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Title: A study of the general public's understanding of reactions to rape, with implications for the judicial system
Author: Nicholson, M.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Contextualised by the proposed UK Government initiative to introduce expert information into rape trials, this review surveyed literature addressing the prevalence of rape, common psychological sequelae and how symptomology consistent with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may impact rape narratives. It also explored research on the general public's understanding of these symptoms and their potential influence on judgements of witness credibility. A paucity of literature focussed the review on dissociation and shame, two common phenomena associated with PTSD and how cognitive, affective and behavioural markers may impact the content and style of a rape victim's statement. The literature suggested that some manifestations of both peritraumatic and posttraumatic dissociative experiences negatively influenced judgements. The review also found that many of the behavioural markers of shame were seen as indicative of deceit, thus further reducing perceived credibility. The findings are discussed in relation to the current legal system, with recommendations for further research made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available