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A Procedural Justice Theory Approach to Police Engagement with Victim-Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault: Initial Findings of the ‘Project Bluestone’ Pilot Study

Published onMay 12, 2022
A Procedural Justice Theory Approach to Police Engagement with Victim-Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault: Initial Findings of the ‘Project Bluestone’ Pilot Study
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A Procedural Justice Theory Approach to Police Engagement with Victim-Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault: Initial Findings of the ‘Project Bluestone’ Pilot Study
A Procedural Justice Theory Approach to Police Engagement with Victim-Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault: Initial Findings of the ‘Project Bluestone’ Pilot Study
Description

In England and Wales, public trust in the police has been damaged by a series of police failings in rape and sexual assault investigations, officer sexual offending, and a police culture of misogyny. Feminist scholars have analysed why police investigations of rape and sexual assault cases rarely result in a charge and documented the poor experiences many victim-survivors have of the police process. In this article, we outline how this scholarship may be integrated into procedural justice theory to advance our understanding of the impact of how officers engage with victim-survivors on their feelings of the status and value as survivors of sexual violence within the nation and society police represent, as well as on their trust in the police and willingness to (continue) engaging with police, or report future victimisation. We present tentative evidence from a pilot study (‘Project Bluestone’) in one English police force that suggests a feminist scholarship informed Procedural Justice framework is a promising tool for assessing and improving police practice in engaging with victim-survivors of rape and sexual assault. The article concludes with directions for future research.

 

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