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Journal Article

Citation

Bourke J. Soc. Hist. Med. 2018; 31(4): 711-731.

Affiliation

Department of History, Classics, and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London, UK.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2018, Society for the Social History of Medicine, Publisher Oxford University Press)

DOI

10.1093/shm/hky016

PMID

30515020

PMCID

PMC6263205

Abstract

Between the late 1960s and the late 1980s, police surgeons found themselves under concerted attack for their treatment of victims of rape and sexual assault. This article explores the tensions they faced between the needs of victims and their legal responsibilities. Should they prioritise care or the collection of evidence? How did they respond to criticism and why were reforms inadequate? I show how institutional structures and ideologies help explain the longevity of cultures of harm within the sub-discipline of police doctors. However, to understand the tenacity of these practices, we need to interrogate more fundamental processes associated with bodily interactions, emotion and language.


Language: en

Keywords

1980s; body; forensic medical examiners; history; history of medicine; police surgeons; rape; sexual violence

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