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Journal Article

Citation

Campbell R, Johnson CR. J. Interpers. Violence 1997; 12(2): 255-274.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1997, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

This study examined how police officers (N = 91) define rape. In the past decade, most states have dramatically reformed their rape laws, shifting the emphasis from the behavior of the victim to that of the assailant. This study provides an exploratory picture of how such reforms have affected police by examining the degree to which there was consistency between officers' personal definitions of rape and state law. Officers were asked to define rape/sexual assault in their own words. These definitions were content analyzed, and hierarchical cluster analysis was performed. Three clusters of definitions emerged. Nineteen percent of the sample described many of the reformed legal factors when defining rape, such as the use or threat of force (Force Definition of Rape). Thirty-one percent focused primarily on penetration and consent (Consent Definition of Rape). Fifty-one percent of the officers provided definitions that mixed old legal definitions with some victim blaming views (Mixed Definition of Rape). (Abstract Adapted from Source: Crime and Delinquency, 1997. Copyright © 1997 by SAGE Publications)

Police Perceptions
Police Attitudes
Law Enforcement Perceptions
Adult Attitudes
Adult Perceptions
Sexual Assault Perceptions
Rape Perceptions
Legislation
Violence Against Women
03-04

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