WE put forward plans for a new, joined-up approach to tackling rape and sexual abuse following the release of new figures.
13th October 2016
The Women’s Equality Party has put forward plans for a new, joined-up approach to tackling rape and sexual abuse following the release today of official figures showing that the number of rapes recorded by police in England and Wales has risen sharply over the past five years, while the rate of prosecutions has fallen.
According to the new data, the number of recorded rapes has risen by 135% since 2011/2012. The number of convictions during this period rose by just 11%.
"Women are continually told to ‘report it to stop it’ but neither the government nor the police nor the criminal justice system is stopping it. The best way to make sure victims come forward is to show them that perpetrators will be convicted and the best way to convict perpetrators is to change approach, now,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party.
“The other political parties have failed in their duty of care to protect women and girls from violence. WE will not fail them.”
The Women’s Equality Party has clear plans to tackle violence against women both at the point at which it is reported and before through preventative teaching in schools via compulsory SRE; public awareness campaigns to prevent sexual harassment; rehabilitation of offenders, and specialist support for every survivor.
“We are also calling on unconscious bias training for police and jurors whose acceptance of rape myths is having a direct impact on victims’ access to having justice. Police forces across England and Wales are doing a much better job of referring rape cases, but this is not resulting in charges being brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, nor successful prosecutions,” Walker said.
“The CPS needs to be clear and consistent about what is required for suspects to be charged, and it should work with police to make sure every case has the best chance of being prosecuted. Survivors are being let down by these disastrously low conviction rates.”
“It is time for a joined up approach from politicians, police and the CPS: this is the only way to ensure women are properly protected from sexual abuse,” Walker said.
Walker continued: “Our members have called on the Prime Minister to make ending violence against women and girls a priority in her first one hundred days in office - it is time for the Prime Minister to make this a priority.”