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NCJ Number: 68293 Find in a Library
Title: FEMALE VICTIMS OF CRIMES AND HOW THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM REACTS TO THEM
Author(s): 0 ZOOMER
Corporate Author: Netherlands Ministry of Justice
Research and Documentation Centre
Netherlands
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Netherlands Ministry of Justice
2500 Eh the Hague, Netherlands
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: THIS DUTCH REPORT PRESENTS DATA ON THE WAY THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM DEALS WITH RAPE AND INDECENT ASSAULT; ALSO, THE DISPOSITION OF SIMPLE ASSAULT AND MANSLAUGHTER CASES IS COMPARED WITH REGARD TO THE VICTIMS' SEX.
Abstract: THE INITIAL ASSUMPTION WAS THAT REACTIONS TO THE CRIMES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN (WHICH ARE CONSIDERED TO BE A FUNCTION OF THE POWER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN) ARE AFFECTED BY MORAL JUDGMENTS AND THEREFORE LEAD, IN GENERAL, TO A RELATIVELY LENIENT PROSECUTION AND SENTENCING POLICY. THE DATA ON DEMANDED AND GIVEN SENTENCES SHOW THAT THE PRISON TERMS FOR RAPE WERE NOT ONLY LOWER THAN THOSE FOR MANSLAUGHTER OR MURDER BUT, ALSO LOWER THAN THOSE FOR ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE OR EXTORTION. MOREOVER, THE HIGH PROPORTION OF INDECENT ASSAULT CASES DISMISSED BY THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR INDICATES THAT MOST SUCH CASES NEVER ACHIEVE AN APPEARANCE IN COURT. VICTIMS' UNWILLINGNESS TO NOTIFY THE POLICE AND POLICE REPORTING PRACTICES ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SMALL PERCENTAGE OF KNOWN, REGISTERED INDECENT ASSAULTS AND RAPES. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ONLY 2 OR 3 PERCENT OF SUCH INCIDENTS RESULT IN CONVICTIONS. WHEN INVESTIGATING SIMPLE ASSAULT, IT WAS FOUND THAT ALMOST HALF OF THE FEMALE VICTIMS IN SUCH CASES HAD SUFFERED ABUSE FROM A MEMBER OF THEIR OWN FAMILY, WHILE THIS RARELY HAPPENED TO MALE VICTIMS. FURTHERMORE, CASES CONCERNING FEMALE VICTIMS WERE MORE OFTEN DISMISSED THAN THOSE CONCERNING MALE VICTIMS. THIS DIFFERENCE APPEARED ESPECIALLY WHEN THE VICTIM AND THE OFFENDER WERE FROM THE SAME FAMILY OR KNOWN TO EACH OTHER, AND IT CANNOT BE EXPLAINED BY DEGREE OF INJURY ALONE, SINCE INJURY SEVERITY WAS COMPARABLE FOR VICTIMS OF BOTH SEXES. IN SENTENCING SIMPLE ASSAULT, A FINE COMBINED WITH DETENTION WAS DEMANDED FREQUENTLY WHEN THE VICTIM AND OFFENDER HAD A FAMILY RELATIONSHIP (FEMALE VICTIMS PREDOMINATING), WHILE DETENTION ALONE WAS THE SENTENCE IN CASES WHERE VICTIM AND OFFENDER WERE STRANGERS (MALE VICTIMS PREDOMINATING). IN CONTRAST, REACTION TO MURDER AND MANSLAUGHTER WITHIN A FAMILY INDICATES THAT HIGHER PRISON TERMS CAN BE EXPECTED WHEN THE VICTIM IS A WOMAN, PARTICULARLY IF HER INJURIES ARE FATAL. THUS, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS PUNSIHED LESS SEVERELY IF IT OCCURS OUTSIDE THE LIMITS SET BY SOCIETY FOR ACCEPTABLE LEVELS OF VIOLENCE TOWARD FEMALES. FOOTNOTES AND 24 REFERENCES ARE SUPPLIED.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Cultural influences; Domestic assault; Judicial discretion; Netherlands; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Sentencing/Sanctions; Sexual assault victims; Stranger on stranger crimes; Victim-offender relationships; Victimology
Note: PAPER PRESENTED AT THE MEETING OF THE RESEARCH COMMITTEE FOR THE SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANCE AND SOCIAL CONTROL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, AUGUST 30-31, 1979.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68293

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