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Thesis

Factors that facilitate or hinder the reporting of sexual assault

12 December 2003

Abstract

This paper examines factors that facilitate or hinder the reporting of sexual assaults. Research was examined for the effects of location of the assault, other crimes committed during the assault, the age of the survivor, the extent of physical injury, the relationship of the victim to the offender, the perpetrator's use of force, fear level of the survivor, the role of medical personnel, and the nature of the rape. Societal induction of sexual assault blame, the victim's perception of the role of police, demographic features of the victim, family expectations, the victim's perception of the outcome of reporting, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are also discussed. It was found that all these factors influence the reporting of sexual assault in some way. It was also noted that factors that increased the crime's believability increased the likelihood that the sexual assault would be reported.


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