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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99513 Find in a Library
Title: Women Victims in the Criminal Justice System (From Changing Roles of Women in the Criminal Justice System - Offenders, Victims, and Professionals, P 165-179, 1985, Imogene L Moyer, ed. - See NCJ-99505)
Author(s): W L Hepperle
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A discussion of rape and spousal assault considers the background of the definitions of the offense, the criminal justice system's response to women victims, and recent developments in law and thinking on the subject.
Abstract: Through much of history rape has not been prosecuted, often due to perceptions about the victim's responsibility. Similar difficulties have surrounded domestic violence, despite the widespread incidence of the problem. Court statistics have shown that the prosecution and conviction rates for forcible rape are much lower than for Index crimes. Prosecution of rapists has depended on the victim's willingness to testify, perceptions of the victim, the social relationship between the victim and the person arrested, lack of supporting social services for rape victims, and the low priority that law enforcement agencies give to rape victims. However, legal changes have occurred in recent years. Some States prohibit questions about a victim's prior sexual activity. California has redefined rape and strengthened penalties. One author has suggested that certain third parties have a duty to protect employees or patrons from harm and are liable for injuries of victims if the harm could have been prevented. In addition, at least 44 States have enacted legislation to give some form of recourse in cases of spouse rape and family violence. Educational efforts are focusing on raising awareness among both women and the judiciary. Victims' movements advocating restitution and other supports have proved effective and victims are increasingly seeking damages in civil court. Fifteen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Female victims; Law reform; Prosecutorial discretion; Rape; Victim services
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