Dame Vera says:
Criminal Justice system is letting down current victims and creating new victims by failing to tackle potential serial rapists
Rape victims are being badly let down by the criminal justice system. More complainants are coming forward, but fewer cases are being prosecuted and only one in every fifty cases is resulting in a conviction. How can this be justice?
These figures show that perpetrators can act without fear of being held to account. Many will go on to commit further offences and will only stop when caught. These figures not only highlight how we are letting down existing victims, but how we are creating future victims.
We know that nearly four in five victims of sexual assault choose not to report the crimes committed against them. How can we ever give these victims the confidence to report when so few cases ever secure a conviction.
We need to understand the reasons behind this failure. It is in part down to the treatment of complainants by police and prosecutors, for example, failing to update them on investigations or making intrusive and disproportionate demands on their personal data. We also know that the treatment of complainants in the court room can cause trauma and distress.
The government is currently reviewing the treatment of rape complainants. These figures show that it needs to act quickly if these victims are to receive the justice they deserve.