, with a high proportion of those cases involving 16-25 year-old alleged victims. Evidential issues accounted for just over one-third of cases terminated at the investigative stage. Victims who declined to complete the initial investigative process and victim withdrawals accounted for over one-third of the cases lost at the police stage. Only 14 percent of cases reached the trial stage. Rates of acquittal were twice as high in cases that involved adults compared with those that involved children under 16 years old. The most important recommendation from this evaluation is that the criminal justice professionals who manage rape cases shift from their current focus on discrediting the allegations of the complainant to enhancing evidence collection and building a case. 6 tables, 8 figures, a 91-item bibliography, and appended supplementary data
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Case processing; Dispositions; Foreign criminal justice systems; Investigative techniques; Rape; Rape investigations
Note: Home Office Research Study 293; downloaded September 30, 2005.
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