Help stop women being denied justice after rape

by End Violence Against Women Coalition

Help stop women being denied justice after rape

by End Violence Against Women Coalition
End Violence Against Women Coalition
Case Owner
We are a coalition of UK women's organisations working to end violence against women.
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End Violence Against Women Coalition
Case Owner
We are a coalition of UK women's organisations working to end violence against women.
Pledge now

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Latest: Sept. 16, 2019

CPS Annual Report - rape prosecutions the lowest on record

The latest shocking figures in the CPS’ annual report on prosecuting crimes of violence against women published yesterday - the 12 September - show that CPS decisions to prosecute rape are th...

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The criminal justice system is failing to deliver justice after rape. 


We're taking action.

 

"The man who raped me and confessed to it will never be extradited and arrested, never be questioned by police, never be charged, and never be brought to trial." (Bonny Turner, survivor)

Women and girls across the country are discovering that if they are raped, there is very little chance of the man who raped them ever being brought to justice.

The catastrophic drop in rape prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service requires immediate action - we're mounting a legal challenge against the CPS in England & Wales and we need your help. Contribute now and share this page with your friends, family and on social media.  

Every day the CPS are letting down women who have been raped

We have heard from many women who have decided to report rape to the police; have endured what can be very gruelling questioning and possibly medical examinations; have had to sacrifice their phone, computer and personal records;  endure an agonising wait; to then be told that the case has been dropped.

When *Rebecca was raped by a man she had been dating, the police told her it was a strong case. He was known to the police, and had in fact impersonated a police officer, and threatened her at knifepoint. But months later, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case and she was left devastated.

“They said they’re thinking of dropping the case, that I’m not a credible witness and I'd be ripped apart in court. If I’m not a good enough witness, who the hell is?” (*Rebecca, survivor)

There has been a massive drop in the numbers charged

While there has been a very significant increase in the number of rapes reported to the police since 2014 (up 173%), the numbers of prosecutions has dramatically dropped (down by 44%) meaning half as many rapists are being charged with rape. 

The statistics speak for themselves and show a serious and dangerous shift away from securing justice for victims of rape. 

Prosecutors are standing in the way of justice for women 

The Crown Prosecution Service appear to have secretly changed their policy and practice and we have gathered evidence that senior managers are worried about their ‘performance data’ and are encouraging prosecutors to drop cases which might be hard to win. This means dropping rape cases and bringing fewer rapists to justice.

Our case

We will not stand by and let what progress has been made in prosecuting rape over the last decade slip away. 

Supported by the Centre for Women's Justice who are acting for us, we are bringing a judicial review against the CPS for secretly changing their approach to prosecuting rape cases. We believe the change in practice is unlawful, discriminatory and a violation of women’s human rights.

This challenge will force the CPS to look at the barriers to justice in rape cases, and address the systemic discrimination at play.

"Some of my family and friends have said I just need to get on with my life. I don’t know how that’s possible given how angry, exhausted and unsafe I feel just surviving in this world." (Bonny Turner, survivor)

The case is supported by The Good Law Project whose Director Jolyon Maugham QC said:

“The failure of the criminal justice system effectively to deter rapists is a genuine scandal. With every year that passes tens of thousands more lives are destroyed. The data shows that, far from redoubling our efforts, we have seen an 80% decline in the proportion of rapes reported to police that reach the court room. This is intolerable.” 


How much we need

Our lawyers will be paid nothing unless this case wins. But we still need money for court fees, for expert statistical analysis of the data about rape prosecutions, and to pay the Government’s costs if we lose. The End Violence Against Women Coalition is a small charity and is simply not in a position to bear that costs risk alone. It’s impossible to know what order for costs the Court might make but we’ve set an initial target of £15,000 to get this case off the ground. We are likely to need to raise more.

*some names have been changed to protect the anonymity of rape survivors.


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Update 1

End Violence Against Women Coalition

Sept. 16, 2019

CPS Annual Report - rape prosecutions the lowest on record

The latest shocking figures in the CPS’ annual report on prosecuting crimes of violence against women published yesterday - the 12 September - show that CPS decisions to prosecute rape are the lowest on record:

The report reveals the CPS charged 37.7% fewer rape cases in 2018/19 than it did in the previous year. 

- This is the second year in a row that the charging rate has dropped dramatically. Last year charges had dropped by 23% from 2016/17.

Five years ago, the CPS was charging almost double the number of cases that it prosecutes now - despite the number of rapes reported to the police increasing exponentially each year. 

We believe that the further precipitous drop in rape prosecutions is further evidence of the CPS’ unlawful change of approach to rape cases, and that the near-decriminalisation of rape must be stopped.

The CPS has recently sought to deter EVAW from bringing this legal action by suggesting that this important coalition of legal charities could become liable to pay significant legal costs if they are unable to prove their case.

Your donations to the Crowdjustice fund are therefore needed - as much as ever - to ensure that this action can go ahead. We ask that you please share this Crowdjustice link as widely as you can to encourage others to support our campaign.

EVAW is intending to issue proceedings within the next week with the funds that it has available, seeking permission for a full trial of the claim.

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