Rape Report Findings
The Government have this evening released the long awaited End-to-end Rape Review report, with Senior Ministers including the Home Secretary and Lord Chancellor commenting on the shameful findings and the failures for victims.
Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC, said that “Too many victims of rape and sexual violence have been denied the justice they deserve as a result of systemic failings”. Recognising the impact, he continued “we are deeply sorry for this and will not rest until real improvements are made – from transforming the support given to victims, to ensuring cases are investigated fully and prosecuted robustly”.
Our CEO, Duncan, has been involved with the review since its inception and after reading the report, has today said:
I am saddened to read that a culture has grown within the CPS, Police and system where beliefs that “police did not refer cases that they believed the CPS would no longer charge” and “perceived reluctance within the CPS to charge anything but the perfect cases” have been allowed to fester and grow… this needs to end now, action taken and I call on the Home Secretary now to foster the building of bridges between parties as, pointed out in this report, the “poor relationship between the victim and the police results in the victim feeling ill-informed and often abandoned by the CJS”. Victims should never be abandoned.
I’m also deeply concerned that only 1.6% of rapes reported, have resulted in someone being charged. For us male victims, in knowing now from this review that “cases involving female victims had a statistically significant higher probability of a charge than those involving male victims”, has to equate to a very small proportion of male victims ever being seen, heard or getting the justice they deserve.
Whilst society focuses the majority on female victims, which is in part due to the numbers of women and girls reporting and the great work done by our colleagues in the VAWG sector, it’s far from unfair to say that male victims are seemingly being failed by the system now more than ever. Without being seen, without being heard, without being thought of, boys and men will not step forward and stay in the shadows. This is our biggest collective failing and one we need to admit and work towards addressing.
Today I renew my commitment and our organisations commitment to support the Government and sector partners in addressing the key concerns raised in this report to ensure that ALL victims of rape and sexual offences are treated with respect and their needs are put front and centre of policy and decisions.
The review revealed wide-ranging reasons behind the fall in cases reaching court, including a strained relationship between different parts of the system, delays in the investigation process, a lack of specialist and consistent support for victims, and an increase in invasive requests for their personal data.
In response, the Government has created an Action Plan to directly address these issues and increase the number of cases getting to court, without compromising defendants’ right to a fair trial. It includes plans for better data extraction technology to reduce the time that victims are without their phones – with an aim to have devices returned by police within 24 hours. Additionally, a new approach to investigations is stated to be rolled out to more police forces across the country – one that places greater emphasis on understanding a suspect’s behaviour rather than placing undue focus on a victim’s credibility.
We Are Survivors will continue to work with partner agencies, local leaders and government to ensure that we continue to play our part in ensuring that victims/survivors receive the best care and attention possible.