The Rape Re-Education


Recent investigations have called for a change regarding the attitudes and actions taken towards rape. Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, has stated we need to stop thinking of rapists as men lurking in dark alleyways, and expecting victims to act in a certain way.

Rape in fact, is more likely to occur with someone you know, and all victims deal with the trauma differently. The changes being called upon, are based around a greater scrutiny of officers who drop cases, updating rape protocol regarding investigations and prosecution, for example not being allowed to drop cases based upon the behaviour of the victim, and also making sure existing legislation is applied effectively.

There have been worrying falls in recent statistics that highlight: a decrease in the amount of rape claims that end in prosecution, a decrease by 14 percent in the number of people charged with rape, and a decrease by one third of cases referred for prosecution. This figure is particularly troubling as these same statistics show rape claims have actually risen by 3 percent.

The changes in attitude need to focus on police, prosecutors, courts and the community, in order to make sufficient progress. Saunders has also stated that jurors need a greater education on rape, because stereotypes and myths influence their decisions in the courthouse.

Criminal injury like rape is a serious offence. Many solicitors win thousands of pounds a year for victims claiming compensation, so now a re-education is needed in order for them to see their attackers punished too.

Michael Lewin


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