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NCJ Number: 76152 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Police Attitudes Toward Rape Before and After a Training Program
Journal: Journal of Psychiatric Nursing and Mental Health Services  Volume:15  Issue:12  Dated:(December 1977)  Pages:14-18
Author(s): S T Gottesman
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20852
Grant Number: 5T01MH07794-15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police officers' attitudes toward rape were recorded before and after a special training program.
Abstract: A sample of 21 officers from two police departments in a large midwestern city were selected from those program participants who had no prior training in dealing with rape victims. Data from the survey were obtained through a three-part, recorded interview which elicited demographic and pre - and postprogram attitudes. The area Rape Crisis Center conducted the sessions which aimed to increase the policemen's awareness of their own attitudes towards the crime, offenders, and victims; to provide information about the victim's physical and emotional trauma and needs, hospital physical examination procedures, and legal aspects; and to develop participants' interviewing skills and intervention techniques. Of the officers interviewed, 20 were white and 1 was black; the average age was 30 years; 76 percent were married; all had at least a high school education; and the mean length of employment was 5.4 years. The results showed that 76 percent of the subjects retained some degree of belief that women share responsibility for the crime. The officers demonstrated an increased recognition of the nature of the trauma of rape to victims, and many experienced an increased awareness of personal feelings about rape and of their effect on dealing with a rape victim. Furthermore, while 90 percent were not aware of the usual hospital procedure for victims prior to the sessions, only 14 percent remained unaware of this information after training. All but one of the subjects responded positively to the program and described it as informative. An analysis of responses as they related to demographic data showed that subjects who were unmarried or had only high school educations tended more often to hold victims responsible for the crime and that younger or better educated subjects demonstrated more empathy for victims after training than did others. Fourteen references are included.
Index Term(s): Police attitudes; Police human relations training; Police specialized training; Rape; Rapists; Sexual assault victims; Victim crime precipitation
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