Brooks, O. and Burman, M. (2016) Reporting rape: victim perspectives on advocacy support in the criminal justice process. Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Concerns about the criminal justice response to rape have prompted the development of victim advocacy services. This article draws upon a study evaluating an innovative advocacy model introduced in Scotland to assist reporting rape to the police. The findings make an important contribution to understanding the nature, meaning and value of advocacy work from the perspective of victims who have accessed advocacy services when reporting rape to the police. Not only did advocacy support improve victims’ experience of the criminal justice process and assist sustained engagement in this process, in some cases it also facilitated making a report of rape to the police in the first instance. The benefits of advocacy extend well beyond the emotional recovery of victims; advocacy also assists engagement in the criminal justice process.