Speaking of rape:

Sub Title: courtroom discourse and narratives of women rape complainants.

Author: Diaz,Venus Papilota

Accession Number: URDC00011

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Copyright Year: 2016

Abstract:

This study offers a sociolinguistic perspective to courtroom discourse by adopting a Feminist Critical Discourse Analytic approach to rape trial proceedings in the Philippines. It attempts to locate the relationship between power and gender in courtroom interrogations of witnesses using seventy four (74) transcripts of stenographic notes of seven (7) selected resolved rape cases, corroborated by interviews of four (4) women complainants. Results show that features of discourse such as presuppositions in questions, diffusing agency, and repetition and reformulation function as discursive practices of lawyers and judges to exercise control over witnesses. These discursive practices are embedded with rape myths such as notions of normal conduct of an ?ideal victim?, bias in favor of a Filipina of decent repute, relationship theory, utmost resistance standard, and rape is easily fabricated. Despite the assertions of the Supreme Court of the Philippines in mitigating them, these practices turn claims of violence to sexual consent through victim blaming, stigma, and disbelief. Twenty (20) years has passed since the 1997 legal reform movements in the Philippines -- the Anti-Rape Law, the establishment of the Family Courts and Committee on Gender Responsiveness of the Judiciary, yet these discursive practices are far from being eradicated. Though the interdisciplinary lens of language and gender studies offer perspectives on how workings of power are revealed, negotiated, and sustained, more in-depth and comprehensive empirical research on gender biases in the court system may just be part of the journey toward a gender-sensitive courtroom. The key participants in court must decide on reforms as a personal choice and an apparent force affecting the judicial system.


Keywords: Feminist CDA, courtroom discourse, rape myths, diffusing agency, stigma

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