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A conceptual and empirical exploration of the impact of traumatic sexual violation on memory and implications for criminal justice

Dorey, Julie 2018. A conceptual and empirical exploration of the impact of traumatic sexual violation on memory and implications for criminal justice. DHS Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This conceptual and empirical exploration provides an in depth understanding of the impact of traumatic sexual violation and the impact on memory. This is with particular focus on how this might affect engagement with the giving of evidence and the response of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The role of dissociation at the time of the trauma and the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are pivotal to this study. The conceptualisation developed from the literature provides an informative tool to increase understanding of the different ways a victim may present when in the acute stages of traumatisation and how police and other professionals within the CJS can best support them. A number of strategies are suggested that can facilitate the victim in recalling their traumatic event in a coherent way that is sufficient to be used as evidence. The second part of the study provides findings from a number of interviews with police participants linked to the Cardiff and Vale Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) that looks at how police understand the impact on memory and how this is dealt with in practice within the CJS. Although police show a good understanding of some of the problems victims face when engaging with the criminal justice process, they suggested that there are still limitations with the current adversarial system that need addressing. This was a qualitative study utilising a cross-sectional research design by focusing on data collected at one point in time providing a focused lens on the current practice within the system and examined whether it was fit for purpose for traumatised individuals who have experienced a dissociative response and are at risk of developing PTSD or trauma related disorders.

Item Type: Thesis (DHS)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 January 2019
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2019 12:41
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/118175

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