Reported rapes in Victoria: police res​ponses to victims with a psychiatric disability or mental health issue

Author(s) Murray, Suellen and Melanie Heenan
Title Reported rapes in Victoria: police responses to victims with a psychiatric disability or mental health issue
Source Current Issues in Criminal Justice,March 2012, Vol. 23, No.3, pp 353-368
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Coverage Victoria, Australia
Summary In this article the authors examine police responses to victims with a psychiatric disability or mental health issue and consider some of the policy and procedural implications. For the study a random selection of 850 records was extracted from the Victoria Police Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) database. From this sample approximately a quarter of the victims were identified as having a disability, with 130 with a psychiatric disability or mental health issue and 49 with an intellectual disability. It was found that cases involving victims with a psychiatric disability or mental health issue were the least likely to result in charges being laid against the offender even though the demographics of the victims and offenders do not differ significantly from the overall sample. The authors note that since the study was conducted some progress has been made in improving police response with a new training program but it is suggested that more improvements are needed.
Keywords Police response; sexual assault; psychiatric disability; mental health issues.
Topic Disability