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Shame, Self-Blame and Other Reasons Why Victims Don't Report Sexual Crimes to the Police

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Abstract:

Rape and sexual assault are two of the least reported violent crimes, with less than a third of those who experience unwanted sexual contact or coercion reporting the incident to the police. By analyzing both structured and narrative responses from the National Crime Victimization Survey, this paper isolates the most common reasons why victims of rape and sexual assault do not report incidents to the police. While analyzing victim perception is essential to an understanding of why victims of any crime choose not to report to the police, it is especially important for an analysis of sexual crimes so enveloped in myth and misconception. Unlike other crimes, victims of rape and sexual assault must make sense of what happened to them within a culture where rape accusations are often met with skepticism, where offenders’ aggressive behaviors are often dismissed as normal and where victims are often implicated as partially responsible. Thus, victims may make conscious decisions not to report in order to avoid potential embarrassment and further negative repercussions to themselves and significant others. Moreover, reporting requires that the victim be willing to hold a perpetrator publicly accountable for his actions, an imputation that can be severely impeded when the offender is someone the victims knows intimately. By delineating the varying reasons, and analyzing the conditions under which such reasons are most likely to be used, this study begins an important examination of the impact that culture and social interaction have on reporting decisions.
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Association:
Name: American Society of Criminology
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p32884_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Weiss, Karen. "Shame, Self-Blame and Other Reasons Why Victims Don't Report Sexual Crimes to the Police" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Royal York, Toronto, <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p32884_index.html>

APA Citation:

Weiss, K. "Shame, Self-Blame and Other Reasons Why Victims Don't Report Sexual Crimes to the Police" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Royal York, Toronto <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p32884_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Rape and sexual assault are two of the least reported violent crimes, with less than a third of those who experience unwanted sexual contact or coercion reporting the incident to the police. By analyzing both structured and narrative responses from the National Crime Victimization Survey, this paper isolates the most common reasons why victims of rape and sexual assault do not report incidents to the police. While analyzing victim perception is essential to an understanding of why victims of any crime choose not to report to the police, it is especially important for an analysis of sexual crimes so enveloped in myth and misconception. Unlike other crimes, victims of rape and sexual assault must make sense of what happened to them within a culture where rape accusations are often met with skepticism, where offenders’ aggressive behaviors are often dismissed as normal and where victims are often implicated as partially responsible. Thus, victims may make conscious decisions not to report in order to avoid potential embarrassment and further negative repercussions to themselves and significant others. Moreover, reporting requires that the victim be willing to hold a perpetrator publicly accountable for his actions, an imputation that can be severely impeded when the offender is someone the victims knows intimately. By delineating the varying reasons, and analyzing the conditions under which such reasons are most likely to be used, this study begins an important examination of the impact that culture and social interaction have on reporting decisions.

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Similar Titles:
(Re)Defining Sexual Victimization: An Analysis of Non-Classifying Incidents Reported to the National Crime Victimization Survey

“Why Didn't You Call the Police?” A Cross-National Study of Sexual Violence Victims' Police Reporting Practice

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