13 April 2022

Survive response to House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report

Survive response to House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report on investigation and prosecution of rape released on 12 April 2022

 

Any report which highlights the challenges survivors of rape and serious sexual offences face when trying to seek justice through the courts, is welcomed by Survive.

Much of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report reflects what Survive and other sexual violence agencies have witnessed:

There is too much focus placed on the behaviours of survivors as opposed to the behaviours of perpetrators;

Survivors often face unnecessary and disproportionate requests for digital data; and

There are long delays in getting cases to court with the court proceedings sometimes leading to further harm for the survivors.

 

Says CEO Mags Godderidge, “Prosecutions for rape must increase to hold perpetrators to account and reduce the risk of further offending. As highlighted in the report, it is simply not good enough that we see a return to the prosecution levels last seen in 2016/17. This cannot be considered a success – given how woeful we regarded those figures at that time against the prevalence of rape in society and the numbers reported to the police in that period.”

 

“Investment in ISVAs to support survivors through court proceedings is only part of the solution. We need to see the re-establishment of specialist rape units in all police forces. Indeed, it is concerning that the Home Office do not even know how many police officers have received specialist rape and serious sexual offences training.”

“We also need to ensure that survivors have access to the right support at the right time. Unfortunately, the rules around pre-trial therapy mean that survivors often have to choose between the courts and a slim chance of justice or counselling and a real prospect of rebuilding their lives and reaching their potential.”

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