ERIC Number: EJ694177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Complainants With Learning Disabilities In Sexual Abuse Cases: A 10-Year Review Of A Psycho-Legal Project In Cape Town, South Africa
Dickman, Beverley Jo; Roux, Amanda Jane
British Journal of Learning Disabilities, v33 n3 p138-144 Sep 2005
We describe a project established in 1990 to assist complainants with learning disabilities in sexual assault cases in Cape Town, South Africa. Complainants are prepared for court and psychologists advise investigating officers and prosecutors, and provide expert testimony. There has been an enormous increase in the utilization of the project by justice personnel. This paper examines 100 cases seen over a 10-year period. We describe the demographics and sexual abuse history of the cohort as well as documenting speed of investigation and outcome of the trials. Almost all charges were of rape and most complainants had learning disabilities in the mild or moderate categories. No men with learning disabilities were among the accused. We raise questions about which cases are perceived as evidentially strong. The conviction rate of 28% was almost identical to the best conviction rate in such cases in the general population in South Africa. In contrast to recent research into conviction rates in South Africa, these cases appear to have been vigorously pursued.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; South Africa; South Africa (Cape Town)