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Why Rapists Run Free  

Author:  M. Claire  Harwell, J.D..; David  Lisak, Ph.D..

Source: Volume 05, Number 02, Fall 2012 , pp.175-181(7)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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One would think that rape which, unlike domestic violence, has long been considered a criminal act, would by now be unambiguously and judiciously dealt with by our legal system. Yet to this day, most rapists get away with their crimes, with only 12% of rapes resulting in conviction. As anyone who has been raped or assisted rape victims is well aware, reports of rape and sexual assault are in fact scrutinized and treated with greater suspicion by the legal system than virtually all other types of crimes; to paraphrase Malcolm X, in many cases, the victim is turned into the criminal and the criminal becomes the victim. In this article, authors M. Claire Harwell and David Lisak explain, with disturbing detail, why, a half-century after the human rights movements of the mid-20th century led to a greater awareness of the realities of sexual violence, true justice for victims of sexual assault is all too often lacking.

Keywords: Re-perpetration; barriers to prosecution

Affiliations:  .

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