Data shows rise in reports of rape but prosecutions remain low

Government's silence on this important policy issue as shocking as the findings

Sarah Green, Co-Director of the End violence Against Women Coalition, says: “The data made available today (24 May) by the criminal justice agencies’ Rape Monitoring Group shows that a shockingly low number of rapes reported to the police go on to be prosecuted – and this at a time when reporting rates are going through the roof.

“In 2012/13, the police recorded 16,374 rape offences, and in 2016/17 this figure leapt to 41,186. This indicates that a massive social change is happening in terms of survivors of rape deciding to seek justice.

“Meanwhile, the charging and prosecution volumes remain around the 3-4,000 mark. This is a deplorable fail and our society must have a better response to this if we are at all serious about justice and protection.

“All survivors of rape deserve justice, but it’s clear that year on year the criminal justice system is failing those who choose to report – which we should remember is often done reluctantly but out of a sense of wanting to protect others.

“Victims who brave the criminal justice system and speak up can now face the humiliation of having years of their personal data used against them in court under current evidence disclosure practice. Add to this poor policing, inadequate CPS practice and media myths about the numbers of false rape allegations, is it any wonder that most cases do not lead to conviction?

“Rape does enormous harm and leaves thousands of women and girls, and men and boys, psychologically traumatised. While specialist services for victims struggle to stay afloat, perpetrators learn that they can get away with it. As a society, we rightly expect the criminal justice system to effectively sanction rape and sexual violence and to deter perpetrators.

“The silence from Government on this urgent public policy and justice matter is as shocking as the figures. We urgently need a wholescale review of the response to rape.”

 

 

 

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