Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse
Adjudicating This Hidden Dimension of Domestic Violence Cases
National Judicial Education Program
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Module V: Why Victims Don't Report

Key Points: Why Victims Don't Report
  • Fear of the abuser, trauma and shame often keep victims from reporting intimate partner sexual abuse.
  • Victims may not recognize their abuser's conduct as rape, or may view sex with their husbands as a "wifely duty."
  • Victims may not know that marital rape is against the law.
  • Victims are aware of the extreme suspicion facing rape complainants and are afraid of being disbelieved.
  • Victims from minority racial, cultural, sexual orientation and gender identity groups fear that they will be misunderstood, disbelieved, suffer repercussions from their communities and perpetuate negative stereotypes if they disclose.
  • Immigrant women who are victims of intimate partner sexual abuse face additional barriers to reporting these crimes including: language barriers, poorly trained interpreters, cultural pressures, ignorance of the law, and deportation or immigration status concerns.

Module V → Key Points: Why Victims Don't Report
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