How Tackling 'Rape Myths' Among Jurors Could Help Increase Convictions at Trial, by Lara Flynn Hudspith, December 20, 2019

A major review into the low rate of successful rape prosecutions has suggested that there is a "larger systemic problem" in how complex cases such as rapes are investigated by the UK police and prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service. Despite an increase in the number of reported rapes in recent years, conviction rates are at an all-time low, with the latest figures showing a 27% fall in convictions between 2017-18 and 2018-19. (Read more...)

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Burt, M.R. (1980). Cultural Myths and supports for rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

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Rape Myth

This Article is About the Misconceptions of Rape

[Excerpted from Wikipedia]

Rape myths are prejudicial, stereotyped and false beliefs about sexual assaults, rapists, and rape victims. They often serve to excuse sexual aggression, create hostility toward victims, and bias criminal prosecution.

Extensive research has been conducted about types, acceptance, and impact of rape myths. Rape myths significantly influence the perspectives of jurors, investigative agencies, judges, perpetrators, and victims. False views about rape lead to victim blaming, shaming, questioning of the victim's honesty, and other problems. Determination of the guilt of the accused, and sentencing for sexual crimes, are also influenced by these beliefs.


In 1980, Martha Burt published the first major study of rape myth acceptance. Burt defined rape myths as "prejudicial, stereotyped and false beliefs about rape, rape victims and rapists" which create "a climate hostile to rape victims." Burt's definition has been widely used.


Rape myths can cause victims of rape to blame themselves for their rape, or to not report their assault, and they can also shape the responses of judges and juries, causing a negative impact on rape victims. Some studies have shown that police officers are often distrustful of rape victims' account of their victimization, and that many of them believe some common rape myths.

One analysis by Patricia Yancey Martin, John R. Reynolds and Shelley Keith suggested that "a judiciary made up solely of men differs from one made up of more equal proportions of women and men."  (Read more...)

Rape Myths - Pavan Amara - TEDxUCLWomen

Pavan Amara talks is a nurse and journalist who founded the ‘My Body Back Project.’ She talks about the misconceptions surrounding rape. For more information you can go to


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