Justice Journeys: Informing policy and practice through lived experience


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.