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Professionals’ perception of meeting rape victims and handling cases of rape

Conference contribution
Authors Kerstin Adolfsson
Leif Strömwall
Sara Landström
Published in 59th Research Seminar, Nordiska samrådet för kriminologi (NSfK). Örenäs: 9-11 maj
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Subject categories Psychology, Applied Psychology


As the final part of a three-year project regarding attitudes toward victims of rape, a survey study was conducted with the aim to gain knowledge concerning difficulties and possibilities in handlings of rape victims and rape cases. An online survey was sent out to professionals working within the police, the healthcare system and prosecutors across Sweden, who meet victims of rape through their daily work. We wanted to get the professionals’ perspective and wondered if they could contribute with knowledge concerning why rapes are not being reported and why so few of the reports proceed to court. Over 230 professionals took the survey. They answered questions concerning perceived obstacles for their work performance, their trust in the justice system, knowledge and further education in victim behaviour and reactions, suggestions for improved treatment of rape victims, how their work would be affected by a possibly broader legislation, and police officers’ view on giving information about counsel for an injured party at an early stage of the investigation. Participants also had to consider statements regarding myths about rape. Data was analysed both separate as well as across professions and the results from this study will be presented at the conference. The title of the full project is Victim blaming in rape cases: Empirical studies of understudied situations. It is partly financed by the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority and conducted by researchers at the psychology department at the University of Gothenburg. The aim of the project was to enhance knowledge about blame attributions in rape cases and to use variables, situations and group of participants not previously included in experimental studies.

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