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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69625 Find in a Library
Title: Rape - Police and Forensic Practice
Corporate Author: Rape Counselling and Research Project
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: Rape Counselling and Research Project
London N6, England
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A report focusing on current practices of rape investigative squads in England and the United States, is presented.
Abstract: England's Rape Counseling and Research Project operates a 24-hour counseling, legal, and medical advice service for women who have been raped or sexually assaulted. This report is based on the experiences of 629 women who called the project, particularly those 172 individuals who reported to the police. Damaging myths prevail throughout society regarding rape which police officers must be aware of in order to deal effectively with rape investigations. Contrary to these beliefs, recent research has proven that women do not enjoy or encourage rape; the rape act is not committed by maniacs; women of all ages, races, classes, and lifestyles have been raped; and rapists are not in the grip of an uncontrollable sexual urge. The rape trauma syndrome is characterized by specific phases of emotional reaction which must be considered. Police officers investigating allegations of rape should avoid any suggestion of force, be nonjudgmental, encourage the woman to talk without excessive probing, and choose an appropriate place for the interview. In addition, police surgeons must conduct the examination of the victim in the proper manner to ensure collection and preservation of evidence, particularly swab and blood samples. Current criminal procedure in England and Wales regarding the investigation of complaints of rape and sexual assault is biased against and brutal towards the crime victim. It is also inefficient. Reform measures must include reorganization of the professional methods of investigation and changing basic police attitudes and behavior toward raped women. Appendixes present seven references, articles on rape, and a discussion guide.
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Forensic medicine; Hotlines; Police attitudes; Police responsibilities; Psychological victimization effects; Rape; Sexual assault victims; United Kingdom (UK); United States of America
Note: Submitted to the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure
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