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Offer, minne, och utsatthet: diskurser om alkohol i våldtäkts- och misshandelsmål
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för socialt arbete.
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för socialt arbete.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4540-5373
2016 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, Vol. 37, no 4, p. 102-124Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The alcohol consumption of female rape victims is often discussed during rape trials. This has been regarded as an emblematic example of victim blaming and the failures of the legal system in relation to rape. From a feminist perspective it can be seen as an expression of the structural subordination of women in society in general.

This article investigates the meanings attached to alcohol in written court decisions in Swedish rape trials (2008-2012). Rape trials are contrasted with assault trials, where the complainants are men. Thirty court decisions from each type of trial are compared, with the same number of guilty and not-guilty verdicts.

Quantitative analysis reveals that alcohol consumption is mentioned more often in rape trials, where it also appears more relevant to decision-making. The complainants' consumption is mentioned four times more often than the defendants' consumption. In assault decisions, the mentioning of alcohol consumption is distributed roughly equally between the parties.  

The analysis shows how a large proportion of the alcohol references in both rape trials and assault trials can be regarded as largely irrelevant noise. The remaining alcohol references are understood in terms of five interpretative repertoires: 1) the accuracy of memory on part of witnesses; 2) explanations of seemingly irrational behaviors; 3) vulnerability, 4) getting the victim drunk, and 5) moral character. The latter three interpretive repertoires are more common in rape decisions. As a conclusion, part of the preoccupation with rape victims’ alcohol consumption can be attributed to protectionary strategies, and should thus not be regarded as victim-blaming. However, some assessments appear to build on assumptions that information about alcohol consumption is indicative to moral character that is relevant to court decisions. 

Abstract [sv]

Hur våldtäktsmål och våldtäktsoffer hanteras är en ständigt aktuell fråga, som nyligen föranledde ytterligare en statlig offentlig utredning (SOU 2016:60). I denna artikel har Maritha Jacobsson och Stefan Sjöström undersökt hur alkohol relateras till i våldtäktsdomar, och jämfört detta med misshandelsdomar. De konstaterar att alkoholkonsumtion ibland kan hjälpa till att få en fällande dom, medan det i andra fall blir till en nackdel för den målsägande.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 37, no 4, p. 102-124
Keywords [en]
rape, assault, alcohol, victimisation, victimology, victim-blaming, discourse
Keywords [sv]
våldtäkt, misshandel, alkohol, skuldbeläggande, viktimologi, brottsoffer, diskurs
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-348158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-348158DiVA, id: diva2:1196802
Projects
Diskriminerar rättssystemet kvinnliga brottsoffer? Trovärdighet hos kvinnliga och manliga brottsoffer (Brottsoffermyndigheten)
Funder
Breast Cancer Research Foundation, BCRFAvailable from: 2018-04-11 Created: 2018-04-11 Last updated: 2019-04-12Bibliographically approved

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Jacobsson, MarithaSjöström, Stefan

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