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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Understanding Rape Shield Laws

General Material
Published Date
September, 2004

This report outlines the history of rape shield laws and delineates the types of shield laws in all fifty states. The author analyzes the serious gaps in these laws and critiques the continued admission of evidence of complainants' sexual history in rape trials. In response, the author proposes and defends a new model rape shield law to address the problems under the status quo.

Michelle J. Anderson is professor of law at Villanova University where she teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, feminist legal theory, and children and the law. Her scholarly expertise is rape law. Professor Anderson is also Policy Chair for the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

Associated Files
Attachment Size
Understanding Rape Shield Laws 90.19 KB