Rape: Bad News/Good News From UK

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Yorkshire has terrible support services for rape survivors, except in Sheffield (apparently one of the best in the country).  What do I mean by terrible? 

In Leeds, one in five women have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in the past 12 months, the report said. Yet there are no Sexual Assault Referral Centres in the Yorkshire and Humber region, and Rape Crisis Centres are closing.    

On the bright side, some progress on courtroom reforms.

Video recordings of statements made to police by alleged rape victims can now be used as their main evidence in court, the government has announced. Complaints of rape will also be automatically admissible to the court, regardless of how long after an alleged attack they are made. And an expert panel will be set up to tackle “myths” about rape that may affect decisions made by jurors.  

Hopefully these will do some good, as improvement is surely needed:

Only 5.7% of reported rapes in England and Wales currently end in conviction. Announcing the new measures, Solicitor General Vera Baird said that only 15% of rapes were reported. Of that 15%, 5.7% ended in conviction – a figure which is up from 5.2% in 2005.  

(Thanks, Mr Jender, for the links!)

4 thoughts on “Rape: Bad News/Good News From UK

  1. It’s important to remember, of course, that something can be the best of the Xs and still be a terrible X. I read a comment on these results by someone working in rape crisis in Sheffiled, pointing out that they were facing budget cuts/closures etc as well; just because the situation in other places is absolutely unspeakably dire shouldn’t distract us from the fact that it’s not good anywhere, and that the country as a whole needs to take a radically different approach to this area.

    (I don’t mean to suggest Jender was thinking otherwise, of course; but I thought the point worth making explicit.)

  2. Good, though depressing, point. Do you have a reference for that comment about Sheffield? No worries if not, it would just be useful to have!

  3. I’m pretty sure it was in the letters page of the Guardian at some point. Maybe that’s enough info for a google research session to yield a result.

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