Sexual Assault Victims: Empowerment or Re-Victimization? The Need for a Therapeutic Jurisprudence Model

TRENDS AND ISSUES IN VICTIMOLOGY, Natti Ronel, K. Jaishankar and Moshe Bensimon, eds., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008

356 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010

See all articles by Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg

Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg

Bar-Ilan University; UC Berkeley School of Law

Date Written: December 17, 2008

Abstract

The article discusses the question of to what degree the criminal proceeding should allow the voices of sexual assault victims to be heard in court, in a way that serves the classic goals of the criminal trial and, at the same time, offers them a therapeutically valuable tool of empowerment. This paper explains, by portraying the gap between therapeutic and legal dialogue, how difficult it is to integrate the voice of a sexual assault victim into the adversarial discourse. It attempts to convince readers that the existing process requires adjustments that would reflect an acknowledgement of the unique phenomena suffered by victims. A view that recognizes the therapeutic potential of the criminal process as a tool for healing victims supports the adoption of a therapeutic jurisprudence as a proper model for shaping the criminal process. This paper points out the need for adopting such a model, while trying to propose that for as long as the adversarial system is not totally abandoned, it must undergo reforms that will advance therapeutic values. The proposed changes would increase the objectives that the criminal process could achieve and turn it into a multi-dimensional tool.

Keywords: gender, women, sexual assault victims, criminal proceeding, therapeutic jurisprudence, victims rights, criminal law, sex offenses, criminology.

Suggested Citation

Dancig-Rosenberg, Hadar and Dancig-Rosenberg, Hadar, Sexual Assault Victims: Empowerment or Re-Victimization? The Need for a Therapeutic Jurisprudence Model (December 17, 2008). TRENDS AND ISSUES IN VICTIMOLOGY, Natti Ronel, K. Jaishankar and Moshe Bensimon, eds., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1727197

Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg (Contact Author)

UC Berkeley School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Bar-Ilan University ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

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