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NCJ Number: 43303 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SEXUAL ASSAULT - IMPROVING THE INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE, V 2 - RESEARCH FINDINGS
Author(s): L BIELER; J BROWN; K BROWN; A KALMANOFF; C KING; C KIZZIAHKIZZIAH C
Corporate Author: New York City Dept of Employment
United States of America
Project Director: C KIZZIAH
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 123
Sponsoring Agency: California Office of Criminal Justice Planning
Sacramento, CA 95814
National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22151
New York City Dept of Employment
New York, NY
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Publication Number: PB 249 607
Sale Source: National Technical Information Service
US Dept of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THESE INTERVIEWS WERE PART OF A SURVEY CONDUCTED FOR THE POLICE, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, JUDGES, JURORS IN RAPE CASES, HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, AND COMMUNITY AGENCIES ARE SUMMARIZED, & CONCLUSIONS DRAWN.
Abstract: AND CONCLUSIONS DRAWN. PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, POLICE DEPARTMENT TO IMPROVE TREATMENT OF RAPE VICTIMS AND TO INCREASE REPORTING OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. INTERVIEWS WITH VICTIMS FOUND THE CRIME WAS LESS LIKELY TO BE REPORTED IF THE VICTIM KNEW THE OFFENDER BECAUSE 'NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE ME.' ALMOST ALL THE VICTIMS (88 PERCENT) WERE THREATENED WITH SERIOUS HARM AND 65 PERCENT SUSTAINED INJURIES. HOWEVER, FORCE HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH THE DECISION TO REPORT. INSTEAD, SUPPORT OF FAMILY OR FRIENDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WERE THE DECIDING FACTORS. BOTH BLACK AND MEXICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN TENDED NOT TO REPORT SEXUAL ASSAULTS BECAUSE THEY FELT POLICE WOULD NOT BELIEVE THEM, THE CASE WOULD NOT BE PROSECUTED, AND THEY FEARED THE STIGMA. MOST SUGGESTED THAT RAPE VICTIMS BE TREATED AS STABBING VICTIMS ARE TREATED: TAKE CARE OF THE PERSON FIRST AND THEN WORRY ABOUT THE REPORTS. THE POLICE WERE GENERALLY SEEN AS SYMPATHETIC IN PALO ALTO, BUT OTHER CALIFORNIA JURISDICTIONS WERE CRITICIZED. LAWYERS AND JUDGES TENDED TO FEEL THAT MOST SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES COULD NOT BE PROSECUTED BECAUSE OF INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. MANY ALSO FELT THE VICTIM WAS SOMEWHAT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ASSAULT. PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS FELT MALE JURORS WERE MORE SYMPATHETIC TOWARD THE VICTIM THAN FEMALE. THE HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM GENERATED THE MOST CRITICISM. DOCTORS AND NURSES RESENTED VICTIMS AND FELT PRESSURED BY THE ADDITIONAL NEED TO COLLECT EVIDENCE; DOCTORS COULD ALSO ILL AFFORD TO SPEND TIME WAITING TO APPEAR AS A WITNESS IN COURT. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT HANDLING OF RAPE EVIDENCE BE GIVEN TO ANCILLARY MEDICAL PERSONNEL (ATTENDANTS, PARAMEDICS, PSYCHIATRIC NURSES) TRAINED IN THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS AND THAT OVERWORKED RESIDENTS NOT BE ASKED TO ASSUME THIS ADDITIONAL BURDEN. DOCTORS COULD HANDLE THE VAGINAL ASPIRATE PART OF THE EXAMINATION, BUT THE OTHER DETAILS COULD WELL BE PERFORMED BY TRAINED PARAMEDICAL PERSONNEL. MORE SENSITIVITY ON THE PART OF ALL CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSONNEL, GREATER COORDINATION IN DEVELOPING EVIDENCE, AND MORE VIGOROUS PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES ARE SUGGESTED AS MEANS OF INCREASING REPORTING.
Index Term(s): California; Municipal police; Rape; Sexual assault victims; Unreported crimes; Victim services; Victimization
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43303

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