The pervasiveness of rape myths acceptance and the transformative potential of the Istanbul Convention. GREVIO’s contribution
Millions of women are raped each year and perpetrators are rarely convicted and punished by criminal justice systems. Because of the social acceptance of “rape myths”, i.e. false and preconceived notions of how a rape survivor ‘should’ behave before, during and after an attack, rape survivors are often denigrated and blamed, while rapists’ violent tendencies are tacitly justified, accepted and normalized. Taking into specific account the importance of the entry into force of the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention, this thesis will focus on the social pervasiveness of rape myths acceptance, its corrosive effect on society's ability to prosecute and convict rapists with the purpose to assess how the Convention has defined rape and to what extent it has contributed in creating a “European caring society” in which female rape survivors’ rights to access the justice system and to be equally treated and protected by the law have been recognized and effectively guaranteed. To evaluate the transformative potential of the Istanbul Convention, a comparative analysis exclusively focused on the Convention provisions concerning rape will be conducted taking into account the four national reports submitted by State Parties to GREVIO and the baseline country evaluations published by the monitoring body.