Going to Court
If a victim is undecided about whether or not to press charges, it may be helpful to sit in on a rape trial. Rape trials can be extremely difficult for all involved. However, the purpose of sitting in is not to scare a person but to prepare oneself. It is not easy to proceed with legal action, so it can be really helpful to gather support from friends and family.
During court proceedings, the line of questioning of rape victims is often different from that in other crimes (see the accompanying Sex in Real Life, “Questioning the Victim: Was He Asking for It?”). Should a victim decide to proceed with legal action, he or she must also be prepared for the possibility that the rapist may be found not guilty. Victims must consider how this would affect them and their recovery. One victim reported that she was so unprepared for a verdict of not guilty that, when it happened, she completely fell apart (Author’s files).