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Research shows that jurors in sexual assault cases assess the evidence presented through the lens of commonly held misconceptions and myths about rape, rape victims and rapists. Jurors, as members of our communities, embrace stereotypes about what constitutes “real rape,” including expectations about gender roles and “appropriate” behavior by victims before, during and after a reported sexual assault.

This curriculum explores the research on how juries decide sexual assault cases in which the victim is an adult. It looks at research using actual jurors, as well as mock jury studies. It also explores public opinion data about sexual assault.

Participants in this program will come away with the following:

  • An extensive review of the existing research on how jurors decide sexual assault cases in which the victim is an adult
  • Current research on opinions and attitudes about sexual assault
  • The judge’s role in selecting a jury for a sexual assault case in which the victim is an adult, including:
    • The judge’s role in selecting fair jurors
    • The judge’s role in protecting jurors’ privacy
    • The judge’s role in minimizing jurors’ stress and trauma

Aspects of the model curricula:

  • NJEP’s curriculum is available at no charge for a variety of uses: it can be utilized as the basis for in-person trainings and webinars or reviewed by individuals online.
  • The curriculum consists of:
    • A faculty manual for teachers
    • A Power Point presentation with suggested commentary
    • Exercises for participants
    • Handouts for participants
    • The curriculum can be adapted to local laws and practices