[De]-Centering the victim: police perceptions of victims of sexual violence through a comparative lens of evidence collection and processing

Deborah White*, Lesley McMillan

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Police are central to the statutory response to sexual violence, shaping the direction an investigation may take. Evidence provided by victims is also key to the processing of sexual assault cases. From a 2013 comparative qualitative study involving interviews with police officers in one province in Canada (n = 11) and one region in Scotland (n = 10) who investigate such cases, we discovered striking unanticipated differences between the two groups in terms of how they perceived victims and the evidence they provide. This paper presents a thematic analysis of these data and considers possible implications and explanations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalFeminist Criminology
Early online date14 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • sexual assault, victimization, rape, policing, qualitative research, women, justice interests

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