Content warning – rape and sexual assault
Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped every year.
That’s roughly 11 rapes per hour.
These are only the figures for adults, so don’t even include other types sexual assault, or even the figures for children and teenagers.
On top of this, it’s predicted that nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted each year in England and Wales.
Why, then, do only 5.7% of reported rapes end in conviction?
Clearly there’s a problem. That’s where we come in. We are ‘It’s Not Justice’: a campaign aiming to highlight the way in which cases of sexual assault and rape are handled by the Police, the Courts and the Media.
To us, it is wrong that victims are often not believed or do not have their cases properly investigated; that they are questioned in court about aspects of their life irrelevant to the assault; that the media does not fairly represent the case, preferring instead a catchy headline. We believe that these factors reduce confidence in the system: victims will not report if they know that they will receive a negative response.
To highlight the scale of the problem we need you. We want to create a space where you can share your experiences completely anonymously, a safe place where you will not be judged.
We will gather information from these submissions and try to work out where this distrust of police and courts by victims comes from. We want to hear your experiences of the process of reporting the attack and going to court, these could include:
-Your treatment by the police
-Your treatment by lawyers/judges
-How you were questioned by police or in court
-The handling of your evidence
-The recording of your statement
-Giving evidence and being cross-examined
-How long the process took
-The availability of support and communication throughout the process
These are just a few examples. If there was anything else about your experience that you felt was particularly unfair or wrong, please include it.
We understand that there is still a stigma that surrounds sexual assault and rape. We know how difficult it is to talk about such a traumatic event. We want you to be able to trust us, to speak openly about the treatment you received and your experiences. That way, we can show what is really happening and make it impossible to ignore it anymore.
Although this campaign is shedding light on the scale of injustice faced by so many people, at its core is also a positive message of support and hope going forward. We will be publishing blog posts to keep you up to date with our work and cover the issues that the submissions illuminate. There will be a variety of other blog posts: we’ll have guest bloggers discussing their specialist areas, posts that cover particular aspects of the law and other posts which will provide information about how the system works and also what support is available.
To submit your experience, simply head over to the homepage.
Love and support,
Your ‘It’s Not Justice Team’ x