The impact of victim-perpetrator relationship, reputation, and initial point of resistance on officers’ responsibility and authenticity ratings towards hypothetical rape cases

Article


Hine, B. and Murphy, A. 2017. The impact of victim-perpetrator relationship, reputation, and initial point of resistance on officers’ responsibility and authenticity ratings towards hypothetical rape cases. Journal of Criminal Justice. 49, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2017.01.001
TypeArticle
TitleThe impact of victim-perpetrator relationship, reputation, and initial point of resistance on officers’ responsibility and authenticity ratings towards hypothetical rape cases
AuthorsHine, B. and Murphy, A.
Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies suggest that judgments of responsibility and authenticity made towards hypothetical rape cases differ when specific case factors are varied. However, few studies have examined whether police officers exhibit similar variations in judgment.
Methods: Sixteen vignettes depicting a hypothetical rape scenario were created. Vignettes varied on victim-perpetrator relationship, victim reputation, and initial point of resistance. Police officers from a large police force in the United Kingdom (n = 808) provided judgments of victim and perpetrator responsibility, as well as rape authenticity.
Results: Officers rated perpetrators as less responsible and gave lower rape authenticity ratings when a partner was the perpetrator, and in ‘late’ resistance scenarios. Officers rated victims as more responsible in ‘bad’ reputation conditions and in ‘late’ resistance conditions. Additional effects of officer sex and receipt of specialist training were also found (i.e., male officers rated the victim as more responsible than female officers), as were several interactions between factors.
Conclusions: Results suggest that police officers in the UK may judge victims of rape differentially based on extra-legal case factors. The potential impact on the investigation of rape cases is discussed, and a recommendation for thorough and prompt review of specialist and non-specialist training is made.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherElsevier
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
ISSN0047-2352
Publication dates
Online04 Feb 2017
Print01 Mar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Oct 2018
Accepted31 Jan 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2017.01.001
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