Criminal investigation of sexual offenses
Sexual assault and abuse are among the most heinous crimes that can be committed. It is thus startling to realize how many sexual crimes go unreported every year, worldwide. In the United States (US), for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Justice Department estimate that only a third of all rapes will be reported to the police (FBI, 2015; Truman, & Langton, 2015). Although based on different legal and judicial definitions, Canadian statistics from the General Social Survey on Victimization are much lower, indicating that only 5% of sexual assaults were brought to the attention of police (Perreault, 2015). In their study based on over 90 empirical studies from Australia, Canada, England and Wales, Scotland, and the United States on the legal response to rape and sexual assault from 1970 to 2005, Daly and Bouhours (2009) found an average victim report rate of 14%. All of these numbers become even more critical when we realize that most sexual assaults that are reported to the police will not be cleared by arrest (Hazelwood & Burgess, 2017). In fact, of the sexual assaults reported to police, only a small percentage (as low as 5% in some cases) will result in the conviction of the offender (FBI, 2015; Perreault, 2015). Despite the increased focus on criminal investigations of sexual offenses in more recent years, these numbers have been relatively stable over the past four decades or so (Hazelwood & Burgess, 2017).
Deslauriers-Varin, N. (Nadine), Bennell, C, & Bergeron, A. (Andréanne). (2018). Criminal investigation of sexual offenses. In Sexual Offending: A Criminological Perspective (pp. 299–325). doi:10.4324/9781315522692