Rape Unresolved

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More About This Title Rape Unresolved


More than 1,000 women are raped in South Africa every day. Around 150 of those women will report the crime to the police. Fewer than 30 of the cases will be prosecuted and no more than 10 will result in a conviction. This translates into an overall conviction rate of 4-8 per cent of reported cases. What happens to all the other cases? Rape Unresolved is concerned with the question of police discretion and how its exercise shapes the criminal justice response to rape in South Africa. Through a detailed, qualitative review of rape dockets and victim statements, as well as interviews with detectives, prosecutors, magistrates and rape counsellors, the author provides key insights into police responses to rape.


Dee Smythe is Professor and Director of the Centre for Law and Society in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town. She is also senior lecturer in the Department of Public Law. She is recently the co-editor of In search of equality: women, law and society in Africa and Marriage, Land and Custom, and co-author (with Artz, L.) of Should we consent? The politics of rape law reform in South Africa.