U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

The Bureaucratic Burden of Identifying Your Rapist and Remaining "Cooperative": What the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Tells Us About Sexual Assault Case Attrition and Outcomes

NCJ Number
American Journal of Criminal Justice Dated: 2020
Rachel Lovell; Laura Overman; Duoduo Huang; Daniel J. Flannery
Date Published
6 pages
This study analyzed a large sample of sexual assaults over almost two decades in one urban U.S. jurisdiction with previously untested sexual assault kits that were initially not successfully adjudicated (n=717).
The study examined patterns of attrition through descriptive statistics and predictors of attrition using continuation-ratio modeling. Findings provide a more comprehensive framework for examining attrition, exploring the bureaucratic burden placed on victims to identify who sexually assaulted them and to remain engaged in a potentially harmful process and system. Implications suggest this burden could be eased by increased trauma-informed victim support and protocols, as well as increased use of forensic evidence. 90 references (publisher abstract modified)