The principal focus of this research is on rape and sexual assault victim-survivors’ end-to-end experiences of the criminal justice system. It comprises in-depth interviews with 17 participants, whose cases reached varying stages of the criminal justice process in Scotland, including through to trial and conviction.

The research aims to gain fuller understanding of:

  • rape and sexual assault victim-survivor expectations of the criminal justice process (e.g. why did they report, what did they expect would happen following report,  how did this compare to what did happen, what does ‘justice’ mean to them?);
  • rape and serious sexual assault victim-survivor (‘end to end’) experiences of the Scottish criminal justice process;
  • the range of factors affecting victims’ decisions to engage/discontinue in the criminal justice process; and
  • factors that support the giving of ‘best’ evidence.

Justice Journeys is conducted by Dr Oona Brooks-Hay, Professor Michele Burman and Dr Lisa Bradley, all at SCCJR University of Glasgow. It is funded by the Scottish Government (Justice Analytical Services) and findings from the research are due to be published summer 2019.

This work is linked to a Justice Journeys creative project, which uses collaborative, arts-based methods to support participants in writing and representing (through photos, audio and objects) a case study of their ‘journey’. The production of a curated book of case-studies, accompanying website, and exhibition of the case studies in various locations, are to follow throughout 2019/20. This work is funded by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.

Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions

Associated People

Dr Lisa Bradley

University of Glasgow

Dr Oona Brooks-Hay

University of Glasgow

Prof Michele Burman

University of Glasgow

Related Publications

August 2020

Delays in Trials: the implications for victim survivors of rape and serious sexual assault

Covid-19 has significantly disrupted the operation of the criminal justice system in Scotland and elsewhere, causing considerable strain to the […]

August 2019

Justice Journeys Informing policy and practice through lived experience of victim‐survivors of rape and serious sexual assault

This report documents the journeys of the victim-survivors interviewed as they navigated the Scottish criminal justice system. It begins with […]