The Role of “Real Rape” and “Real Victim” Stereotypes in the Police Reporting Practices of Sexually Assaulted Women
Title: The Role of “Real Rape” and “Real Victim” Stereotypes in the Police Reporting Practices of Sexually Assaulted Women
Some feminists have argued that rape myths constrain women’s reporting of sexual assault to the police. The authors investigated whether myth-associated characteristics of sexual assaults play a role in police reporting behaviors of women. A sample of 186 sexual assault cases seen at a hospital-based sexual assault care center in 1994 was analyzed using logistic regression. A positive association was found between reporting a sexual assault to the police and two overtly violent components of the “real rape” myth: the use of physical force and the occurrence of physical injury.