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Trial by (social) media

Helping to ensure fairer judgements in sexual assault trials

Trial by (social) media

Academics within BU’s Department of Psychology are working to produce a range of resources and learning tools designed to assist juries in sexual assault trials in making fairer and unbiased judgements.

Although the number of rapes reported to the police has risen massively over the past five years, successful prosecutions remain incredibly low. Research has shown that ‘rape myths’, often perpetuated by the media, can have a significant impact on these results, with jurors being influenced by various falsehoods over what constitutes a ‘real’ assault. Current judicial directions, however, are simply not sufficient to mitigate this.

Academics at BU, led by Dr Peter Arabaci Hills, are planning a three-year research project to investigate if, when and how media influences affect jury decision making, and how judicial directions and other forms of education can counter these effects.

We are fundraising towards this work and any gifts will make a massive difference.

Please contact the fundraising team for further information.

Bournemouth University is an exempt charity HMRC No EW00806