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Review 3 of "Victim refuses to cooperate: A mixed methods examination of complainant cooperation in sexual assault cases involving adolescent victims"

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onDec 22, 2020
Review 3 of "Victim refuses to cooperate: A mixed methods examination of complainant cooperation in sexual assault cases involving adolescent victims"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

This study contributes knowledge to an understudied area – adolescent cooperation with sexual assault investigations. We need more work in this area, and the authors’ conducted a strong  - and well-written - mixed methods study. The authors provide a comprehensive review of the literature and clearly set up the need for their manuscript. The methods are clearly described and fit well with the research questions. The analysis for both quantitative and qualitative data are appropriate. Results are written clearly and are easy to understand. I also commend the authors for including the number and percentage of cases that fit within each qualitative theme.

A few suggestions for improvement:

  • Can the authors give a bit more information about how many coders coded the qualitative data? If multiple coders were used, can the authors present interrater reliability statistics (Kappa or % agreement)?

  • Finally, could the authors add some specific guidance on what type of training should be offered for law enforcement to facilitate adolescent victim engagement? Some examples include forensic interviewing ( see https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/forensicinterviewing.pdf), or working with child advocacy centers. Other training has focused on reducing victim blame officers (see evaluations of the “whole story” method by Tidmarsh et al., 2020 and Darwinkel et al., 2013), and improving officers’ understanding of the neurobiology of trauma (Franklin et al., 2019).

Overall, this is a strong manuscript and it was a pleasure to read. I appreciate the opportunity to review this paper and hope my suggestions are helpful.

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