An investigation of the specialist police service provided to male rape survivors

Jamel, Joanna, Bull, Ray and Sheridan, Lorraine (2008) An investigation of the specialist police service provided to male rape survivors. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 10(4), pp. 486-508. ISSN (print) 1461-3557


This study involves Sexual Offences Investigative Technique (SOIT) officers completing a semistructured questionnaire (disseminated with the assistance of a British police force). This questionnaire included questions about their specialist occupation regarding the provision of victim care, their investigative function and how it adheres to responsibilities outlined in policy documents regarding expectations of the SOIT officer. Questions about service provisions were then put to male and female rape survivors to investigate whether a differential level of service exists regarding victim gender. For example, survivors were asked as to (i) the response of the police on reporting, (ii) the procedures followed, (iii) the level of communication maintained throughout their case and (iv) their suggestions for improvement of the service received in light of their experience. The police and survivor data were analysed using thematic analysis and compared. Key issues which were highlighted by survivors and police officers included the importance of regular communications about the progress of the case. Rape survivors also expressed a lack of confidence in the judicial system; this was more pronounced in adult males. Furthermore, the limited resources available to SOIT officers were found to impact negatively on the service provided to rape survivors.

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