Why Training Is Not Improving the Police Response to Sexual Violence Against Women: A Glimpse into the ‘Black Box’ of Police Training

  • Elizabeth A. Stanko OBE
  • Katrin Hohl


After decades of research, HMIC inspection reports, enquiries, police reform and legal changes, a ‘justice gap’ remains in one of the most iconic crimes against women and girls. More rape and sexual assault victims come forward than ever; however, prosecution and conviction rates remain low. Time and again, analyses of the problem call for better training of police officers who investigate complaints and engage with victims of sexual violence. More and improved training is hoped to give officers better knowledge and understanding, and to effect changes in attitudes and behaviour towards victims of sexual violence committed against women and girls. In this chapter, we explore current challenges and barriers to effective police training on sexual violence. We reflect in particular on challenges of police-academic cooperation in producing police training and offer some conclusions on where to go from here.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Stanko OBE
    • 1
  • Katrin Hohl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyCity, University of LondonLondonUK

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