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The “justice gap” for sexual assault cases: Future directions for research and reform.

Lonsway, Kimberly A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Violence Against Women. 18(2): 145– 168.

Media coverage often reports “good” news about the criminal justice system’s ability
to effectively respond to sexual assault, concluding that the past two decades have seen
an increase in rape reporting, prosecution, and conviction. The objective of this article
is to examine the validity of such conclusions by critically reviewing the strengths and
weaknesses of various data sources and comparing the statistics they produce. These
statistics include estimates for sexual assault reporting rates and case outcomes in the
criminal justice system. We conclude that such pronouncements are not currently
supported by statistical evidence, and we outline some directions for future research
and reform efforts to make the “good news” a reality in the United States. (author’s abstract)


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