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Women are being harmed and our fundamental rights denied as the police and courts are failing to deliver justice after sexual violence. We’re campaigning for a justice system that is fair and equal, and better support for survivors.



Our justice system is broken and failing survivors of rape. With the number of perpetrators charged plummeting to the lowest levels on record, police investigating survivors’ ‘credibility’ rather than the actions of the suspect, women are facing a justice system that is not only stacked against them but actively harming them. We demand better.


When a victim of rape reports the offence to the police, they are often put in the impossible position of being forced to choose between pursuing justice or healing from trauma, due to the likelihood of their private counselling notes being shared with the police, prosecutors, defence and the courtroom. Because of this, many are unable to receive vital, life-saving support at a time when it is needed most.

Therapy records are very rarely relevant to a case. But despite this, under the current system, counselling notes can be trawled by police and prosecutors or used to close cases inappropriately. If a prosecution is brought, the contents of a survivor’s counselling notes can be scrutinised by the defence and examined in court. That’s why with Rape Crisis England & Wales, the Centre for Women’s Justice and Rights of Women, we’re calling for a change in the law to curb these intrusive, excessive requests.

Decriminalisation of rape

With our member organisations Rape Crisis England & Wales, Imkaan and the Centre for Women’s Justice, in 2020 our shadow report of the government’s Rape Review exposed the effective decriminalisation of rape, and how rape myths and stereotypes shape every stage of the justice process.

Taking the CPS to court

With the Centre for Women’s Justice, we brought a judicial review against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 2020 – bringing evidence to the High Court that the CPS had changed its policy on whether or not to prosecute serious sexual offences. This landmark case came to an end when the Court of Appeal declined to examine the evidence presented on our behalf, and accepted the case made by the Director of Public Prosecutions that there had been no change ‘in substance’ to the CPS’ policy on prosecuting serious sexual offences. While we may not have won in court, we put rape on the agenda like never before and put our justice agencies under the microscope to ensure accountability and transformation.


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