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Up Against a WallRape Reform and the Failure of Success$
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Rose Corrigan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814707937

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814707937.001.0001

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Institutional Responses to Rape

Institutional Responses to Rape

Following the “Leaky Pipeline” of Rape Reporting

(p.65) Institutional Responses to Rape
Up Against a Wall

Rose Corrigan

NYU Press

This chapter presents an overview of contemporary medical and legal rape case processing. The first part describes the continuing inadequacies in the medical and legal response to rape in many communities. It argues that problems with rape reporting are not simply due to victims' shame, guilt, or reluctance to come forward, but are also a result of concerted resistance from medical and legal actors. It follow the “leaky pipeline” of sexual assault case processing—from seeking medical attention to courtroom testimony—to show how the attitudes of health care providers, police, and prosecutors work together to force victims out of the criminal justice pipeline by making rape reporting so unpleasant and difficult that victims are persuaded, ignored, intimidated, and bullied into withdrawing complaints. The second half of the chapter examines how prolonged entanglement with legal and medical agencies has transformed the goals and priorities of local rape crisis centers (RCCs). It shows how the feminist focus on criminal law reform helped to re-direct the scope, resources, and ideology of local RCCs.

Keywords:   rape case processing, rape victims, rape reporting, sexual assault, case processing, rape crisis centers, criminal law reform

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