An in-depth news series about the handling and mishandling of sexual assault cases in Austin and Central Texas. Travis County law enforcement responded to more than 600 adult sexual assault allegations in 2017, according to the Travis County District Attorney. That same year, only one person was found guilty by a jury. And that case wasn't from Austin. Even though an overwhelming majority of these assaults – 496 – were reported to the Austin Police Department, none made it to trial in all of 2017. Community advocates have long argued the number of prosecutions for sexual assaults is too low, but it was only after a swell of negative news – from DNA lab closures to misclassified police reports to class-action lawsuits – that city leaders began to take a deeper look. More people are starting to question whether the criminal justice system is really set up to protect rape victims. KUT's Nadia Hamdan spent the last few months speaking with more than a dozen people within the sphere of sexual assault, interviewing victims, advocates, detectives, prosecutors, lawyers and academics. One thing was clear: Creating a system that is survivor-focused won’t be easy.
The Provability Gap, Part 4: The Public
Should all the responsibility for the poor track record of getting justice for rape survivors fall on police and prosecutors? Or should city leaders … and the community at large, also carry some of the blame?
The Provability Gap, Part 3: The Prosecutor
Even though it can sometimes take more than a year for a sexual assault case to make it through the system, many in the community, including the district attorney, believe the number of cases making it to trial is far too small.
The Provability Gap, Part 2: The Police
Hundreds of adult sexual assaults are reported to the Austin Police Department each year, but only a tiny fraction of these cases will make it before a jury. The question is: why? It’s something we’re exploring in our series, The Provability Gap. In the second part of the series, KUT’s Nadia Hamdan looks at some...
The Provability Gap, Part 1: The Victim
Hundreds of rape victims report to Austin police each year. But most of them never make it past the interrogation room – let alone to a courtroom. In the age of #MeToo, a growing number of people in the community are questioning why so many of these crimes go unpunished, and they’re pressuring local leaders...
This new series explores how sexual assaults are investigated and prosecuted in Central Texas and why many of these crimes go unpunished. KUT’s Nadia Hamdan has frank conversations with victims, survivors, detectives, prosecutors, lawyers and others as she explores the reasons for the provability gap in sexual assault cases.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thank you for this. Every time rape and sexual assault is brought into the public domain, it is positive. That's how society will be changed, that's how rape culture will be changed. It's hard to listen to someone complaining about their rape but if we don't get those who have not been raped to put themselves into the rape survivor's position, we will get nowhere. If a rape survivor can use dissociation to deny something happened, think how easy it is for a non-raped individual to not believe it happened. The initial reaction to rape is disbelief. How could this happen to me? How could this happen in a good world? The non-raped person responds by thinking the survivor is telling a story or looking for attention. Only by driving this home like the repetitive swings of a ax will change happen. But it can happen. Change can and will happen. hannahpowers.net