Journal article

The 'ideal' victim V successful rape complainants: Not what you might expect

W Larcombe

Feminist Legal Studies | Published : 2002


This article proposes that feminist legal critics need to be able to explain how some rape cases succeed in securing convictions. The means by which rape cases are routinely disqualified in the criminal justice system have received widespread attention. It is well established in feminist legal critique that female complainants are discredited if they fail to conform to an archaic stereotype of the genuine or 'real' rape victim. This victim is not only morally and sexually virtuous she is also cautious, unprovocative, and consistent. Defence tactics for discrediting rape testimony involve exposing the complainant's alleged failure to comply with the sexual and behavioural standards of the nor..

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University of Melbourne Researchers