A socioecological model of rape survivors' decisions to aid in case prosecution

Mary C. Anders, F. Scott Christopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of our study was to identify factors underlying rape survivors' post-assault prosecution decisions by testing a decision model that included the complex relations between the multiple social ecological systems within which rape survivors are embedded. We coded 440 police rape cases for characteristics of the assault and characteristics of the rape survivor congruent with rape mythology. In addition, support from friends/family members, social service providers, and police were assessed. Path analysis, using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) that included a bias-corrected bootstrap resampling procedure, supported our model. As hypothesized, rape survivors' final decisions to aid in case prosecution were predicted by support from the three social ecologies: family/friends, social service providers, and police. Social service provider support, in turn, was predicted by assault characteristics congruent with rape mythology, whereas family/friend and police support were significantly predicted by the interaction between assault and survivor characteristics congruent with rape mythology. Our results show the value of applying a socioecological framework to help understand factors that influence rape survivors' prosecution decisions. Moreover, our results highlight the need to challenge commonly held views of "typical" rape survivors and the "typical" circumstances surrounding their assault.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-106
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Fingerprint

Rape
Decision Support Techniques
prosecution
rape
Survivors
assault
Mythology
Police
mythology
police
Social Work
mobile social services
service provider
social ecology
decision model
Social Environment
ecological system
path analysis
social system
Ecosystem

Keywords

  • Case prosecution
  • Criminal justice
  • Law enforcement
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Social support
  • Stereotyped attitudes
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Gender Studies

Cite this

A socioecological model of rape survivors' decisions to aid in case prosecution. / Anders, Mary C.; Christopher, F. Scott.

In: Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 1, 03.2010, p. 92-106.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Anders, Mary C. ; Christopher, F. Scott. / A socioecological model of rape survivors' decisions to aid in case prosecution. In: Psychology of Women Quarterly. 2010 ; Vol. 35, No. 1. pp. 92-106.
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