Sexual violence is a public health issue impacting many Americans, with girls and women disproportionately victimized. While sexual offenses remain underreported, media has recently spotlighted high-profile cases. However, understanding sexual assaults in rural areas remains absent in mainstream conversation. Studies show rural communities are not smaller versions of their urban neighbors as they harbor old-fashioned values, maintain secrecy, and rely on informal social controls that influence how citizens respond to sexual violence, including law enforcement. Yet, existing literature on law enforcement responses to sexual violence are mostly centralized in urban areas with a focus on the investigative process—ignoring rural dynamics and the impact first-responding law enforcement officers have on survivor perceptions of policing practices. As such, the current review summarizes the impact law enforcement has on sexual violence survivors, focusing on rural policing, and ending with an all-encompassing policy to better serve both law enforcement and sexual violence survivors.
Lizarraga, Viviana and Terry, April
"Sexual Violence in Rural Places: Policy Implication for First-Responding Law Enforcement Officers,"
Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research: Vol. 5, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/aljsr/vol5/iss1/5