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Journal Article


Melo SN, Beauregard E, Andresen MA. J. Interpers. Violence 2019; 34(10): 10.1177/0886260516658758.


Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada


(Copyright © 2019, SAGE Publishing)






The reporting of rape to police is an important component of this crime to have the criminal justice system involved and, potentially, punish offenders. However, for a number of reasons (fear of retribution, self-blame, etc.), most rapes are not reported to police. Most often, the research investigating this phenomenon considers incident and victim factors with little attention to the spatio-temporal factors of the rape. In this study, we consider incident, victim, and spatio-temporal factors relating to rape reporting in Campinas, Brazil. Our primary research question is whether or not the spatio-temporal factors play a significant role in the reporting of rape, over and above incident and victim factors. The subjects under study are women who were admitted to the Women's Integrated Healthcare Center at the State University of Campinas, Brazil, and surveyed by a psychologist or a social worker. Rape reporting to police was measured using a dichotomous variable. Logistic regression was used to predict the probability of rape reporting based on incident, victim, and spatio-temporal factors. Although we find that incident and victim factors matter for rape reporting, spatio-temporal factors (rape/home location and whether the rape was in a private or public place) play an important role in rape reporting, similar to the literature that considers these factors. This result has significant implications for sexual violence education. Only when we know why women decide not to report a rape may we begin to work on strategies to overcome these hurdles.

© The Author(s) 2016.

Language: en


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