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NCJ Number: 185214 Find in a Library
Title: So Few Convictions: The Role of Client-Related Characteristics in the Legal Processing of Sexual Assaults
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:6  Issue:10  Dated:October 2000  Pages:1109-1136
Author(s): Janice Du Mont; Terri L. Myhr
Date Published: October 2000
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines the role of client-related characteristics in the legal processing of sexual assaults.
Abstract: Data were collected from the hospital and legal records of 187 women who presented to a sexual assault treatment center and the police of a large Canadian city in 1994. Cases involving older women and women who did not physically resist the assailant were less likely to have resulted in a charge. However, women who were known to the assailant for more than 24 hours (including current or previous partners) were more likely to see their cases forwarded for prosecution. Cases involving clients who were women of color, were married or cohabiting, were unemployed, had adult or child sexual and/or physical abuse or mental health histories, were drinking or using drugs, had engaged in risk-taking behaviors or did not report the assault promptly to the police were as likely as not to result in a charge and conviction. Only a few of the client-related characteristics examined were related to progress of sexual assault cases in the criminal justice system. There is a need for more research into the factors affecting the attrition of sexual assault cases at key decision making points. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Canada; Rape law reform; Sexual assault; Sexual assault statistics; Sexual assault victims; Victim profiles; Victim reactions to crime; Victim-offender relationships; Victimology
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