‘A lot of the time it’s dealing with victims who don’t want to know, it’s all made up, or they’ve got mental health’: Rape myths in a large English police force

Journal article


Gekoski, A., Massey, Kristina, Allen, Katherine, Ferreira, J., Dalton, Charlotte T, Horvath, Miranda and Davies, Kari 2023. ‘A lot of the time it’s dealing with victims who don’t want to know, it’s all made up, or they’ve got mental health’: Rape myths in a large English police force. International Review of Victimology. https://doi.org/10.1177/02697580221142891
AuthorsGekoski, A., Massey, Kristina, Allen, Katherine, Ferreira, J., Dalton, Charlotte T, Horvath, Miranda and Davies, Kari
AbstractDespite an increase in the reporting of rape, convictions in England and Wales have fallen significantly in recent years. Previous research has found high rape myth acceptance among police officers. Given that the police act as gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, subscribing to rape myths may have significant effects upon victim attrition and conviction rates. This study explores police officers’ use of rape myths and how these may impact investigations and prosecutions. A total of 17 semi-structured interviews were conducted with police officers from a large English police force. The interview data were analysed using the qualitative method of thematic analysis. Although there were instances where officers demonstrated some awareness of the need to dispel or counter rape myths, rape myths were employed by most officers, with the most common relating to (1) victim fabrication (‘women lie’) and (2) victim precipitation (‘women ask for it’). Recommendations are made around screening and training for police officers.
KeywordsRape myths; Police officers; Victims; Rape myth acceptance; Investigation
Year2023
JournalInternational Review of Victimology
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN0269-7580
2047-9433
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/02697580221142891
Official URLhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/02697580221142891
Publication dates
Online11 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Jan 2023
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/93q30/-a-lot-of-the-time-it-s-dealing-with-victims-who-don-t-want-to-know-it-s-all-made-up-or-they-ve-got-mental-health-rape-myths-in-a-large-english-police-force

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