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Abstract

This paper examines whether the psychological sequelae of rape relate to rape case attrition by leading police to see the victim as less reliable. A mixed methods approach with two linked studies, one qualitative and one quantitative, was used. In Study 1, the qualitative study, interviews with 12 specialist police officers were analysed using Framework Analysis. In Study 2, the quantitative study, 76 specialist officers completed an online questionnaire to assess the generalisability of Study 1’s findings. In Study 1, officers’ perceptions of victims clustered into three stereotypes, which we label “the real victim”, “the mad discloser”, and “the bad discloser”. Victims who exhibited signs of shame, self-blame, and post-traumatic stress reactions which impeded their ability to give a coherent account of the rape were perceived as less reliable “mad” or “bad” victims. The findings of Study 2 supported these results. Although police interview strategies have improved in recent years, there is evidence that signs of trauma and shame in the victim are sometimes misinterpreted as signs of lying. This may affect attrition by impacting on victim-officer relationships. Further training on recognising trauma and understanding its consequences is recommended both for specialist officers and front-line staff.

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... Most recently, police officers have received increased scrutiny for shortcomings in response to sexual assault cases (R. Campbell et al., 2014;R. Campbell & Fehler-Cabral, 2018;Lonsway & Archambault, 2012;Maddox et al., 2012;Wells, 2016). Scholarly attention given to police officer decision-making concerning sexual assault case processing is both relevant and timely (Alderden & Long, 2016;Alderden & Ullman, 2012;Kaiser et al., 2017;Morabito et al., 2019;O'Neal, 2017O'Neal, , 2019Spohn & Tellis, 2012Tasca et al., 2013). ...
... The endorsement of rape myths, or "prejudicial, stereotyped, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims, and rapists" (Burt, 1980, p. 217), among law enforcement personnel has contributed to case attrition and deleterious outcomes for sexual assault survivors (Goodman-Delahunty & Graham, 2011;O'Neal, 2019;Page, 2007Page, , 2008Page, , 2010Rich & Seffrin, 2012). For example, though not systemic across agencies, evidence has illustrated how rape myth endorsement has contributed to secondary victimization (R. Campbell, 2008;Maddox et al., 2012;Monroe et al., 2005;Patterson, 2011), diminished perceptions of survivor credibility (Goodman-Delahunty & Graham, 2011;Maddox et al., 2012;O'Neal, 2019;Rich & Seffrin, 2012), and increased survivor blame Rich & Seffrin, 2012). Rape myth endorsement has prejudiced police report writing (Shaw et al., 2017), reduced the likelihood that officers will involve an advocate in the investigative process (Rich & Seffrin, 2013), or refer cases to prosecution (Venema, 2019), further exacerbating case attrition and revictimizing survivors. ...
... The endorsement of rape myths, or "prejudicial, stereotyped, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims, and rapists" (Burt, 1980, p. 217), among law enforcement personnel has contributed to case attrition and deleterious outcomes for sexual assault survivors (Goodman-Delahunty & Graham, 2011;O'Neal, 2019;Page, 2007Page, , 2008Page, , 2010Rich & Seffrin, 2012). For example, though not systemic across agencies, evidence has illustrated how rape myth endorsement has contributed to secondary victimization (R. Campbell, 2008;Maddox et al., 2012;Monroe et al., 2005;Patterson, 2011), diminished perceptions of survivor credibility (Goodman-Delahunty & Graham, 2011;Maddox et al., 2012;O'Neal, 2019;Rich & Seffrin, 2012), and increased survivor blame Rich & Seffrin, 2012). Rape myth endorsement has prejudiced police report writing (Shaw et al., 2017), reduced the likelihood that officers will involve an advocate in the investigative process (Rich & Seffrin, 2013), or refer cases to prosecution (Venema, 2019), further exacerbating case attrition and revictimizing survivors. ...
Article
The current study used a purposive sample of 517 surveys administered to police officers at one of the five largest and most diverse U.S. cities to assess police adherence to rape myths, while considering demographic, occupational, and neurocognitive predictors. This study also examined rape myth endorsement and self-reported levels of preparedness in responding to sexual assault calls for service. Officer sex and impulsivity were significant predictors of rape myth endorsement. In addition, rape myth endorsement decreased preparedness, whereas prior specialized sexual assault training increased preparedness. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.
... Revictimisation is worrying in and of itself, but also when considering some of longer-term impacts that can arise as a result of being a victim of multiple assaults. For example, police officers identified that they might be less likely to believe an account of rape if the person had been assaulted more than once in their lifetime (Maddox, Lee & Barker, 2012), which has the potential to start another unhelpful cycle of negative social reactions to disclosure. ...
... One of the aims of the training was to impact on officer attitudes towards victims, and the vignettes were designed in order to assess this. The content of the vignettes was in line with the presentational style stereotypes found by Maddox et al. (2012) and labelled by those authors as 'mad', 'bad' and 'real'. Mad presentations were people who presented in a vague or irrational way and there may be some other mental health difficulties or previous experience of sexual assault. ...
... For the bad and mad presentations in particular, there were a number of officers who focused on elements of the accounts which fitted with the stereotypes identified in Maddox et al. (2012), for example the presence of a possible ulterior motive or incongruous emotions displayed by the victims, and as a consequence rated them low on felt empathy, believability and assault severity. ...
Conference Paper
This thesis focuses on how sexual assault victims are viewed by the police and is presented in three sections. The work was part of a joint project conducted with another DClinPsy trainee, David Turgoose (Turgoose, 2015). The literature review considers research which examines the psychological and physical consequences for victims of rape and sexual assault who receive a negative reaction from others to their disclosure of their experience. The most common effect of a negative reaction was an increase in the likelihood of victims’ experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Additionally, a link between negative reactions to disclosure and other psychological and physical difficulties were found. The empirical paper reports on a quantitative study exploring the outcome of a PTSD training programme for specialist police officers working with victims of rape. Officers’ knowledge and attitudes improved immediately following the training, however these changes were not maintained at follow-up. The majority of officers found the training useful, potentially indicating that further clinical psychology collaboration with the police would be helpful. The critical appraisal reflects on the process of completing this research, with a focus on the challenges of collaborating with the police and the way in which those were negotiated. Additionally, more general considerations of the challenges of conducting research are discussed.
... Some research has suggested that attrition rates may be high because victims fear the criminal justice process and the possibility of not being believed (Office for Criminal Justice Reform, 2006), or the fact that the process can be lengthy, repetitious and badly portrayed by the media (Maddox, Lee & Barker, 2012). ...
... The vignettes were designed to represent an individual describing the details of a rape, as if they were describing it to an investigating officer. In order to ensure an appropriate range of presentation styles, characters and accounts within the vignettes were based on the 'mad, bad and real' victim profiles as described in previous research (Maddox et al., 2012). Two vignettes for each profile were filmed and one of each was shown pre and post-training. ...
... I was motivated to conduct a research project that had the potential to make real-life changes, alongside a wider interest in the potential for psychological ideas to be used to inform practice and promote change in different settings. The specific research ideas were formed after reading previous research papers conducted with the police (Maddox, Lee & Barker, 2011, 2012. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aims: This study examined whether compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout in police officers who interview rape victims were associated with empathy and years of service. It also evaluated a brief training intervention which aimed to teach officers about these concepts and impart self-help strategies for managing stress. Method: 142 specialist police officers attended the training intervention and completed measures of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, burnout, dispositional and situational empathy, and knowledge. Measures were completed immediately before the training and at 8-10 week follow-up. Results: There were no associations between empathy and compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress. High dispositional empathy was associated with low burnout. Compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout increased the longer participants had been in their occupational role. Participants’ knowledge and awareness of these concepts increased following the training. Conclusions: The findings do not support the hypothesised association between empathy and compassion fatigue, within a police population. They do suggest a higher risk of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout after more years in trauma-related job roles. Longitudinal research is required to further explore these relationships. Training interventions and more organisational support may be useful for helping police officers who work with sexual assault victims. Further research should test the effectiveness of such interventions and self-help strategies and how they might best be embedded within the systemic context.
... Oftentimes, the memory encoding process is disrupted during traumatic experiences, which can result in amnesia or fragmented memories (Hardy, Young, & Holmes, 2009;Mason & Lodrick, 2013). Subsequently, survivors may provide multiple, inconsistent, and nonlinear recollection of victimization events that piece together like a puzzle rather than a sequential narrative of what has transpired (Hardy et al., 2009;Maddox et al., 2012;Mason & Lodrick, 2013). ...
... The behavioral response exhibited by trauma survivors has been quite varied due to the multifaceted nature of trauma on the body both psychologically and physiologically; therefore, any "abnormal" or unexpected conduct or demeanor may decrease perceptions of credibility by law enforcement personnel (Ask & Landström, 2010;Bollingmo, Wessel, Eilertsen, & Magnussen, 2008;Maddox et al., 2012;Venema, 2016), introducing secondary victimization, aggravating case attrition, and delaying or interrupting the apprehension of suspects. To be sure, trauma manifestations have had a significant impact on the manner in which police officers perceive crime victim behaviors. ...
... To be sure, trauma manifestations have had a significant impact on the manner in which police officers perceive crime victim behaviors. Victims who have presented with flat affect, emotional numbing, avoidance of eye contact, and disjointed recollection of events may signal to criminal justice gatekeepers that they are not "worthy victims" or are behaving deceptively (Ask, 2010;Bollingmo et al., 2008;Maddox et al., 2012). For these reasons, police attributions surrounding trauma manifestations among sexual and domestic violence survivors can play a key role in a variety of criminal justice processing outcomes and victim-related interactions-thus warranting increased research attention. ...
Article
Full-text available
Police perceptions of a victim’s self-presentation style can have an impact on secondary victimization, case processing, and public safety. Trauma survivors may present to police with flat or restricted affect, emotional numbing, and disjointed recollections. Often, police personnel have misperceived manifestations of trauma as indicators of reliability and credibility. Using a trend design, this study employed a sample of 979 police from one of the five largest U.S. cities to examine the relation between trauma-informed training and endorsement of trauma misperceptions. Multivariate ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models were estimated and revealed mean adherence to trauma misperceptions was significantly lower among participants who had completed training, controlling for demographic, occupational, and attitudinal variables. Implications and future research are discussed.
... Rape complainants are also equally likely to appear distressed or with controlled affect (Burgess & Carretta, 2016;Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974;Carretta & Burgess, 2013). Complainants experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression at high rates (Norris & Kaniasty, 1994;Snipes, Calton, Green, Perrin, & Benotsch, 2017; and often suppress emotion to manage their trauma (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1986;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012). This means many rape complainants may be unfairly judged as not credible due to their emotional demeanor when giving evidence. ...
... To our knowledge, no experimental study has directly examined this. In rape cases, police officers, lawyers, judges, and jurors experience the complainant's emotional demeanor in person during the investigation and trial proceedings (Maddox et al., 2012; over hours or even days (e.g., Konradi, 2007). This means written complainant evidence used in experiments lacks ecological validity (Kerr, 2017), so examining the effect of stimuli modality also permits an investigation of whether more ecologically valid experimental stimuli (video complainant evidence) influences the emotional victim effect. ...
Preprint
Rape cases have a disproportionately high attrition rate and low conviction rate compared to other criminal offenses. Evaluations of a rape complainant’s credibility often determine whether a case progresses through the criminal justice system. Even though emotional demeanor is not related to witness honesty or accuracy, distressed rape complainants are perceived to be more credible than complainants who present with controlled affect. To understand the extent and robustness of the influence of emotional demeanor on credibility judgments of female adult rape complainants, we conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis and p-curve analysis of the experimental simulated decision-making literature on the influence of complainant emotional demeanor on complainant credibility. The meta-analysis included 20 studies with participants who were criminal justice professionals (e.g., police officers and judges), community members, and mock jurors (N = 3128). Results suggest that distressed demeanor significantly increased perceptions of complainant credibility, with a small to moderate effect size estimate. Importantly, the results of p-curve analysis suggest that reporting bias is not a likely explanation for the effect of emotional demeanor on rape complainant credibility. Sample type (whether perceivers were criminal justice professionals or prospective jurors) and stimulus modality (whether perceivers read about or watched the complainant recount the alleged rape) were not found to moderate the effect size estimate. These results suggest that effective methods of reducing reliance on emotional demeanor to make credibility judgments about rape complainants should be investigated to make credibility assessments fairer and more accurate.
... Rape complainants are also equally likely to appear distressed or with controlled affect (Burgess & Carretta, 2016;Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974;Carretta & Burgess, 2013). Complainants experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression at high rates (Norris & Kaniasty, 1994;Snipes, Calton, Green, Perrin, & Benotsch, 2017; and often suppress emotion to manage their trauma (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1986;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2011;Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012). This means many rape complainants may be unfairly judged as not credible due to their emotional demeanor when giving evidence. ...
... To our knowledge, no experimental study has directly examined this. In rape cases, police officers, lawyers, judges, and jurors experience the complainant's emotional demeanor in person during the investigation and trial proceedings (Maddox et al., 2012; over hours or even days (e.g., Konradi, 2007). This means written complainant evidence used in experiments lacks ecological validity (Kerr, 2017), so examining the effect of stimuli modality also permits an investigation of whether more ecologically valid experimental stimuli (video complainant evidence) influences the emotional victim effect. ...
Article
Rape cases have a disproportionately high attrition rate and low conviction rate compared with other criminal offenses. Evaluations of a rape complainant's credibility often determine whether a case progresses through the criminal justice system. Even though emotional demeanor is not related to witness honesty or accuracy, distressed rape complainants are perceived to be more credible than complainants who present with controlled affect. To understand the extent and robustness of the influence of emotional demeanor on credibility judgments of female adult rape complainants, we conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis, and p-curve analysis of the experimental simulated decision-making literature on the influence of complainant emotional demeanor on complainant credibility. The meta-analysis included 20 studies with participants who were criminal justice professionals (e.g., police officers and judges), community members, and mock jurors (N = 3128). Results suggest that distressed demeanor significantly increased perceptions of complainant credibility, with a small to moderate effect size estimate. Importantly, the results of p-curve analysis suggest that reporting bias is not a likely explanation for the effect of emotional demeanor on rape complainant credibility. Sample type (whether perceivers were criminal justice professionals or prospective jurors) and stimulus modality (whether perceivers read about or watched the complainant recount the alleged rape) were not found to moderate the effect size estimate. These results suggest that effective methods of reducing reliance on emotional demeanor to make credibility judgments about rape complainants should be investigated to make credibility assessments fairer and more accurate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
... Investigation of this phenomenon is complicated but has proceeded along a number of lines of inquiry with particular emphasis on the criminal justice response to sexual assault (Spohn & Tellis, 2012). Research that has focused on the broad topic of response to sexual assault has examined factors associated with decision making by police (Kerstetter, 1990;Lafree, 1981;Rose & Randall, 1982), factors associated with prosecutorial decision making (Beichner & Spohn, 2005;Frazier & Haney, 1996;Frohmann, 1991), and police perceptions of victim credibility (Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012). A second line of inquiry has evolved and has focused on the victims of sexual assault. ...
... A second line of inquiry has evolved and has focused on the victims of sexual assault. Research has examined the correlates of victims' decision making regarding reporting the assault to police, victims' experiences with the criminal justice system (Belknap, 2001;Erez & Belknap, 1998;Felson & Pare, 2008;Holmstrom & Burgess, 1978;Koss, 2000), and psychological sequelae of sexual assault and its impact on disclosure to police (Anders & Christopher, 2011;Maddox et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research examining sexual assault case attrition has focused on the processing of cases across the justice system. Studies have examined arrest decision making and prosecutorial decision making in an attempt to better understand where and when cases drop out of the system. Less explored are police reporting practices during the initial stage of processing for cases in which the officer stated that the victim chose to drop her case. We addressed this gap in the literature by reviewing law enforcement incident reports at their onset, specifically; we examine reports of cases in which the officer reported the victim chose to drop the case. Results indicated that of the 125 cases of sexual assault reported to the police, 41 reports (32.8%) stated that the victim decided to no longer pursue charges. However, few police reports (30.2%) provided a clear rationale for why the victim decided to no longer pursue charges. Results of this study call for more standardized police reporting practices and point to the need for future research into the initial stage of law enforcement involvement in adult sexual assault cases.
... A victim of sexual assault is more likely to be deemed credible by police, and subsequently believed, if they are visibly distressed during the sexual assault disclosure, offer a coherent narrative, report to police independently and in a timely manner, and have no apparent motivation for lying (Quinlan, 2016). Conversely, victims of sexual assault are less likely to be believed if they are young, have a psychiatric illness, are unfaithful to their spouse (Maddox et al., 2012;Quinlan, 2016), are involved in sex work, admit to feelings of regret, have no physical injury or evidence, and generally lack credibility (Venema, 2016). With rape myth acceptance pervasive in law enforcement (Shaw et al., 2017), the women in this research are at a disadvantage as they rarely met the misguided assumptions of who the "real" victims are. ...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of sexual victimization among Indigenous women are 3 times higher when compared with non-Indigenous women. The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to explore the experiences and recommendations of Indigenous women who reported sexual assault to the police and were not believed. This qualitative study of the experiences of 11 Indigenous women reflects four themes. The women experienced (a) victimization across the lifespan, (b) violent sexual assault, (c) dismissal by police, and (d) survival and resilience. These women were determined to voice their experience and make recommendations for change in the way police respond to sexual assault.
... Police officers are in a unique position to act as gatekeepers for justice in sexual assault cases, given their responsibility to investigate sexual assault reports (Shaw et al., 2017). Despite the role of police officers to investigate and present evidence to a prosecutor (Venema, 2016), research suggests that police officers often make decisions about the truthfulness of sexual assault reports prior to a thorough investigation (Maddox et al., 2012). Shaw et al. (2017) found that increased victim blame by police during the investigation of sexual assault resulted in fewer investigative steps and decreased the likelihood of the case proceeding to prosecution. ...
Article
Full-text available
One in four women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. Although less than 5% of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement, one in five cases reported to police are deemed baseless (by police) and therefore coded as "unfounded." Police officers are in a unique position to act as gatekeepers for justice in sexual assault cases, given their responsibility to investigate sexual assault reports. However, high rates of unfounded sexual assaults reveal that dismissing sexual violence has become common practice amongst the police. Much of the research on unfounded sexual assault is based on police perceptions of the sexual assault, as indicated in police reports. Women's perspectives about their experiences with police are not represented in research. This qualitative study explored women's experiences when their sexual assault report was disbelieved by the police. Data collection included open-ended and semi-structured interviews with 23 sexual assault survivors. Interviews covered four areas including the sexual assault, the experience with the police, the experience of not being believed, and the impact on their health and well-being. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and entered into NVIVO for analysis. Data were analyzed using Colaizzi's analytic method, resulting in the identification of four themes, including, (a) vulnerability, (b) drug and alcohol use during the assault, (c) police insensitivity, and (d) police process. The women in this study who experienced a sexual assault and reported the assault to police were hopeful that police would help them and justice would be served. Instead, these women were faced with insensitivity, blaming questions, lack of investigation, and lack of follow-up from the police, all of which contributed to not being believed by the institutions designed to protect them. The findings from this research demonstrate that police officers must gain a deeper understanding of trauma and sensitive communication with survivors of sexual assault. Keywords: adult victims, reporting/disclosure, sexual assault, support seeking.
... Elles n'osent donc pas le rapporter à la police (Jones et al., 2009). Ces conséquences peuvent constituer une première raison pour laquelle les victimes de viol et de violences sexuelles ne révèlent pas ces agressions à leurs proches (Maddox et al., 2012;Wolitzky-Taylor et al., 2011). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
L'affirmation de soi est une capacité essentielle au bon développement et à l'épanouissement de chacun. Qu'elle en soit cause ou conséquence, les femmes victimes de violences sexuelles font preuve d'une très faible capacité à s'affirmer. Or, ceci est directement lié à un risque plus élevé de subir de nouvelles agressions sexuelles, plus fréquentes et plus graves. Ainsi, les violences sexuelles enferment leurs victimes dans un cercle vicieux de victimisations répétées, engendrant et aggravant de multiples troubles psychologiques et physiques pouvant aller jusqu'à la mort par suicide ou par meurtre. Bien que le sujet des violences sexuelles envers les femmes soit un problème mondial et fasse l'objet de recherches depuis 50 ans, très peu de programmes préventifs ou thérapeutiques spécifiques à la prise en charge des victimes ont été mis en place à grande échelle, et très peu de professionnels en France y sont actuellement formés. Ici, nous explorons les perspectives thérapeutiques et préventives de la participation de femmes victimes de violences sexuelles à un groupe d'affirmation de soi spécifique à leur situation, en complément à leur psychothérapie individuelle. A travers l'étude de 4 cas cliniques, nous observons comment le développement de la capacité à s'affirmer permet l'adoption d'un nouvel état d'esprit et permet de faire avancer la thérapie en facilitant le processus de rétablissement.
... In this category, the complainant was assumed to be an older woman (above the age of 40), who was heavily drunk at the time of the alleged assault, claiming to have been assaulted by a friend or acquaintance in his or her own home, and made no attempt to resist. A later study conducted interviews with experienced police officers in England, from which three distinct victim prototypes were extracted: (a) the "real" victim, who is intelligent, well dressed, upset, vulnerable, and wants to go to court, (b) the "mad" victim, who has mental health issues and comes across as vague and irrational, and (c) the "bad" victim that is perceived as overtly sexual, cold, and unemotional (Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012). Further evidence shows that rape complaints that meet the definition of the "real rape" stereotype are more likely to progress through the criminal justice system and end in a conviction of the perpetrator, which further corroborates public opinion of what characterises a genuine rape complaint (Lovett & Kelly, 2009;Temkin, Gray, & Barrett, 2018;Wentz, 2019). ...
... Anderson, 2007). Research suggests that even when victims do report their sexual assaults, they are not always provided with sufficient resources to support them (Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012;Mgoqi-Mbalo, Zhang, & Ntuli, 2017;Weiss, 2010;Wyatt, Ahrens, Cabral, & Abeling, 2017). This is especially apparent for male victims of sexual assault . ...
Article
Full-text available
Limited research has assessed juror decision making in cases of female perpetrated sexual assault and the role played by factors such as victim's gender, physiological arousal, and participant's gender in the decision making process. Participants (n = 215) were presented with one of four trial vignettes that varied the perpetrator and victim's gender and victim's physiological arousal. The impact of these variables was examined on guilty verdicts rendered, credibility, and blameworthiness of the victim and accused. Results demonstrate that the male victim was blamed more than the female victim. Further, male participants viewed the male victim to be less credible than the female victim. Lastly, male participants viewed the accused to be more credible when the victim was depicted as male with signs of physiological arousal. The results reveal the disadvantages a male victim of female perpetrated sexual assault may face if he pursues his sexual assault at trial.
... It was possible to observe that health professionals had the least tolerance for rape, whereas police officers displayed more agreement and tolerance, accompanied by the group of rapists and male students (Sleath & Bull, 2015). Police officers, compared with the general public, are less tolerant of rape (Whitby & Pina, 2013), but compared with other professionals, they were more suspicious of victims (Sleath & Bull, 2015, perhaps due to the training the officers receive related to the importance of physical evidence to determine the credibility of victims (Maddox et al., 2012). Therefore, for police officers, factors such as the absence of physical injuries, a delay in filing a complaint, or a nonmarital sex life by the victim (Campbell et al., 2015), and previously knowing the perpetrator were indicators that the accusations were false, justifying the causality of the rape with the behavior of the victim (O'Neal, 2019; Venema, 2018). ...
Article
This study intended to examine rape myth acceptance (RMA) among police officers and its relationship with sociodemographic data, length of service, specific training in the field, and professional experience with victims of rape. To this end, we applied the Sexual Violence Beliefs Scale (ECVS) and controlled for sociodemographic data, as well as professional experience and specific training in the field, through a self-report questionnaire. The sample was composed of 400 police officers from a city in the north of Portugal, aged between 29 and 54 years, and most were men (94.3%). We found that tolerance to overall sexual violence exhibits positive correlations with age and length of service, as well as negative correlations with education levels. Differences were also found regarding gender, with men exhibiting greater tolerance/acceptance of overall sexual violence. It was also found that officers who exhibit higher tolerance/acceptance for sexual violence, overall, are those who do not consider it relevant to receive specific training in the field of sexual violence to perform their duties, who report not having any professional experience with cases of sexual violence and also do not consider it necessary to have specific abilities for these types of cases. Implications for decision-making in legal proceedings are discussed, stressing the need for specific specialization in intervention with victims of sexual assault, with a strong practical component.
... Some of the common misconceptions presented were: "People with disabilities are rarely victims of rape, and if subjected to rape they are not capable of relaying details about the incident"; "People with mental health problems often fabricate reports of rape"; "Intoxicated victims consent to sex but regret it afterwards and allege rape", etc. There are studies showing that rape myths are common among law enforcement personnel [12][13][14]. One study has even shown that rape myths based on "characteristics of victims" are documented in official police records in rape cases. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: To explore differences in police investigations between cases of rape against women with and without vulnerability factors. Methods: Retrospective, descriptive study of cases of rape against women ≥16 years of age. Cases involving victims with and without vulnerability factors were compared regarding the quality of police investigation. Results: Vulnerability was present among 68% of the victims. Cases with vulnerable victims had an adjusted odds ratio for a low-quality police investigation of 2.1 (95% CI [1.0-4.4]) compared to cases where victims were non-vulnerable. Conclusions: Our results do not prove that rape myths existed among police officers. Our findings show a trend indicating that vulnerable victims may have been less prioritized compared to non-vulnerable victims. More studies are needed regarding how the police respond to rape complaints and to what degree police investigations are influenced by different characteristics of victims.
... Six vignettes portrayed a victim who filed a police report and presented with expressive emotionality, behavioral displays of upset, and a linear recollection of eventsexpectations cited among police for how a credible victim would behave (Ask, 2010;Maddox et al., 2011Maddox et al., , 2012. Stereotypical trauma response was described: "[victim] was crying and shaking while she/he recalled the details of the incident." ...
Article
Intimate partner violence (IPV) among sexual minorities (SM) remains a considerable social problem. Police response to survivors can have a significant impact on recovery, case attrition, and suspect apprehension. The present study employed a 3 (sexual orientation) × 2 (physical evidence) × 2 (trauma response) between-subjects factorial design with a sample of 467 police–participant survey responses among commissioned personnel in one of the five largest U.S. cities to examine predictors of arrest in a randomly assigned hypothetical IPV vignette while considering case and participant factors. Findings revealed arrest likelihood decreased when police were presented with an SM couple. Presence of physical evidence and increased importance on police processes increased arrest likelihood. Adherence to heteronormative IPV myths decreased arrest likelihood despite couple sexual orientation. Implications and future research directions are discussed. © 2019 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.
... 14 Research has documented that law enforcement personnel endorse rape myths. [15][16][17] Recent research has shown that rape myths are documented in official rape case records and suggests that this may influence investigative responses and perhaps predict case progression in a negative way. 18 Preconceived attitudes are also described as existing towards sexual assault suspects. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Previous studies show that reported suspects in adult rape cases often have a criminal record, and that many are rape recidivists. Annual numbers of police reported rapes have dramatically increased but the proportion of rapes being prosecuted and numbers of convictions are low. To increase knowledge about the suspects in cases of police reported rapes; whether they have committed the crime before or not may inform preventive measures. Aims: To compare suspect, victim, and assault related characteristics among different groups of police-reported rape suspects (first-time suspects, recidivist suspects and unidentified suspects). Methods: Retrospective, descriptive study of suspects in cases of rape or attempted rape reported by women ≥16 years of age in the Sør-Trøndelag police district, Norway, from 2003 to 2010. Results: Among the 356 suspects included, 207 (58%) were first-time suspects, 75 (21%) were recidivists and 74 (21%) were unidentified. Being a first-time suspect was significantly associated with victim being <18 years, recidivist suspect was significantly associated with victim being a partner, both suspect- and victim unemployment, and suspect reporting intake of other drugs than alcohol. When suspects were unidentified, victims were more likely to have consumed alcohol prior to assault, and reporting the suspect being of non-Western origin. Also, the reporting of a public venue was more frequent when unidentified suspect. Conclusions: The study shows different patterns in groups of suspects as to victim and assault characteristics. Detection and description of such differences can provide valuable information for future prevention programs, police investigation methods and health care guidelines.
... Male sexual victims are thus labeled as "undeserving of a victim status" (Javaid, 2017b, p. 16). Furthermore, Maddox, Lee, and Barker (2012) conceptualized three categories of victim based on police perceptions of female victims: the real victim, the mad victim, and the bad victim. Only those who match the concept of a "real victim" are perceived as truthful. ...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual victimization is typically presented as a gender-based problem involving a female victim and a male offender. Science, policy, and society focus on female victims at the expense of male victims. Male sexual victimization is thus understudied compared with female sexual victimization. By performing a critical interpretive synthesis of research papers, policy documents, and gray literature ( N = 67) published in four electronic databases from January 2000 through September 2017, this article establishes the prevalence of male sexual victims and the causes that underlie the underrepresentation of this group in existing research and current policy. The prevalence rates of male sexual victims vary considerably, with up to 65% of men reporting sexual victimization. The underrepresentation of male victims was found to be rooted in prevailing gender roles and accepted sexual scripts in society, together with rape myths and stereotypical rape scripts. The former prescribes men as the dominant and sexually active gender. The latter denies male sexual victimization and frames women as "ideal victims." Combined, these prevailing societal perceptions of men, male sexuality, and sexual victimization prevent men from self-identifying as victims and inhibit them from seeking help to cope with the adverse consequences of sexual victimization. Addressing the gender differences in sexual victimization requires societal and political changes that challenge prevailing stereotypical perceptions of sexual victims. Such changes could result in improved support services for male sexual victims.
... The vignettes depicted a woman describing the details of an acquaintance rape, looking straight at the viewer, as if they were describing it to an investigating officer. A range of presentation styles, characters and accounts were used, based on the "mad, bad, and real" victim profiles described in previous research (Maddox et al., 2012). ...
Article
Police officers who work with victims of rape and sexual assault are exposed to severely traumatic material. This study aimed to investigate whether these specialist officers had developed compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout, and whether these variables were associated with trait and situational empathy, an important factor in retaining victim involvement within the prosecution process. The study also piloted a brief training intervention aimed at educating officers about compassion fatigue and ways of reducing and preventing it. A convenience sample of specialist police officers (N = 142) who work with victims of sexual assault completed measures of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout, as well as two empathy measures, rating trait empathy and “in vivo” empathy in response to a video vignette. Cross-sectional analysis showed that longer-serving specialist officers had greater compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout, but that neither measure of empathy was related to compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress, although high burnout was related to low trait empathy. The training was well received, and pre- and posttest measures showed that officers’ knowledge of the constructs increased. Given the potential risks to their well being and work performance, officers would benefit from further support to cope with and prevent emotional distress. Higher empathy might protect against burnout. Longitudinal research is needed to better understand the relationships between empathy, compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout.
... Rape victims often keep their victimization secret due to the fear that others will blame them or judge them negatively (Suarez & Gadalla, 2010;Ullman, 1996). These consequences prevent many rape victims from coming forward to disclose to friends and family, and prevents police investigations most rapes (Maddox, Lee, & Barker, 2012;Wolitzky-Taylor et al., 2011). Indeed, victims experience varying levels of psychological pain themselves: particularly women who are of reproductive age and mated (Thornhill & Thornhill, 1990). ...
Article
The current study explored how victims and third-parties attribute blame and perpetrator motivation for actual sexual victimization experiences. Although we do not assert that victims are responsible for perpetrators’ behavior, we found that some victims do not allocate all blame to their perpetrator. We sought to examine how victims and third-parties allocate blame in instances of actual completed and attempted sexual victimization and how they perceived perpetrator motivations. Victims of completed rape (n = 49) and attempted sexual assault (n = 91), and third-parties who knew a victim of sexual assault (n = 152) allocated blame across multiple targets: perpetrator, self/victim, friends, family, and the situation. Participants also described their perceptions of perpetrator’s motivation for the sexual assault. Victims tended to assign more blame to themselves than third-parties assigned to victims. Furthermore, victims perceived perpetrators as being more sexually-motivated than third-parties did, who viewed perpetrators as more power-motivated. Results suggest that perceptions of rape and sexual assault significantly differ between victims and third-party individuals who have never directly experienced such a trauma.
... Some of the common misconceptions presented were: "People with disabilities are rarely victims of rape, and if subjected to rape they are not capable of relaying details about the incident"; "People with mental health problems often fabricate reports of rape"; "Intoxicated victims consent to sex but regret it afterwards and allege rape", etc. There are studies showing that rape myths are common among law enforcement personnel [12][13][14]. One study has even shown that rape myths based on "characteristics of victims" are documented in official police records in rape cases. ...
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Objectives: To study surgical technique and results of treatment in patients receiving surgery for renal carcinoma or Wilm's tumour with extension into the vena cava. Methods: During the period 1993–98, altogether 15 patients received surgery. The investigation was retrospective. All patients were followed until death or at follow-up examination in December 2004. Results: A transverse laparotomy incision was used in 12 patients and a longitudinal incision in three. Two patients were primarily regarded as inoperable. Cardiopulmonary bypass was applied in one patient. At follow-up five patients were alive from 49 to 82 months postoperatively. The other 10 had died between two and 30 months after surgery, eight from carcinoma and two from other causes. Conclusion: In conclusion, involvement of the vena cava does not in itself indicate a dismal prognosis in patients with renal carcinoma. The tumour can usually be removed from the vena cava using exposure depending upon the extent of the tumour proximally into the vena cava.
Article
Rape offences in England and Wales garner incredibly low levels of convictions. The policing stage of a complaint experiences high levels of case discontinuances. The aim of this research is to explore police officer's decision making in rape cases and how that shapes the attrition of cases. The method employed in this study is qualitative interviews, with retired or serving police officers, with the use of vignettes. This study found that police officers prioritise and continue with cases that they predict to be most likely to reach a conviction. Such predictions are guided by assessments over the strength of the evidence in cases, informed by a range of legal and extra‐legal factors. An overarching prediction employed is how likely a jury would be to convict a case. However, the participants reported that they find it incredibly difficult to accurately predict jury verdicts, making such decisions premised on a flawed logic.
Article
Using data received through the Freedom of Information Act, this observational study explores whether Army law enforcement personnel do not find probable cause in sexual assault cases at higher rates than in other serious crimes. The study compares sexual assaults, homicides, robberies, and assaults in the Army from 2008 to 2014 and July 2015 to 2017. For the first period, the study finds that the odds are 5.30 times greater that Army law enforcement will not find probable cause in a sexual assault case when compared to other crimes, and for the second period the odds are 4.39 times greater.
Article
Victim emotionality is one of the most influential factors in sexual crime cases. Traditionally, the study of emotionality has been limited to behaviour-descriptors such as conveying panic or appearing shaken, however, such studies must also be extended to the content of the victim’s testimony. Factors that affect emotionality within victim speech have not been sufficiently explored. Figurative language – such as metaphor, hyperbole, and simile – has been viewed historically as a tool to enhance persuasion, source credibility, and influence attitude changes within listeners. Thus, the use of figurative language may be the quickest and most effective way for victims to communicate the impact of sexual abuse. The present research focused on the intentional meta-linguistic content of victim testimony such as the use of figurative language; specifically, hyperbole. We investigated whether professionals and laypersons preferred a hyperbolic phrase, or a literal phrase in victim testimony, when asked to assume the role of the speaker, using a ‘fill-in-the-blank’ task. The results showed that professionals preferred the literal phrase, whereas laypersons preferred the hyperbolic. This would suggest that the pragmatic functions of hyperbole are different for laypersons (who could become complainants or jury members) and law enforcement; the implications of this difference are discussed.
Chapter
What factors contribute to witness retraction, disengagement or withdrawal from the legal processing of cases, thereby bringing a halt to prosecution processes? The review focused mainly on offences of personal and sexual violence against adult victims. Eight electronic databases were searched, locating a total of 3264 potentially relevant records of which 39 studies were retained for review. While there are numerous studies on attrition, the proportion of them concerned with retraction, disengagement or withdrawal was small. Factors associated with retraction and withdrawal in cases of partner violence included where a couple are living together; where despite conflicts, they have apparently reconciled; where the victim wants the partner to be rehabilitated rather than punished; where the abuser agrees to have counselling or other help; and where the victim engages in self-blame or feels ashamed. Factors associated with cases of rape and sexual assault included victims fearing that their accounts will not be believed and of being cross-examined in court, especially when that can be done by the defendant. Women are more likely to disengage from rape cases if they are more highly distressed, engage in self-blame, have become pregnant or have been hospitalized. Crime investigations that include taking photographs, gathering forensic evidence, video-recorded statements, victim impact statements and where victims are quickly put in contact with support services are more likely to be followed to prosecution. Participation is sustained where victims have found the initial police contact more helpful, which can be influenced by training.
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Heeding the necessary call for interpersonal communication research to be theorized and conducted from a more critical perspective, we employ feminist standpoint theory as a critical tool for reading attribution theory. Specifically, we examine social positionality as an essential aspect of the attribution process and identify how oppressive power structures (macro-level) and a critical consciousness of one’s social positionality (micro-level) impact interpersonal interactions (meso-level). Key components of our approach are visualized and applied to the context of sexual violence, and suggestions for additional interpersonal contexts to consider and ways to further the discussion are addressed. Overall, we maintain that taking a non-neutral, critical feminist approach to attribution theory enables us to consider how perspectives of marginalized groups are valuable sources of knowledge, interrogate how social positionality for those in power may impact attributions of blame, and recognize how groups in the margins have the agency to enact social change.
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Sexual violence is seriously underreported in many countries. Findings from prior research indicate that victims of rape who seek their rights experience worse mental health than those who do not report the violence. The aim of this study was to increase knowledge and deepen the understanding of rape survivors’ lived-experiences with the criminal justice system (CJS) in Iceland. The research methodology was the Vancouver school of doing phenomenology. Participants were ten Icelandic women who reported a rape to the police. In all cases, the prosecution authority decided not to charge the suspect due to lack of sufficient evidence. Two interviews were conducted with every participant, a total of 20 interviews. The main finding is that reporting the rape was like adding trauma on top of trauma for the women. They described the reporting process as a stressful and degrading experience that had a harmful impact on their mental health. Four main themes were identified regarding participants’ experiences: 1) ”So afraid to take the step” 2) “The uncertainty, never knowing anything” 3) “Completely fell apart” 4) “Left me hurt”. Despite the case being dropped, the women eventually managed to see the purpose of reporting the rape, which was an important step toward improved mental health and well-being. The results indicate that the needs of victims of sexual violence are not adequately met in the CJS in Iceland. It is necessary to build a system that can empower survivors and help facilitate their recovery instead of preventing it. To achieve this goal, it is important to implement a trauma-informed approach to the CJS and to enhance collaboration with the health care system. Keywords: Sexual assault, criminal justice system, trauma, mental health, phenomenology.
Article
Throughout the United States, hundreds of thousands of sexual assault kits (SAKs; also termed “rape kits”) have never been submitted by law enforcement personnel to a crime laboratory for forensic DNA testing. Prior research indicates that negative stereotypes about victims influence police decisions to submit kits for testing, but forensic crime laboratory personnel may also be involved in SAK submission decisions. The purpose of the current study was to explore the communication and collaboration between police and crime lab personnel regarding SAK submissions within a community with large numbers of unsubmitted rape kits. Drawing from 3 years of ethnographic observations and longitudinal qualitative interviews, we found that the police department’s crime lab did not have sufficient resources to test all rape kits in police custody, which is a problem forensic laboratories are facing throughout the United States. However, we also found that access to this limited resource was controlled by crime lab personnel and their rape myth beliefs about which victims and which cases were considered worthy of the time, effort, and attention of the criminal justice system. Lab personnel emphasized that police should only submit “real” cases for forensic DNA testing, which they typically defined as physically violent stranger-perpetrated sexual assaults; “shady” cases did not merit testing, which they defined as known-offender assaults, reports made by adolescent victims, and cases in which the victim may have been engaged in sex work. We noted marked similarities in police and lab personnel’s rape myth acceptance, and stakeholders readily agreed that they did have a common understanding about which victims were not credible and therefore which SAKs did not merit testing. We discuss these findings in light of recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences for the independence and autonomy of the forensic sciences from law enforcement.
Article
Research has long highlighted the importance of complainant credibility in influencing sexual assault (SA) case outcomes. Despite these findings, few studies have investigated the police decision to question a complainant’s credibility. This study uses data on SAs reported to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2008 to address this issue, specifically focusing on the effects of rape culture. Results suggest that indicators of “real rape” and measures of complainant “character flaws” influence the likelihood that an officer will question a complainant’s credibility. Notably, all indicators measuring officer perceptions of complainant “character flaws”—whether reputation issues were present, the complainant suffered from mental health issues, her testimony was inconsistent, and if the officer believed she had a motive to lie—increased the likelihood that the police would question her credibility. Practical implications, theoretical advancements, and directions for future research are discussed.
Article
This study examined level of acute psychological distress and perceived social support in 64 victims of rape and the association with police case decisions and victims’ willingness to participate in the investigation. The results of independent-sample t tests revealed that victims’ unwillingness to participate in the investigation was significantly associated with a higher level of psychological distress in the acute phase following the assault. The results suggest that victims of rape who disengage with the police investigation may do so because of a high level of acute psychological distress. Clinical implications are discussed.
Book
Thoroughly revised and updated, this third edition offers a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the social psychology of aggression, covering all the relevant major theories, individual differences, situational factors, and applied contexts. Understanding the causes, forms, and consequences of aggression and violence is critical for dealing with these harmful forms of social behavior. Addressing a range of sub-topics, the firstpart deals with the definition and measurement of aggression, presents major theories, examines the development of aggression and discusses individual and gender differences in aggressive behaviour. It covers the role of situational factors in eliciting aggression and the impact of exposure to violence in the media. The second part examines specific forms and manifestations of aggression, including chapters on aggression in everyday contexts and in the family, sexual aggression, intergroup aggression, and terrorism. The new edition also includes additional coverage of gender differences, gun violence, and terrorism, to reflect the latest research developments in the field. Alsodiscussing strategies for reducing and preventing aggression, this bookis essential reading for students and researchers in psychology and related disciplines, as well as practitioners andpolicy makers.
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Police officers are frequently perceived to hold negative attitudes about rape victims. The aim of this systematic review is to: (1) synthesise the current literature on police officers' attributions of rape victim blame, assessments of rape victim credibility, and rape myth acceptance; and, (2) examine the evidence that holding these attitudes impacts on police investigative decision making in rape cases. Twenty-four articles published between 2000 and 2016 were included following a systematic search of the available literature. The findings highlight that some police officers do hold problematic attitudes about rape victims e.g., blame, rape myth acceptance, although they are frequently noted to be at a low level. Furthermore, characteristics of the victim, e.g., alcohol intoxication and emotional expression, can affect attributions of victim credibility. Assessments of victim credibility were related to police investigative decision making e.g., recommendations to charge the perpetrator, perceptions of guilt. However, the impact of rape victim blaming and rape myth acceptance is less clear. Given that the literature was predominantly vignette-based, it is unclear how these judgements have an impact in real rape investigations.
Article
Objective: The majority of sexual assault cases reported to police are never prosecuted. Prior literature has suggested rape myths may explain these trends because police are influenced by and draw upon rape myths in their beliefs, assumptions, and actions. However, prior research has relied on surveys to measure police attitudes; less is known regarding the extent to which these attitudes manifest in official sexual assault case records. The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which rape myths manifest in sexual assault investigations and develop a typology of statements that functionally operate as rape myths in official police records. Method: The written police records from N = 248 sexual assault cases were examined. Cases were coded via directed and conventional content analysis for rape myths. Results: Statements in police records drew upon rape myths that denied or justified the assault on the basis of specific circumstances of the assault (i.e., circumstantial statements) and specific characteristics of the victim (i.e., characterological statements). Statements in police reports also blamed victims for the way police responded to the assault (i.e., investigatory blame statements). Conclusions: Rape myth endorsement among police is evidenced in official sexual assault case records because they invoke traditional rape myths in documenting their investigations. More frequently, police account for their response by blaming the victim for a poor police investigation postassault. Findings suggest that future research should examine the extent to which such statements predict sexual assault case progression and that training for police should emphasize behavioral change (i.e., report writing).
Chapter
Sexual violence is an omnipresent threat to women’s sexual well-being, physical and mental health all over the world. In addition to the impact of the victimization experience itself, many survivors are faced with negative social reactions when they disclose it to third parties, which amount to a form of secondary victimization and differ from reactions toward victims of other forms of violent crime. Negative reactions and stereotypic judgments about victims of sexual violence can also be found to operate in the legal handling of sexual violence allegations, playing a part in the widely observed “justice gap” for victims of sexual assault. This chapter examines the role of stereotypes and myths about rape in understanding societal responses to survivors of sexual violence. After presenting prevalence rates of sexual assault worldwide, the process of attrition is examined, from the occurrence of a sexual assault to the potential conviction of a perpetrator in a court trial. A large body of international research shows that attrition may be linked to the influence of extra-legal factors, particularly the tendency to blame the victim and exonerate the perpetrator, which reflect socially shared myths and stereotypes about rape. Evidence will be presented showing the impact of rape myths and stereotypes on the handling of rape complaints by members of the criminal justice system and by the general public. The chapter concludes with a review of potential strategies for challenging rape myths and stereotypes and reducing their influence in the criminal justice system.
Article
The attrition of rape cases from the criminal justice system (CJS) remains high and there is a paucity of research in relation to marginalized groups. Sex workers (SWs) are vulnerable to sexual violence due to the nature of their work. They are also unlikely to report such violence to police for a range of reasons. Two stages of research sought to describe the victim, perpetrator, and offense characteristics of SW rape and to examine the attrition of these cases. All rapes and attempted rapes (N = 1,146) reported to police in a large city in the South West of England over a 21-year period were examined; 67 cases involved SWs. Data were extracted from police files in line with the variables of interest. Secondary analysis of the total number of SW rapes (n = 67) resulted in a profile of these cases. A matched pairs study revealed significant differences in victim, perpetrator, and assault characteristics between SW (n = 62) and non-sex-worker (NSW) samples (n = 62). Although no significant difference was found in terms of attrition from the CJS, SW cases were observed to secure more convictions for rape than NSW cases. The implications of the findings for practice and future research are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.
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This article examines whether crimes motivated by, or which demonstrate, gender ‘hostility’ should be included within the current framework of hate crime legislation in England and Wales. The article uses the example of rape to explore the parallels (both conceptual and evidential) between gender-motivated violence and other ‘archetypal’ forms of hate crime. It is asserted that where there is clear evidence of gender hostility during the commission of an offence, a defendant should be pursued in law additionally as a hate crime offender. In particular it is argued that by focusing on the hate-motivation of many sexual violence offenders, the criminal justice system can begin to move away from its current focus on the ‘sexual’ motivations of offenders and begin to more effectively challenge the gendered prejudices that are frequently causal to such crimes.
Book
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This is the book that started an are of research and practice of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and stress reactions, vicarious trauma, and most recently compassion fatigue resilience
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This article reports two worldwide studies of stereotypes about liars. These studies are carried out in 75 dif ferent countries and 43 different languages. In Study 1, participants respond to the open-ended question “How can you tell when people are lying?” In Study 2, participants complete a questionnaire about lying. These two studies reveal a dominant pan-cultural stereotype: that liars avert gaze. The authors identify other common beliefs and offer a social control interpretation.
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Qualitative research produces large amounts of textual data in the form of transcripts and observational fieldnotes. The systematic and rigorous preparation and analysis of these data is time consuming and labour intensive. Data analysis often takes place alongside data collection to allow questions to be refined and new avenues of inquiry to develop. Textual data are typically explored inductively using content analysis to generate categories and explanations; software packages can help with analysis but should not be viewed as short cuts to rigorous and systematic analysis. High quality analysis of qualitative data depends on the skill, vision, and integrity of the researcher; it should not be left to the novice.
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A fairly robust finding in the deception literature is that lie-tellers show more negative emotion than truth-tellers. Ekman (1985), however, has reasoned that a specific type of negative emotion – anger – is especially difficult to feign and therefore should be more prevalent in truth-tellers who are falsely accused of a transgression than in lie-tellers who are guilty. To our knowledge, Ekman’s prediction has not yet been empirically tested. By comparing the verbal and nonverbal cues associated with truths and lies across a number of lie-eliciting situations, we demonstrate that truth-tellers accused of a wrongdoing do show more anger, both verbally and nonverbally, than lie-tellers accused of the same act, but only in situations where students choose to commit a transgression (or not) and actually believe themselves to be in trouble. Results underlie the importance of taking into consideration the type of lie being told in order to accurately predict deceptive cues.
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The ability of a group of Canadian federal parole officers to detect deception was investigated over the course of 2 days of lie detection training. On the first day of training, 32 officers judged the honesty of 12 (6 true, 6 fabricated) videotaped speakers describing personal experiences, half of which were judged before and half judged after training. On the second day, 5 weeks later, 20 of the original participants judged the honesty of another 12 videotapes (again, 6 pre- and 6 posttraining). To isolate factors relating to detection accuracy, three groups of undergraduate participants made judgments on the same 24 videotapes: (1) a feedback group, which received feedback on accuracy following each judgment, (2) a feedback + cue information group, which was given feedback and information on empirically based cues to deception, and (3) a control group, which did not receive feedback or cue information. Results indicated that at baseline all groups performed at or below chance levels. However, overall, all experimental groups (including the parole officers) became significantly better at detecting deception than the control group. By the final set of judgments, the parole officers were significantly more accurate (M = 76.7%) than their baseline performance (M = 40.4%) as well as significantly more accurate than the control group (M = 62.5%). The results indicate that detecting deceit is difficult, but training and feedback can enhance detection skills.
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Do people behave differently when they are lying compared with when they are telling the truth? The combined results of 1,338 estimates of 158 cues to deception are reported. Results show that in some ways, liars are less forthcoming than truth tellers, and they tell less compelling tales. They also make a more negative impression and are more tense. Their stories include fewer ordinary imperfections and unusual contents. However, many behaviors showed no discernible links, or only weak links, to deceit. Cues to deception were more pronounced when people were motivated to succeed, especially when the motivations were identity relevant rather than monetary or material. Cues to deception were also stronger when lies were about transgressions.
Article
In the 1980s, in the wake of growing public concern, changes were made to police procedures for dealing with complaints of rape. Academic research into the experience of women who reported rape to the police after these changes were instituted, is almost non-existent. This article is based on the findings of a qualitative study of a group of women whose cases were recorded as rape by the Sussex police between 1991 and 1993. It looks at their response to their contact with the police at each phase of the criminal justice process from reporting through to the trial where this occurred. It also considers the overall attitude of victims to the handling of their cases by the police and examines those aspects which were particularly positive or negative. It concludes that, while there is much good practice, the task of improving services for rape victims is not yet complete.
Article
This article presents the key findings of a research project investigating changing police policies and practices at two London police stations in relation to rape and sexual assault cases. Despite a shift to the more sensitive treatment of women reporting sexual attacks, the attrition rate remains high. The police practice of 'no-criming' a high proportion of cases is compounded by the negative role of the Crown Prosecution Service and the extreme difficulty of securing a conviction when cases do come to court. The paper concludes by emphasizing the need for a radical overhaul of the judicial process.
Article
Rape victims differ in their style of communicating their experience to others in their environment. An emotional style of self-presentation can be distinguished from a numbed style of presentation. The present experiment tests the hypothesis that a numbed style of self-presentation, as compared to an emotional one, will result more strongly in secondary victimization by the environment. Experimental results suggest among others that a victim characterized by an emotional self-presentation is more strongly perceived as a woman who exhibited caution, and as a person who was not responsible for the situation. Some implications of this perceptual bias in observers are discussed.
Article
A sample of 391 adult females were interviewed about lifetime criminal victimization experiences, crime reporting, and psychological impact. In total, 75% of the sample (n = 295) had been victimized by crime, and 41.4% of all crimes were reported to the police. Reporting rates differed by crime type. Burglary had the highest reporting rate (82.4%); and sexual assault the lowest (7.1%). Of all crime victims, 27.8% subsequently developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Major implications are the following: Prevalence rates are extremely high and reporting rates are low. The prevalence of PTSD indicates that crime has both an immediate and long-term psychological impact. Suggestions for improved victim services are discussed.
Article
Purpose. Numerous wrongful convictions have brought into question the ability of judges and juries to accurately evaluate the credibility of witnesses, including defendants. Dangerous decisions theory (DDT) offers a theoretical framework to build our understanding of the decision-making process that can culminate in such injustices.Arguments. According to DDT, the reading of a defendant's face and emotional expressions play a major role in initiating a series of ‘dangerous’ decisions concerning his/her credibility. Specifically, potent judgments of trustworthiness occur rapidly upon seeing a defendant's face, subjectively experienced as intuition. Originally evolved to reduce the danger to the observer, the initial judgment – which may be unreliable – will be enduring and have a powerful influence on the interpretation and assimilation of incoming evidence concerning the defendant. Ensuing inferences will be irrational, but rationalized by the decision maker through his/her subjective schemas about trustworthiness and heuristics for identifying deceptive behaviour. Facilitated by a high level of motivation, a non-critical, tunnel vision assimilation of potentially disconfirming or ambiguous target information can culminate in a mistaken evaluation of guilt or innocence.Conclusions. Empirically based education and responsible expert testimony could serve to reduce such biases and improve legal decision-making.
Article
Book synopsis: Undertaking qualitative research in psychology can seem like a daunting and complex process, especially when it comes to selecting the most appropriate approach for your project or assignment. This book, written and edited by a world-leading group of academics and researchers, offers an accessible, critical and practical way into qualitative research in psychology. Each chapter provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to using a qualitative research method – from Conversation Analysis or Focus Groups to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis or Narrative Psychology. Whatever approach you choose to take, this book will ensure you get it right from the start.
Article
Research on the detection of deception, via non-verbal cues, has shown that people's ability to successfully discriminate between truth and deception is only slightly better than chance level. One of the reasons for these disappointing findings possibly lies in people's inappropriate beliefs regarding ‘lying behaviour’. A 64-item questionnaire originally used in Germany, which targets participants' beliefs regarding truthful and deceptive behaviour, was used. The present study differed from previous research in three ways: (i) instead of a student population, police officers and lay people were sampled, (ii) both people's beliefs regarding others' deceptive behaviour and their beliefs regarding their own deceptive behaviour were examined, and (iii) both non-verbal cues to, and content characteristics of, deceptive statements were examined. Results were consistent with previous studies, which found significant differences between people's beliefs regarding deceptive behaviour and experimental observations of actual deceptive behaviour. Further, police officers held as many false beliefs as did lay people and finally, participants were more accurate in their beliefs regarding their own deceptive behaviour than they were in their beliefs regarding others' behaviour.
Article
Participants viewed one of six video-recorded versions of a rape victim's testimony, role-played by a professional actress in one of six versions: Two versions of the testimony, representing a strong and a less strong rape scenario, were given in a free-recall manner with one of three kinds of emotions displayed, termed congruent, neutral and incongruent emotional expressions. Credibility judgements were strongly influenced by the emotions displayed, but not by the content of the story. When video watching was compared to reading a transcript of the testimony, results indicated that perceived credibility was reduced when the witness displayed neutral or incongruent emotions. Story content and displayed emotion contributed equally to estimates of the probability of a guilty verdict. We conclude that perception of credibility is strongly influenced by social stereotypes regarding appropriate emotional expression. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
The present study investigated subjects' perceptions of a hypothetical rape situation as a function of the amount of force used in the rape, sex of subject, and subjects' attitudes toward feminism. Two hundred thirty-two subjects (118 females, 114 males) were randomly assigned by sex to one of three force conditions. Consistent with expectation, subjects expressed greater certainty that a rape had actually occurred with increased force on the part of the assailant (p <.001). A second hypothesis received partial support: Increasing force led to stronger attributions of rape on the part of traditional women, whereas liberal women tended to see the incident as rape at all force levels. A similar relationship did not emerge for men, however. As predicted, profeminist subjects implicated societal factors as causal in rape to a greater extent than did nonfeminists. Contrary to prediction, however, pro- and nonfeminists were not found to differ from each other in the degree of blame attributed to either the victim or the assailant. The findings support the general notion that one's gender and sex-role attitudes as well as the degree of force used by a rape assailant affect one's evaluation of this situation and the manner in which one attributes cause. Implications for rape prevention and victim reaction are discussed.
Article
This exploratory study investigated whether rape victims’ subjective perceptions of whether to proceed with legal action were associated with their experience of disclosing to the police during their initial interview. Specifically, the study investigated associations between symptoms of PTSD, shame and self-blame post-rape, subjective perceptions of police empathy and subjective perception of victims’ intentions to take the case to court. Participants (N = 22) were found to have elevated levels of PTSD severity, shame and self-blame. Police empathy was positively correlated with victims’ ratings of likelihood of taking the case to court, and negatively correlated with PTSD severity and shame. These preliminary findings suggest that training police officers how to respond more empathically to psychologically distressed rape victims may potentially help reduce victim attrition rates. KeywordsRape–Attrition–PTSD–Shame–Self-blame–Empathy
Article
The authors interviewed and followed 146 patients admitted during a one yr period to the emergency ward of a city hospital with a presenting complaint of having been raped. Based upon an analysis of the 92 adult women rape victims in the sample, they document the existence of a rape trauma syndrome and delineate its symptomatology as well as that of two variations, compounded reaction and silent reaction. Specific therapeutic techniques are required for each of these 3 reactions. Crisis intervention counseling is effective with typical rape trauma syndrome; additional professional help is needed in the case of compounded reaction; and the silent rape reaction means that the clinician must be alert to indications of the possibility of rape having occurred even when the patient never mentions such an attack.
Article
This article describes the "rape myth" and tests hypotheses derived from social psychological and feminist theory that acceptance of rape myths can be predicted from attitudes such as sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, sexual conservatism, and acceptance of interpersonal violence. Personality characteristics, background characteristics, and personal exposure to rape, rape victims, and rapists are other factors used in predictions. Results from regression analysis of interview data indicate that the higher the sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, and acceptance of interpersonal violence, the greater a respondent's acceptance of rape myths. In addition, younger and better educated people reveal less stereotypic, adversarial, and proviolence attitudes and less rape myth acceptance. Discussion focuses on the implications of these results for understanding and changing this cultural orientation toward sexual assault.
Article
Post-traumatic stress disorder is currently classified as an anxiety disorder with fear as the predominant emotion. This has led to the development of treatment techniques such as exposure aimed at alleviating fear. This article highlights the need to address other emotional responses, in particular shame and guilt, when assessing and treating PTSD. Hence, it presents two clinical models of shame-based PTSD and guilt-based PTSD. These models are offered as aids to clinicians in assessing and formulating cases of PTSD where shame and guilt are salient issues. The models highlight the importance of assessing meaning in the context of pre-existing schemas and address two pathways to the development of shame and/or guilt: schema congruence and schema incongruence. Several treatment implications are drawn from the models.
Article
This study evaluated the psychopathological consequences of a single rape occurring in adult women. The psychiatric symptoms reported by 40 women who were victims of rape during the previous 9 months as decided by a court of law were compared with the symptoms of 32 women who underwent severe, nonsexual, life-threatening events (car accidents, physical attacks, or robberies). None of the raped women had experienced previous sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence. The raped women showed a significantly greater prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as sexual, eating, and mood disorders. These findings indicate that the psychopathological consequences of a rape could be specific and may warrant particular attention.
Article
To estimates rates and correlates of disclosure of date/acquaintance rape or attempted rape and verbally coercive sex among a diverse sample of adolescent and young adult females. Secondary data analysis of cross sectional data. Urban adolescent healthcare facility. Adolescents who were identified as having experienced rape/attempted rape (n = 86) or verbally coerced sex (n = 68) in the last 12 months from study examining sexual violence. Disclosure of forced sex (logistic regression) and the timing of disclosure (survival analysis). None. Almost 60% of victims who experienced rape/attempted rape disclosed this information to one or more individuals, whereas only 47% of those who experienced verbally coerced sex told another person. Multivariate analyses found that drinking by the partner (AOR = 4.6) and shorter dating history (AOR = 6.3) were associated with disclosure of rape/attempted rape; timing of this disclosure was facilitated by Caucasian ethnicity (RR = 3.5), having a dating partner who drank > or = 1 drinks (RR = 2.5), and the perpetrator being someone other than the victim's boyfriend or partner (RR = 2.5). With regards to verbally coerced sex, reporting no pressure to use alcohol (AOR = 10.7) was the only factor associated with disclosure. No significant predictors of timing to disclosure were detected for this type of victimization. Perpetrator's alcohol use and a shorter dating history are important variables associated with disclosure of rape/attempted rape as well as timing to disclosure. Factors affecting the disclosure of verbally coerced sex and the latency associated with disclosure are less well defined.
Article
Many community psychologists adhere to a methodological pluralist orientation to research; however, it is often unclear what such a position means in practice. This paper draws out the practical implications of methodological pluralism for community research. It proposes four sets of criteria for how research might be appraised under a pluralistic ethos: criteria applicable to all research, research-relevant community psychology values and principles, criteria specifically applicable to quantitative research, and criteria specifically applicable to qualitative research. The paper also addresses how pluralistic community research may be conducted, at each of three levels: integrating methods within a single study, using different approaches within a research program, and pluralism in the field as a whole.
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