A new pilot scheme has been launched to help rape victims get the support they deserve, as government and law enforcement agencies step up efforts to reduce this horrible crime and help victims.
Rape convictions are up two thirds over the last year and cases are being completed five weeks quicker - but more needs to be done. Cases of this horrible crime are still taking far too long to bring to court, we need to look very carefully at whether, while ensuring that victims and accused people alike can be assured there will always be a fair trial, too many who are guilty are still getting away with it. We certainly need to go further to improve support for victims, and eradicate the backlog caused by the pandemic.
- So the government is launching pilots at three crown courts that will see all court staff, police and prosecutors given specialist trauma training, as well as specialist support like Independent Sexual Violence Advisers made available for victims and the rollout of new video technology to allow victims to avoid the stress of a live trial.
- The new pilot comes alongside the broader action being taken to improve support for victims and speed up cases going through the system – rolling out pre-recorded evidence faster, recruiting 1000 sexual violence advisors, developing a 24/7 helpline and improving collaboration between police and prosecutors so that victims get the justice they deserve.