New report reveals victims of rape don’t feel justice has been met

28 August, 2019

A new report by the Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research (SCCJR) has concluded that those who have reported rape or serious sexual assault feel marginalised and with little control regardless of their case’s outcome.

The report is a result of research into the ‘justice journeys’ of 17 victims of rape and serious sexual assault by the SCCJR, which is based at the University of Glasgow.

There were some positive experiences that were identified, such as support provided through advocacy services and sensitivity shown by some specialist criminal justice professionals.

The participants did however highlight the lengthy duration process, administrative errors and the need for improved communications from the police and the courts. Other issues identified included removal and non-return of personal possessions for evidential purposes, and in particular, being subjected to distressing questioning at trial.

Most notably none of the 17 victim-survivors, including those whose cases had resulted in a guilty verdict, believed that justice has been achieved.

Kate Wallace, CEO of Victim Support Scotland, commented: “It’s important that those who have experienced serious crime feel fully supported at each stage of the criminal justice process. Through our work supporting those affected by crimes across the country, we know how confusing the criminal justice system can be, particularly for those that have experienced something traumatic. This is why, as part of the Victims Taskforce, we are advocating for a criminal justice system for Scotland that is more victim-centred.”

Victim Support Scotland is here for anyone affected by crime – whoever you are, whatever the crime. Call our free helpline on 0800 160 1985 (8am-8pm, Mon-Fri) to speak to our friendly support team.