Liberal Democrats on Cornwall Council have called upon the Conservative Government to do more for survivors of sexual violence following today’s release of a Victim Commissioner’s report on rape survivors and the criminal justice system.
The survey was conducted by the Victims’ Commissioner, Vera Baird, in response to a government review of the treatment of rape in the criminal justice system after a record collapse in charging and prosecutions. The government review failed to include rape survivors’ voices.
The survey found that just one in seven rape survivors believe they will receive justice by reporting a rape. It also found that about a third of the respondents had not reported what had happened to them to police, with 95% of those saying they had not done so because they did not think they would be believed.
Responding to the Victims Commissioner’s report on rape survivors and the criminal justice system, Pat Rogerson, Lib Dem Chair of Cornwall Council’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee said:
“Survivors deserve justice. They must be properly supported to come forward and be listened to when they do.
“However, as this report shows, far too many survivors are put off reporting the crime for fear of being disbelieved, and far too many who do come forward find the whole process traumatic. Government inaction is failing survivors of sexual violence and allowing too many criminals to walk free.
“It is incomprehensible that the Government’s review of rape cases is doing so little to engage with survivors – especially given the clear evidence that the system simply isn’t working for them.
“Conservative MPs must listen to survivors, complete the review as soon as possible, and urgently make improvements across the whole justice system. Survivors mustn’t be left waiting any longer for the justice they need.”