Male victims of sexual violence and their welfare in the criminal justice system

Widanaralalage, Kennath, Hine, Ben ORCID: and Murphy, Anthony (2022) Male victims of sexual violence and their welfare in the criminal justice system. In: Men and Welfare. Taylor and Francis, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 140-150. ISBN 9781003178811

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Male victims of sexual violence currently receive little attention in the UK, despite a growing number of men reporting sexual offences to the police and seeking psychological support for sexual trauma. Such issues are situated against a backdrop of substantial, gender-specific barriers for men around recognising, disclosing, and seeking support for their victimisation. Additionally, concerns have been raised around the efficacy of police officers in providing support throughout reporting and investigation processes, with findings indicating that male rape victims are often met with disbelief and scepticism and find the Criminal Justice process retraumatising. Increasing understanding around men’s experiences within the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is critical in aiding the production of gender-inclusive, trauma-informed strategies that recognise victims’ gender/sexuality-specific needs. This chapter provides evidence-based, victim-centric guidance on effectively supporting male victims of sexual violence, across the multiple institutions of the UK CJS to ensure gender-specific and inclusive care for victim survivors. It does so by overviewing current issues in the policing and service provision of male rape allegations and by examining men’s welfare in the context of multiple UK CJS institutions. Research conducted in the UK on the welfare of male survivors across key investigative moments is reviewed, from reporting, involvement of third sector victim-support services, officer responses and investigative practices, to referral to the Crown Prosecution Service, before concluding with recommendations for policy and practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Identifier: 10.4324/9781003178811-14
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Men and Welfare on 2 December 2022, available online: or
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ben Hine
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2023 12:06
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2023 12:16

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