Different systems, similar outcomes? Tracking attrition in reported rape cases across Europe

May 9, 2007

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Falling convictions rates for rape are of considerable concern to the UK government and policy makers. Publicity surrounding this trend, accompanied by rising reporting for almost two decades, has affected public confidence in the justice system, especially among women. This project will increase knowledge and understanding of responses to reported rape across Europe by: assessing whether trends documented in earlier projects have continued; prospectively tracking 100 reported cases in 11 countries (Austria, Belgium, England and Wales, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden); comparing legal/procedural mechanisms; testing/adapting an attrition model developed for England and Wales; producing recommendations to encourage reporting and reverse declining prosecution and conviction rates.

The project will produce:

– an expanded data set of official statistics for reported rape cases across Europe plotted as trends over time;

– a shared and tested methodology and data collection tools for tracking attrition in adversarial and investigative legal systems;

– data on 1100 reported rape cases.

Completion: March 2009

  • Project Team:
    Jo Lovett, Liz Kelly