n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Investigating the applicability of the "hue and cry" requirement within the framework of psychological testimony regarding criminal sexual behaviour

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The weighing of a victim's complaint and testimony concerning criminal sexual behaviour in order to converge the onus of proof in criminal matters with expert psychological testimony, is investigated.

A relevant literature review was undertaken of both a number of primary and secondary scientific sources. These sources are viewed as narratives, and the approach is regarded as an alternative method of research to experimental methods. A number of discourses (court cases) are also analysed and summative responses given. Within this approach (discourse analysis), the problem-saturated narratives are analysed and put into context. Previously the requirement of "" suggested honesty on the victim's side.
Because both judicial and societal systems are subjected to change, the applicability of the "" requirement within the framework of psychological testimony regarding criminal sexual behaviour was investigated. It was concluded that psychological evidence of the victim's initial complaint holds no stronger proof than proof of consistency. Psychological testimony regarding a first complaint, as well as particulars of the complaint itself is allowed, for the aim is to prove the victim's consistency.
The fact that the victim's initial complaint or extrajudicial communication to the psychologist and his/her testimony during the trial reveal consistency, is relevant to credibility. Psychological testimony regarding such a complaint or extra-judicial statement does not prove the contents of the complaint or statement, and it does not in any way substantiate the victim's testimony.

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