The influence of relationship and physical evidence on police decision-making in sexual assault cases

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Abstract

Limited research has explored the influence of relationship type and presence of physical injuries on police decision-making in sexual assault cases. This study investigated the effects of these evidentiary variables on police decision-making in sexual assault claims. Participants were 73 police officers from the Australian Federal Police who read witness statements of a sexual assault and rated their perceptions of the complainant, the alleged offender and the claim of sexual assault. Findings revealed that the relationship between the complainant and the alleged offender and the presence of physical injury significantly influenced officers' perceptions of the complainant and the suspect and their evaluations of the claim of sexual assault.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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