Women, rape and the criminal justice system - Appendix 3

Interview questions

Note: Interviewees do not need to be asked all the questions and can choose not to answer any of the questions or stop the interview at any time.

General

  1. How did you find out about Victim Support?
  2. Did you report the crime to the police? When? How do you feel about this decision?
  3. If you reported, what happened to your case? How do you feel about this?
  4. Were you given the reasons for any decisions taken about the progress of your case? If charges were downgraded, were you told why?
  5. Did you consider taking civil action? If so, what sort?; why?; was it successful?
  6. How forthcoming and timely was the information you received on the progress of your case? Did you experience any difficulties obtaining the information you required?
  7. Were there any other types of information which you would have liked to have received?

Police

  1. How do you feel about your treatment by the police?
  2. Protection: Did you have any concerns about intimidation from the offender or his friends and relatives? Did you tell the police, and if so, what was their response? What would you have liked? Have you been re-assaulted? If so, what, if anything, do you think could have been done to prevent this?
  3. Did the police ask for your views on any bail decisions taken? Was the bail decision a problem?
  4. Were you seen in a police rape examination suite or other specially designed unit?
  5. Were you allocated a police chaperone or equivalent?
  6. How did you feel about your treatment by the police surgeon?
  7. Did you attend an ID parade? (If so, please expand)
  8. Did the police give you any information or leaflets to take away?

Other support issues

  1. Were you provided with information about medical issues? By whom?
  2. Did you want any other specialist help: professional counselling, legal advice or representation, housing advice? Did you receive the services you required?
  3. Criminal injuries: did you claim?; did you receive?; any problems?
  4. Did you experience any other practical difficulties?

The trial

  1. For those interviewees whose cases went to court:
    • Were you told of court dates?
    • How long did you have to wait - rescheduling?
    • Describe your experience of the trial - how did this make you feel?
    • Waiting times at court
    • Did you give evidence?
    • Did you want/get a screen?
    • Did you feel that your identity was protected?
    • Did you feel secure in the court room/waiting areas?
    • Treatment by court personnel: defence barrister (how did the cross-examination make you feel?), prosecution barrister, judge and Witness Service.
    • Did you wait at court for the verdict - statement in mitigation?
  2. Did the defence barrister request/obtain leave to question you about your previous sexual history?
  3. We are aware that in some circumstances victims have been treated differently because their assailant was known to them. In light of this, it would be useful if you could tell us if your assailant was known to you. If yes, do you feel this had an impact?
  4. Are there any changes which could be made that you feel would have improved your experience of the trial?
  5. As a result of the trial do you feel justice was done/not done? Why?

Outcomes

  1. In hindsight, how do you feel about your experience?
  2. What advice would you give to other people finding themselves in a similar position in the future?
  3. Is there anything else which you want to say about the whole experience?
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