Gender and the victim's experience with the criminal justice system

Richard B. Felson, Paul Philippe Pare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We examine victims' dissatisfaction with the police and the courts as a function of their gender, their relationship to the offender, and whether they were physically or sexually assaulted. Analyses of the National Violence Against Women (and Men) Survey reveal that victims are more dissatisfied with the police when the offender is someone they know than when the offender is a stranger, regardless of gender and regardless of whether the offender is a family member or intimate partner. Victims who know the offender are more likely to complain that the police were too lenient and that the police did not believe them. Victims of sexual assault are more likely than victims of physical assault to be dissatisfied with the police and the courts. They complain more about police insensitivity, but they are not more likely to complain about leniency, skepticism, of their charges or not being taken seriously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-219
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender and the victim's experience with the criminal justice system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this