Today the UK Government published the ‘end-to-end rape review’ after 2 years.
Overall, while there is a welcome recognition of the failures of the criminal justice system, the review still proposes a number of pilots and research over 12-24 months.
This review has taken 2 years, in which time much of the suggested pilots and research could-and should-have taken place. The reviews’ failure to adequately engage with survivors, even though this was raised by the violence against women and girls (VAWG) sector, means there are proposals to undertake research where engagement with survivors throughout the review could have informed immediate action.
We welcome the expansion of Operation Soteria to transform the response of the police and CPS in more areas and the improvements in information to be provided to survivors on navigating the criminal justice system. However, we need to see immediate action in the adequate and sustainable funding of specialist sexual violence services.
Currently waiting lists remain high, leaving survivors without support. Similarly, there must be action to tackle the structural barriers for so many women to even report in the first place, addressing the culture of disbelief and victim blaming that is pervasive.
This includes recognising the additional barriers presented for Black and minoritised women, which can only be achieved with proper equalities data and analysis conducted in a manner which does not lead to further discrimination.
Making survivors wait for further piloting or research fails to fully recognise the urgency and immediate investment in specialist support that the current 1.6% conviction rate demands.
You can read the full Government review here
For further information on the above statement and for related media inquiries, please contact [email protected]