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NCJ Number: 181919 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Compensation for Sexual Violence: Therapeutic Consequences and Consequences for the Judicial System
Journal: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law  Volume:4  Issue:1/2  Dated:March/June 1998  Pages:433-451
Author(s): Nathalie Des Rosiers; Bruce Feldthusen; Oleana A. R. Hankivsky
Date Published: March 1998
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article considers some of the therapeutic consequences of the civil legal process on survivors of sexual violence, and compares results of studies of victims who received victim compensation from a government agency in Ontario, Canada, and studies of victims who used the tort system and sued in Ontario civil courts.
Abstract: The research tested the common assumption that what victims least need is to go to court. Preliminary results of the surveys revealed that victims who pursued civil remedies wanted more than money. They often were seeking a public affirmation of the wrong that they suffered. They sought to be heard. Findings prompted further analysis of the ways in which the traditional adversarial system may be silencing the victims and therefore may produce nontherapeutic effects. Findings suggest the need for several adjustments to the civil hearing process in terms of judicial practice, the attorney’s role, and the use of expert evidence. Findings also suggest the need for further exploration of the role of punitive damages in the context of sexual battery claims, with emphasis on affirming the victim’s voice and not silencing or belittling it. Findings indicated that the current issue is no longer whether victims should be encouraged to take part in the civil or compensation process; instead, the issue is how to improve the processes to keep their antitherapeutic effects to a minimum. Footnotes (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Civil remedies; Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Ontario; Sexual assault victims; Victim attitudes; Victim compensation; Victim program evaluation; Victim reactions to the Criminal Justice System; Victims in foreign countries
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