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Date Published
April 18, 2019

On the Guardian’s podcast ‘Rebecca’ details her experiences of rape and reporting to the police. Despite it being considered a very strong case in relation to a known offender, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that the case should not proceed to trial.

Rebecca Hitchen, Campaign Manager at the End Violence Against Women Coalition said:

“Rebecca’s story is chilling and she is brave and powerful to share it. It reveals the shocking impact of a justice system which is failing to prosecute these very serious crimes, leaving what the police described as an extremely dangerous man free to harm again. Now we must have answers from those presiding over this appalling decision making at the CPS on who gets to court and who never sees justice done.  Justice Secretary David Gauke has to listen to Rebecca’s story and then to demand answers from the Director of Public Prosecutions on what exactly is going on.

Previous reporting from the Guardian has revealed that CPS Prosecutors have been urged to reduce the number of rape cases that they prosecute. ‘Rebecca’s’ experiences show the horrifying reality of such policy changes and the damage they are causing. If an extreme case involving such additional violence, impersonation of a police officer and threats with a weapon isn’t prosecuted what does that mean for women’s safety?

This case also raises serious questions about how women’s credibility –  which too often means anything from her past that can be used to undermine her – is used to make a decision about whether or not to proceed with the case. Surely it is in the public interest to actively pursue prosecutions in cases as serious as rape?

This case is the tip of the iceberg and we’ve heard of lots of similar stories of decisions not to prosecute in the face of such heinous crimes.”

To listen to the podcast click here. Note this podcast contains descriptions of sexual violence.

Date Published
April 18, 2019
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