Rape Unresolved by Dee Smythe
Authors
Dee Smythe
ISBN
9781919895895
Published
Binding
Paperback
Pages
272
Dimensions
152 x 229mm

Of the approximately 50,000 rape cases reported in South Africa every year, 30,000 - 35,000 simply disappear. The majority are closed by the police: case withdrawn, undetected, unfounded. Prosecutors decline to prosecute approximately half those referred to them. Of the remainder that are prosecuted, around 40% result in conviction. This translates into an overall conviction rate of between 4-8% of reported cases. To understand the criminal justice system's failure to adequately deal with sexual violence, one needs to start with the police. This book tells the story of some of the cases reported to the South African Police Service and how they were dealt with.Through a detailed qualitative review of rape dockets the author provides novel insights into police responses to rape. A key insight from the study is that while stereotypes certainly abound, it is in the process of investigating rape cases that things fall apart. Here we see the impact of poor investigative skills and a systemic breakdown in supervision at station level. The (unexpected) result, as the cases in this study show, is to shift responsibility for the investigation of these cases - and their ultimate failure - onto the complainant.The book shines new light on complainant withdrawals, false rape complaints and police responses to rape, issues which are problematic in South Africa but not unfamiliar elsewhere.Recommended for: Local and international academics concerned with policing and gender-based violence, policy-makers working on improving criminal justice responses to rape, and general readers interested in understanding the failure of the criminal justice system to deal with rape.
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Other Titles by Dee Smythe

Description
Information
Of the approximately 50,000 rape cases reported in South Africa every year, 30,000 - 35,000 simply disappear. The majority are closed by the police: case withdrawn, undetected, unfounded. Prosecutors decline to prosecute approximately half those referred to them. Of the remainder that are prosecuted, around 40% result in conviction. This translates into an overall conviction rate of between 4-8% of reported cases. To understand the criminal justice system's failure to adequately deal with sexual violence, one needs to start with the police. This book tells the story of some of the cases reported to the South African Police Service and how they were dealt with.Through a detailed qualitative review of rape dockets the author provides novel insights into police responses to rape. A key insight from the study is that while stereotypes certainly abound, it is in the process of investigating rape cases that things fall apart. Here we see the impact of poor investigative skills and a systemic breakdown in supervision at station level. The (unexpected) result, as the cases in this study show, is to shift responsibility for the investigation of these cases - and their ultimate failure - onto the complainant.The book shines new light on complainant withdrawals, false rape complaints and police responses to rape, issues which are problematic in South Africa but not unfamiliar elsewhere.Recommended for: Local and international academics concerned with policing and gender-based violence, policy-makers working on improving criminal justice responses to rape, and general readers interested in understanding the failure of the criminal justice system to deal with rape.
ISBN:
9781919895895
Publication Date:
30 / 10 / 2015
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
152 x 229mm

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