Doing the “right thing”? Understanding why rape victim-survivors report to the police

Brooks-Hay, O. (2020) Doing the “right thing”? Understanding why rape victim-survivors report to the police. Feminist Criminology, 15(2), pp. 174-195. (doi: 10.1177/1557085119859079)

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This article explores why victim-survivors engage with the police by drawing upon the accounts of 24 women who reported rape or sexual assault in Scotland. Findings defy public narratives around rape reporting, indicating that victim-survivors may exercise limited agency in reporting. Moreover, a problematic “aspiration-reality gap” exists due to stark differences between the aspirations attached to reports and the reality of the ensuing criminal justice response. It is suggested that the concepts of “secondary victimization” and the “justice gap” can be augmented through appreciation of the “aspiration-reality gap,” and contemporary preoccupation with increasing rates of reporting is called into question.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brooks, Dr Oona
Authors: Brooks-Hay, O.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Feminist Criminology
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1557-086X
Published Online:04 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Author
First Published:First published in Feminist Criminology 15(2): 174-195
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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