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    Intimate Partner Rape: A Review of Six Core Myths Surrounding Women’s Conduct and the Consequences of Intimate Partner Rape

    Lilley, Caroline, Willmott, Dominic, Mojtahedi, Dara and Labhardt, Danielle ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9161-8786 (2023) Intimate Partner Rape: A Review of Six Core Myths Surrounding Women’s Conduct and the Consequences of Intimate Partner Rape. Social Sciences, 12 (1). p. 34. ISSN 2076-0760

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    Abstract

    The focus of this paper is to highlight and review the evidence surrounding common intimate partner rape (IPR) myths, their prevalence in society, and identify those who are most likely to endorse such beliefs. Six core IPR myths are discussed related to misconceptions surrounding (1) women’s decisions to remain in abusive relationships, (2) why women delay or never report IPR, (3) women’s perceived motivations when an IPR report is made, (4) a perceived lack of trauma that occurs as a consequence of this type of rape, (5) male sexual entitlement within intimate relationships, and (6) whether it is even possible to rape a marital partner. This article draws together a wealth of studies and research that evidence why such IPR myths are indeed factually inaccurate and examines how victims, justice professionals, police practitioners, and legal decision-makers endorsement of false beliefs pertaining to intimate partner rape serve to hinder various justice pathways. We discuss the consequences of rape mythology in so far as they create social barriers that prohibit the reporting of rape, impact the progression of an allegation through the criminal justice system and ultimately, obstruct rape victims’ access to justice. The review concludes by considering evidence regarding the possible benefits of education interventions in reducing the problematic influence of rape myths.

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