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Revictimizing the Victim? How Rape Victims Experience the UK Legal System

NCJ Number
Victims & Offenders Volume: 4 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 265-284
Jacqueline M. Wheatcroft; Graham F. Wagstaff; Annmarie Moran
Date Published
July 2009
20 pages
This study examined the experiences of rape victims, including the possibility of revictimization, by the legal system in the United Kingdom.
The conviction rate for rape has dropped in the United Kingdom from 1 in 3 in 1977 to 1 in 13 in 1999 and statistics show that only 1 in 5 cases ever reach trial (Home Office, 2002a). This study explored experiences of rape with respect to the UK legal system through semistructured interviews with victims, police officers, and experts in the provision of victim support. Interviews were thematically analyzed; emergent themes suggest that the legal system and society continue to revictimize victims of rape through mythology and faulty social perceptions that surround rape. Findings discuss improvement by way of specialist police teams, prosecutors, and greater support to improve postexperiences of rape victims. (Published Abstract)