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Bad laws or bad attitudes? Assessing the impact of societal attitudes upon the conviction rate for rape in Ireland

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dc.contributor.author Leahy, Susan
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-29T10:52:53Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-29T10:52:53Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/7867
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract  The low conviction rate for rape is often highlighted as a cause for concern. The typical response is to call for reform of Irish rape law. Although reform is necessary, this article argues that the low conviction rate for rape is caused not simply by ‘bad’ or inadequate laws but also by ‘bad’ or prejudicial attitudes about rape which persist in Irish society. These attitudes are at odds with the reality of rape and therefore create unrealistic expectations as to what, for example, constitutes a ‘real rape’ or a ‘real victim’. Jurors who are influenced by these attitudes are likely to be unduly sceptical about allegations which do not match their stereotypical perceptions of rape. These prejudicial attitudes are usually referred to as ‘rape myths’. In this article, the most common ‘rape myths’ will be outlined. The effect of rape myth acceptance (RMA) on juror deliberations will then be discussed. It is suggested that non-legal initiatives are necessary to ensure that in future jurors will not be influenced by RMA. The article concludes by recommending the introduction of model jury directions which would tackle the ill-effects of rape myths upon juror deliberations at trial, as well as wider public awareness initiatives to educate the public generally about the reality of rape. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Social Care Ireland en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies;14 (1), article 3
dc.relation.uri http://arrow.dit.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1217&context=ijass
dc.subject rape en_US
dc.subject conviction rates en_US
dc.subject societal attitudes en_US
dc.title Bad laws or bad attitudes? Assessing the impact of societal attitudes upon the conviction rate for rape in Ireland en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.date.updated 2019-05-29T10:45:19Z
dc.description.version PUBLISHED
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 1576958
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.identifier.journaltitle Irish Journal Of Applied Social Studies
dc.description.status peer-reviewed


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