The investigation and prosecution of rape
The subject of rape is one that regularly brings forward strong, but often conflicting, views from the public, legal professionals, victims and perpetrators. There exist organisations that promote the welfare and rights of victims, as well as those that argue that many men are falsely accused of rape and seek to protect their rights and freedom. The potential sentences for a conviction of rape show that it is considered to be a very serious crime, yet victims’ complaints of rape are often not believed unless the rape meets a very narrow range of characteristics, which will be discussed in this chapter. Any attempt to balance these conflicting views and concerns ultimately leads us to a consideration of the overarching issue of how we obtain justice for both complainants and defendants of rape, while serving justice for the wider society.