Worth their while? Pursuing a rape complaint through the criminal justice system

  • Lisa Vetten Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to End Violence Against Women
  • Rachel Jewkes Medical Research Council
  • Romi Sigsworth Gender Programme, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
  • Nicola Christofides Medical Research Council
  • Lizle Loots Medical Research Council
  • Olivia Dunseith Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to End Violence Against Women
Keywords: rape, criminal justice system, South Africa, victims, rape reporting, legal process, police

Abstract

If the criminal justice system were to advertise itself to victims of sexual violence, would its tag line be L'Oreal's 'Because you're worth it'? Or would the Foundry Premium Cider comment on the building of a pyramid: 'Twelve years in the making and it still doesn't taste very good' be more apposite? Certainly, a lack of faith in, or fear of, legal processes, is one of the reasons why eight out of nine women who are raped do not report the matter to the police.This article explores the extent to which victims' lack of faith in legal processes is warranted and asks if laying a complaint is worth the effort.

Author Biographies

Rachel Jewkes, Medical Research Council
Gender and Health Research Unit
Nicola Christofides, Medical Research Council
Gender and Health Research Unit
Lizle Loots, Medical Research Council
Gender and Health Research Unit
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Published
2010-03-08
Section
Research articles