Dame Vera wants to give survivors a voice and ensure they are listened to by criminal justice agencies

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales Dame Vera Baird QC is asking victims of rape to share their experiences of the criminal justice system.

Today (12 June) the Commissioner has launched her research by publishing a request for information which takes the form of a questionnaire

Dame Vera is asking anyone who has been the victim of rape – and who feels able to – to tell her about their personal experience of the criminal justice system. It does not matter how far the offence progressed in the system, the VC wants to know about what happens at every stage.  

Researchers from Dame Vera’s team will analyse the responses and produce a report which will be published in the autumn.

The research is independent of the Government’s ‘End to End Rape Review’ which is continuing.

Launching the research Dame Vera said: “It is vitally important that the lived experience, opinions and thoughts of those people who have been raped and are heard.

“I intend to give survivors a voice and ensure that they are listened to by the criminal justice agencies. I understand entirely that it can be very difficult for survivors to revisit what happened to them.

“Clearly we will not ask for details of the offence to be rehearsed but have left space for survivors to add anything of relevance 

“No one else can give this perspective. And it will help the criminal justice agencies to understand what victims think they are getting right and what they are not.

“So, I am appealing for as many rape survivors as possible – I repeat as long as they feel able to do this – whatever their age, gender, ethnicity or occupation – to take part. And be assured your contributors will be anonymous,” she said.

The request for information will be open from 12 June until 24 July. To take part click here.  

Anyone who requires help and support related to sexual assault or abuse can find a list of support agencies here.