Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Criminal Justice Sciences

First Advisor

Dawn Beichner


Within the United States of America, more than half of all violent crimes go unreported (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2021). Failure to report to the police is a particular problem in cases of sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence. These crimes can carry a stigma that deters disclosure to both formal and informal sources. To better understand underreported sexual assault crimes, it is essential to look at the specifics of reporting. Data from victim advocates, who are practitioners who work with victims daily, finds that many victims of sexual violence never report the incidents to the criminal justice system. Reporting to the police varies based on the type of crime committed, with crimes like sexual assault having among the lowest reporting rates (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2021). The current project focuses on victims of sexual violence's reluctance to report victimization through the lens of practitioners who work with victims of sexual violence. This research builds on three key themes; (1) their perceptions regarding victims' reluctance to report sexual victimizations to law enforcement, (2) how the COVID pandemic impacted their victim advocacy, and (3) the support that was expressed to navigate a person's holistic journey post-assault.


Imported from Powers_ilstu_0092N_12225.pdf


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