Evaluation of the Police Scotland/Rape Crisis Scotland ‘Support to Report’ Pilot Advocacy Service

Summary

The primary purpose of the research is to evaluate the Support to Report pilot project in relation to its intended outcomes:
1.An improvement in the support available to victims of rape and serious sexual crime.
2.An improvement in the experience of the criminal justice process for victims of rape and serious sexual crime.
3.A reduction in the level of abstraction from the criminal justice process of victims of rape and serious sexual crime.

These project outcomes have been developed in the context of long-standing concerns about the challenges of reporting and processing rape cases within the criminal justice system. Key amongst these concerns are the potential for ‘secondary victimisation’ arising as a result of the investigative and prosecution process which exacerbates the trauma of the rape (Kelly et al., 2005; Burman, 2009) and high levels of attrition whereby, for different reasons, cases do not proceed successfully through the system (Kelly et al., 2005). It is anticipated that the pilot project and the evaluation findings will make an important contribution to developing services for survivors of rape and other serious sexual crimes.

The evaluation study will run for one year and it will adopt a mixed-method research design. Quantitative monitoring data will be utilised to evaluate operational elements of the project and provide a picture of the service being delivered to survivors of rape. Quantitative data will also be gathered in relation assessing the impact of the service on levels of abstraction from the criminal justice process. This will be complemented by qualitative data gathered through interviews with survivors, advocacy workers, the police and key stakeholders to capture in-depth information on the perceptions and experiences of those involved in developing and delivering the service.

Researchers
•Dr Oona Brooks (SCCJR, Sociology)
Prof Michele J Burman (SCCJR, Sociology)

Project Dates

February 2014 – January 2015

Funders
•Scottish Government
Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)
Rape Crisis Scotland