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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74363 Find in a Library
Title: Eradicating Rape - A Radical Call for Reform (From Rape Law Reform, P 141-156, 1980, Jocelynne A Scutt, ed - See NCJ-74354)
Author(s): J Coxsedge
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: The article criticizes the failure of the Victoria Government (Australia) to collect rape information and to change public attitudes, and calls for a variety of reforms.
Abstract: The annual report of the Victoria Police reports a decrease of reported rape between 1976 and 1978. This statistical information is misleading because the police only recorded those cases which in their judgment met stringent legal requirements. The government is to be blamed for not obtaining more reliable figures on the real incidence of rape. In addition, the government has made no effort to eradicate popular myths and prejudices concerning rape by providing adequate sexual education. The majority of the population still believes that the rape victim precipitates the crime, that rape is a rare and perverse offense, that rape is an act of sexual gratification, and that women actually enjoy being raped. Such attitudes place victims of rape in a true dilemma. If the woman offers resistance, she risks serious injury. If she submits, she may have a hard time persuading courts and police that her accusation is justified. Immediate reform measures should include a change of police procedures such as the establishment of special male and female police squads to investigate sexual offenses, restrictions on police questioning, and special training in psychology and crisis intervention for rape investigators), improvements in victim services, and comprehensive legal changes. The article conludes that no simple reform can eradicate rape without the eradication of male supremacy. The article includes 21 reference notes and footnotes. For related articles, see NCJ 74354.
Index Term(s): Attitude change; Australia; Police reform; Police sexual assault programs; Public education; Rape; Sexual assault victims; Victim crime precipitation
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