This unprecedented in-depth account of how our major institutions respond to the crime of rape is the first empirical study of rape victims in the United States as they come into contact with those who staff our police stations, hospitals, and courthouses. As this engrossing study makes clear, rape does not end with the assailant's departure; the profound suffering of the victim can be diminished or heightened by the response of these institutions.
The authors provide direct, on-the-scene reports of how rape victims confront and endure the often devastating effects of institutional processing. Their work is based on first-hand observations, personal interviews, and case histories that document the rape victim's plight, and includes tables that present all research findings in easy-to-grasp numerical terms. The authors note changes now taking place, and argue that further institutional changes must be made to delegitimize rape in our society.
The new introductory essay locates The Victim of Rape within the context of four lines of research: studies looking at the criminal justice system processing of such cases, the connection of rape to everyday life, social-structural and ideological support for rape, and strategies for prevention.