The myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual violence contribute to a culture in which victims are reluctant to report sex crimes (to the police, friends or family) due to feelings of shame and overall responsibility for the violence that they have experienced (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1999).
Misinformation can also lead to jurors, who ultimately decide the outcome of a rape case in court, to find accused sexual offenders as innocent, when they may in fact be guilty. It also explains why so many cases fail to progress through the criminal justice system (Carline & Easteal 2014; Ellison & Munro, 2009; 2010a; 2010b; Finch & Munro, 2007; Hohl & Stanko, 2015; Kelly et al., 2005; Temkin & Krahe, 2008).
The PROSPER study: suPporting Role Of SPecialist sERvices
The PROSPER study, funded by the NIHR and based at the University of Birmingham, is the first national study on the role of voluntary sector specialist services in supporting survivors of sexual violence. Using a mixed-methods, co-researched approach, it will address a gap in evidence about what survivors want and value from specialist services and identify how they are commissioned and funded. Find out more about the research HERE: