Begun Center’s Rachel Lovell pens chapter for Sexual Violence in Intimacy

Rachel Lovell, research assistant professor at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, co-authored a chapter in the book Sexual Violence in Intimacy: Implications for Research and Policy in Global Health by M. Gabriela Torres and Kersti Yllö.

The chapter, titled “Speaking the Previously Unspeakable: How the Codification of Spousal Rape into Law Affects How Intimate Partner Sexual Assaults are Reported,” is an analysis of thousands of case reports spanning more than 20 years to examine interactions between police and women who reported being sexually assaulted by an intimate partner. 

The authors examine how these interactions reflect the larger cultural conversation about what “counts” as rape. They describe how social scripts can act as both prescriptions for normative cultural behaviors and guides for what a person could expect to feel and think in particular situations. The piece emphasizes that practitioners, particularly law enforcement officials, should be aware of the roles expected behaviors play in how they form opinions of victim credibility.

Read the chapter.