Media Centre

Press releases

Loughborough research features in international guidelines on the investigation of sexual violence in conflict

A Loughborough University psychologist has provided expert guidance to the Government for its international protocol on the investigation of sexual violence in conflict.

The protocol is designed to help strengthen the evidence base for bringing perpetrators to justice, thus overcoming one of the key barriers to tackling impunity for sexual violence in war-torn regions.

Dr Heather Flowe provided advice on the latest state-of-the art techniques for preserving and protecting witness/victim memory evidence, a crucial element in securing a conviction.

She explains: “Victims of sexual violence will face interviews on multiple occasions by investigators with varying skill. If a case is prosecuted the victim’s memory will be put on trial, and if there are inconsistencies in the testimony or if one of the interviews is handled improperly the testimony could be viewed as unreliable. All this will support a defence of mistaken identity and allow the defence to argue that the victim’s testimony cannot be believed.

“I am incredibly passionate about improving the quality of evidence in sexual violence cases, and especially those that occur in low resource environments in which investigators have minimal training with regard to conducting investigative interviews with victims.

“This protocol is a very important step toward dissolving the culture of impunity that exits in sexual violence cases around the world, particularly in developing countries and conflict/post conflict regions.”

Dr Flowe, from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, is internationally acclaimed for her work on eyewitness memory preservation and the effects of alcohol on memory for traumatic events.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 17/43

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world to study sports-related subjects in the 2017 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

Related expert

Resources

Contacts

Judy Wing

PR Manager

Telephone: 01509 228697

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224