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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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Carnal Knowledge: Rape on Trial

by Sue Lees - £12.99  The Women's Press Ltd (2002)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780704347533 | ISBN 10: 0704347539

In this powerful and superbly argued book, Sue Lees exploded the myths about rape that permeate popular opinion, the press and the legal system. Based on innovative research involving victims' account of their experiences, the analysis of police reporting practices and the monitoring of Crown Court trials, Sue Lees described the way women are encouraged to report rape only to then be intimidated by their assailants and see them walk free. She movingly drew on survivors' voices to describe how rapes occur and the characteristics of typical rapists. Why, she asked, are women who speak out stereotyped as sexually provocative and pilloried by the judiciary and the press?
Rape has rarely been out of the news since Carnal Knowledge was first published in 1996. For the first time there seemed to be a real commitment to improving the appalling way the criminal justice system has treated women who are raped. But these improvements are not yet reflected in an increased conviction rate. On the contrary, between 1996 and 1999, it fell from 10 per cent to a mere 7 per cent (634 cases out of 8500 in 1999).
In this revised and updated edition of Carnal Knowledge, Sue Lees highlights the lack of efficacy that still reflects our adversarial system. Citing reforms in other countries, she argues the case for further radical reforms to reverse the imbalances of the judicial process and to create a system that will provide justice for victims without jeopardising the rights of defendants.

(Price & availability last checked: July 2018)

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In booklists: Rape & Sexual Violence, Women & Justice,
In categories: Feminism & Women, Violence & Abuse, Society, Welfare, Justice & the State,

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