13 January 2021, 16:30 - 17:30
In this online lecture, criminologist Ellen Daly will present her findings from a court observation study examining courtroom narratives in rape and sexual assault trials.
The research shows that rape myths remain prevalent in courtroom narratives and that they interact with broader cultural narratives to further undermine the credibility of victim-survivors of sexual violence. Specifically, the cultural narratives observed in these trials reflected embedded sexist and classist attitudes that are common in our society. The findings challenge claims that rape myths are no longer a problem in rape trials and begin to provide a deeper, more nuanced understanding of why some groups of victim-survivors are more likely to see a conviction than others.
Findings also highlight the role digital evidence can play in this, demonstrating the need for proper consideration of what is relevant and proportionate. This research therefore demonstrates the need for widening the lens through which rape myths in the courtroom and the wider criminal justice system are viewed in research and contemporary debates.