Why rape survivors participate in the criminal justice system
Patterson, D., & Campbell, R. (2010). Why rape survivors participate in the criminal justice system. Journal of Community Psychology, 38(2), 191-205.
After a rape, survivors may seek help from multiple community organizations including the criminal justice system (CJS). Research has found that few survivors report their assaults to the police and of those who do report, many withdraw their participation during the investigation.
However, relatively little is known about the factors that lead survivors to participate in the CJS, and how other community services provided by forensic nurses or victim advocates may also help encourage survivor engagement. In the current study, 20 survivors who reported their victimizations to police within a large Midwest county were interviewed about the factors that influenced their involvement in the CJS. Further, we examined the role that the police, forensic nurses, and victim advocates played in their participation. Using qualitative analyses, our findings suggest that informal supports hold a strong role in the reporting process and formal supports are influential in survivors’ engagement in the investigational process.