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NCJ Number: 183660 Find in a Library
Title: Law Enforcement's Response to Sexual Assault: A Comparative Study of Nine Counties in North Carolina
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:2000  Pages:67-88
Author(s): Vivian B. Lord; Gary Rassel
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the proesses used in the investigation of sexual assault cases by police and sheriff departments in nine counties of North Carolina.
Abstract: After the major reforms of sexual assault laws between 1960 and 1975, a number of studies examined the changes in sexual assault reports to the police and the prosecution of these cases; however, little research has studied changes in law enforcement investigative procedures of sexual assault cases. In attempting to remedy this, the current study compared the procedures of the North Carolina law enforcement agencies with a set of new practices identified as effective by Epstein and Langenbahn (1994). these practices include specialized sexual assault investigative units, in-house victim/witness advocates, acceptance of anonymous reports from victims who do not wish to prosecute, written procedures, multiple interviews, confidentiality of the victim from the media, specialized training for investigators as well as patrol officers, and specific criteria for the selection of investigators. The law enforcement departments examined in the current study varied in their implementation of the reforms advocated by Epstein and Langenbahn. The relationships between specific characteristics of the departments and the community, as well as the variation in implementation were not significant; however, the departments' association with the rape crisis centers in their communities was significantly related to the existence of written procedures, a specialized unit, and the use of blind reports. Sexual assault, to some degree, continues to focus on the issue of consent and the victims' behavior, but there does appear to be an increase in officers' sensitivity to victims' needs. 4 tables and 20 references
Main Term(s): Police sexual assault programs
Index Term(s): Investigative techniques; North Carolina; Sexual assault; Sexual assault victims
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