Rape myths as barriers to fair trial process: comparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot (2020)
Type of ContentAuthored Books
PublisherCanterbury University Press
- Books 
AuthorsMcDonald, Elisabethshow all
Alternative TitleComparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot
Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Process opens the courtroom door on rape trials to investigate how and why they re-traumatise complainants.
Despite decades of targeted law reform, adult complainants still report that the process of being a witness is a significant point of re-victimisation. This book contains the findings of four years of research that compares the trial process in 30 adult rape cases from 2010 to 2015 (in which the defence at trial was consent) with 10 cases from the Sexual Violence Court Pilot heard in 2018. The aim of the research was to find out at which points in the questioning process the complainant displayed heightened emotionality, including distress, and why cross-examination (in particular) is so resistant to reform measures. Researchers also considered the extent to which the current rules of evidence and procedure are applied appropriately and consistently, and identified examples of best practice in order to develop proposals for changes to law and process.