Understanding Attrition in Rape Cases: ESRC Impact Report

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The research aimed to understand what factors influence rape case attrition in the criminal justice system. The research has achieved this aim through advancing empirical understanding of the factors that influence case success or failure showing case loss is still most significant at policing stage (victim withdrawal and ‘no further action’) and gives a more holistic understanding of attrition from methodological advancement through the use of multivariate analysis/Forest Plots. Debates are furthered by highlighting that the ‘no criming’ problem of concern in previous literature, has to some extent, become the ‘no further action’ problem in relation to case loss at policing stage. Empirical understanding has also been generated in relation to police officers’ interviews of victims, their understandings and attitudes towards rape (revealing a more complex understanding of what makes a ‘good case’ than the ‘real rape’/‘stereotypical rape’ in previous research). Understandings of victim experience have also been advanced showing reporting rape (or not) is a multi-factorial decision influenced by the individual’s social circumstances beyond the assault/perceptions of the justice process.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSwindon, UK
PublisherEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Commissioning bodyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • rape
  • criminal justice system
  • forensic science


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