Discussion Questions for "A Dog's Life" by Ann Rawson

1. “A Dog's Life” is set in Liverpool in the UK in 1980. Do you think attitudes to rape in the UK and/or the US have changed since then?

2. Liz decides against reporting her attacker to either to the college authorities or the police. Why do you think victims find it hard to report being attacked? Do you think it's easier now than it was back in 1980?

3. Dominic, who attempts to rape Liz, is an attractive middle class boy from a good family. Is there a difference in how accused rapists are perceived depending on race or class? Has that changed over time?

4. The term "date rape" originated in the mid-1970s but didn't become widely used until the late 1980s. The great majority of rape victims know their attackers.
In the UK, some rape cases have been dropped by the prosecution service because of messaging that could be interpreted as exonerating the accused. See link:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/29/why-might-rape-victims-refuse-to-give-phones-to-police
How do you think changes in technology have affected the issue of consent and whether the victim's story is convincing to investigators and juries?

5. In the story, Liz fights back. In reality, victims often freeze or comply out of fear for their lives. What difference do you think that makes to how victims feel and how they are treated by the justice system? Is there still a sense that there are "good victims" and "bad victims"? What other factors make a difference to whether victims are believed or not?