Listen to the programme here.
So much to say on this. The project was three years in the development and was the closest that any research has ever got to recreating an exact rape trial: real lawyers, real law and the real summonsing of ‘mock jurors’. The findings were as clear as they were concerning. This research now constitutes an evidence base, arrived at scientifically, that those jurors who are affected (even unconsciously) by prejudices and myths on the issue of rape cannot shake those prejudices when assessing the evidence in a case where the complainant and the accused knew each other already.
Those myths surrounding the crime of rape, and who may be an offender and who may be a victim, are prevalent, but wrong. Examples include:
- An offence is only rape if it occurs between strangers in alleyways;
- Rape is a crime of passion based on uncontrollable sexual urges;
- If the complainant does not scream, fight or is not injured, it can’t be rape;
- You can tell if a complainant has really been raped by how she acts afterwards;
- Women cry rape when regret having sex or want to seek revenge.