Title

Sexual Assault Reports to the Police: A Pilot Investigation of the Factors that Influence Victimization Reporting and Victim Perceptions of Police Responses

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to examine issues associated with the reporting of sexual assault victimization to the police and police responses to these reports. The information gathered will be used to inform best practices regarding future responses to these crimes by the Missoula Police Department (MPD) and other stakeholders. The information will also be used to inform a larger investigation that will take place after the pilot phase of the project ends. The methodology for this project included conducting a comprehensive literature review, the development of a victims' questionnaire and an advocates' questionnaire, a pretest, and is ultimately a pilot test of the developed surveys. My project is new to the city of Missoula, as a survey of sexual assault victims and police responses have not been conducted before. This project is also being completed in response to a formal request from the Department of Justice to the Missoula City Police Department. My project holds great significance for the Missoula community because it will be informing the MPD and detectives who are the initial point of contact on how to most effectively respond to reports of sexual assault, while creating a safe and positive environment for victims. The issue of sexual assault has gained a lot of attention, particularly in our community, very recently. This project speaks directly to the problem, and the ways our city and university, are working to implement more effective and comprehensive means of responding to victims who come forward. Using the information gathered in this project, future projects will be informed about the best methods of data collection and analysis, as well as implementation practices for victim service providers.

Category

Social Sciences

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Sexual Assault Reports to the Police: A Pilot Investigation of the Factors that Influence Victimization Reporting and Victim Perceptions of Police Responses

UC 326

The purpose of this thesis is to examine issues associated with the reporting of sexual assault victimization to the police and police responses to these reports. The information gathered will be used to inform best practices regarding future responses to these crimes by the Missoula Police Department (MPD) and other stakeholders. The information will also be used to inform a larger investigation that will take place after the pilot phase of the project ends. The methodology for this project included conducting a comprehensive literature review, the development of a victims' questionnaire and an advocates' questionnaire, a pretest, and is ultimately a pilot test of the developed surveys. My project is new to the city of Missoula, as a survey of sexual assault victims and police responses have not been conducted before. This project is also being completed in response to a formal request from the Department of Justice to the Missoula City Police Department. My project holds great significance for the Missoula community because it will be informing the MPD and detectives who are the initial point of contact on how to most effectively respond to reports of sexual assault, while creating a safe and positive environment for victims. The issue of sexual assault has gained a lot of attention, particularly in our community, very recently. This project speaks directly to the problem, and the ways our city and university, are working to implement more effective and comprehensive means of responding to victims who come forward. Using the information gathered in this project, future projects will be informed about the best methods of data collection and analysis, as well as implementation practices for victim service providers.