New Research Paper Explores Why Only 4.6% of Sexual Assault Cases Result in Conviction
In commemoration of December 6th, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, University of Alberta Law Student Rhyannon O’Heron and Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) Rape Crisis Centre are officially launching a new research paper titled “Challenges of Women’s Equality in the Courts”.
This research paper, which utilizes WAVAW’s in-house statistics, Crown interviews and other legal documents, explores the question of why such a small number of sexual assault cases result in convictions. In the past 20 years, there has been a lack of funding for research on women’s experiences before the court. WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre has been in existence for 30 years and our Victim Services program supports over 180 women each year through the hospital, legal and court systems. As such WAVAW decided to capture the stories of our own clients.
“In tracking the experiences of women navigating systems, from the initial connection with the medical system through to the end of their time with the courts, we noticed that the realities of women achieving justice after a sexual assault had not altered since the 1990s.” states Dayla Israel, Manager of Victim Services at WAVAW.
This led us to further investigate this trend. In 2012, WAVAW applied to the University of Alberta with Rhyannon O’Heron to collaborate on this research paper. O’Heron’s expertise as a law student allowed us to interview Crown Counsel and integrate important legal arguments alongside WAVAW’s feminist principles.
To view the complete research paper, please visit visit Challenges of Women’s Equality in the Courts