Wera Hobhouse Calls for 'Covert Policy Change' on Rape Cases to be Reversed

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, Jun 24, 2019 10:06

Figures recently emerged showing that the number of rape cases charged and brought to court have fallen by 44%, despite the fact that the numbers of rape cases reported to police has risen by 173%.

In a letter to the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, Wera Hobhouse called for a reverse in the covert policy change, which she believes has lead to the drop in charges.

The letter, signed by MPs from the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Green Party, represents a cross party effort on behalf of survivors of sexual violence.

The letter was also signed by Fern Champion and Miss M, both of whom have campaigned for improved justice for sexual survivors.

Wera Hobhouse, speaking to the Independent, said:

“We're failing survivors of sexual violence at every step in this country.

"It's incredibly difficult to seek justice after being raped. Threatening those who do come forward with dropping their case unless they allow the authorities to trawl through their entire private online history makes it even harder."

"When it comes to prosecuting reported rapes, the numbers are shockingly low. The CPS have been cut to the bone, and so aren't spending money in taking cases to court that are deemed risky. Sexual violence cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute give their complex nature, so they are the first to go. The figures clearly demonstrate this. It's no wonder survivors feel like rape has become decriminalised."

"Then, after all of that, mental health support for people who have gone through a traumatic experience doesn't even come close to meeting demand. The government isn't even providing the minimum required standard required under the Istanbul Convention of 2012, that we signed up to.

"This is what handing out tax breaks and cutting spending on public services like The Police, The CPS, and rape crisis centers looks like. It's a failure of justice, a failure by the state, and a failure of this government.”

The full letter is below:

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