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NCJ Number: 51830 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: WHY WOMEN ARE AFRAID TO REPORT RAPE
Author(s): R GAILUS
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 78
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS PAPER CONTENDS THAT THE SYSTEM RAPE VICTIMS FACE AFTER SEXUAL ASSAULT IS OFTEN WORSE THAN THE ASSAULT ITSELF AND THAT MANY WOMEN WOULD RATHER REMAIN SILENT THAN BE SUBJECTED TO SCRUTINY AND POSSIBLE DEGRADATION.
Abstract: FOR EVERY RECORDED FORCIBLE RAPE, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THERE ARE 5 TO 10 SEXUAL ATTACKS UPON FEMALES THAT ARE NOT REPORTED. RAPE IS A REPEAT CRIME, AND ALL WOMEN ARE VULNERABLE TO FUTURE ASSAULTS BY A NONREPORTED ATTACKER. THE VERY NATURE OF RAPE IS HUMILIATING TO A VICTIM AND IS FREQUENTLY ACCOMPANIED BY VIOLENCE AND TRAUMA. THE SYSTEM FOR HANDLING REPORTED RAPE ENCOMPASSES THE POLICE, THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, PROSECUTORS, AND CITIZEN ACTION GROUPS. TO EVALUATE THIS SYSTEM, DATA WERE GATHERED THROUGH A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF AVAILABLE LITERATURE. CASE AND FIELD STUDIES WERE ALSO CONDUCTED. IT WAS FOUND THAT A MAJOR BARRIER TO POLICE PREVENTION AND INVESTIGATION OF SEX CRIMES IS THE LACK OF INFORMATION ABOUT BOTH RAPISTS AND VICTIMS. WOMEN ARE AFRAID TO REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT TO AUTHORITIES BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF BEING VICTIMIZED, FIRST BY AN ATTACKER AND AGAIN BY THE ATTITUDES OF SOCIETY THROUGH THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS IN THE MINDS OF WOMEN AFTER RAPE IS WHETHER THEY SHOULD HAVE RESISTED OR IF THEY DID RESIST ENOUGH. FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE A VICTIM IN DECIDING WHETHER TO REPORT RAPE TO AUTHORITIES ARE SUPPORT FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS, THE REPUTATION OF THE LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT IN DEALING WITH SEX CRIMES, AND HER OWN KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES SURROUNDING THE CRIME OF RAPE. ALTHOUGH MANY LARGE CITIES HAVE A SPECIAL GROUP OF TRAINED DETECTIVES TO HANDLE SEX CRIMES, THE MALE POLICE MENTALITY IS OFTEN IDENTICAL TO THE STEREOTYPE VIEWS OF RAPE THAT ARE SHARED BY THE REST OF THE MALE CULTURE. THE POLICE ARE APT TO DISMISS SEXUAL ASSAULTS IN CERTAIN SOCIAL SITUATIONS AS NO RAPE AT ALL. MINORITY WOMEN AND PROSTITUTES ARE PARTICULARLY OPPRESSED BY POLICE WITH A STRONG RACIST-SEXIST BIAS. TRAINING OF ALL PERSONNEL WHO COME IN CONTACT WITH A SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM CAN ELIMINATE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS STEMMING FROM THE FACT THAT WOMEN ARE AFRAID TO REPORT RAPE. PROCEDURES THAT USUALLY ENSUE AFTER THE OCCURRENCE OF RAPE, IN THE AREAS OF POLICE INVESTIGATION, TREATMENT BY THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, AND LEGAL SERVICES, ARE DETAILED. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS PROVIDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Females; Rape; Secondary victimization; Sexual assault; Sexual assault victims; Victimization
Note: RESEARCH MONOGRAPH - METROPOLITAN STATE COLLEGE, DENVER COLORADO
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51830

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