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Who Gets to Challenge Contemporary Thinking on Rape? Contradictions and Confusion in Public Opinion of “Rape Justice”
chapterposted on 2023-07-26, 15:59 authored by Olivia Smith, Ellen Daly
Drawing on findings from a 2021 YouGov survey of public opinions of rape justice, this chapter discusses whose voices matter when it comes to contemporary rape justice policy. The survey findings demonstrate that public conceptualisations of “rape justice” are complicated and contradictory and raised questions about whose perception of rape justice matters when there are conflicting ideals at play. While on the surface it seems that there is broad consensus for a rebalancing of the alleged victim and accused's rights, victimhood is very narrowly conceived. The data suggest that the deeply entrenched misconception that women routinely lie about rape remains pervasive and that the public have a fundamental misunderstanding of what rape is and how it can be proven in court. The implications of ill-informed public opinion on rape justice in practice are explored, with a focus on juries. Ultimately, the authors call for a balance between “expert” opinion and informed public opinion.
Number of pages320
Place of publicationLondon
Title of bookRape: Challenging Contemporary Thinking – 10 Years On
EditorsMiranda A.H. Horvath, Jennifer M. Brown