Following the post I wrote last week on Michael Le Vell and a few of the comments on that post, after receiving a press release today with the above headline, I thought I’d write about the survey conducted by Reveal Magazine, for the sake of balance.
The survey revealed that of the women asked, a rather shocking 16% said that they’d been raped at some point in their lives. Of those in the 16%, only 20% reported the crime to the police and the main reasons for their reluctance was a combination of thinking that the chances of conviction were too low and lack of faith in the legal system.
Perhaps the most shocking part for me, though, was the following passage:
“Latest figures from Ministry of Justice and the Home Office estimate up to 95,000 rapes committed each year, but as low as only 15% are reported to police, only one in five of those cases end up in court and only a third of those result in convictions”
In my previous post, my main focus was on the false claims made by people in court and how damaging they can be to genuine cases. The fact that of the almost 100,000 cases of rape every year, roughly 5000 of those result in conviction, is it any wonder that women are feeling totally despondent about their chances of finding justice?
Further to this, statistics from RAINN suggest that around 70% of cases of sexual assault are perpetrated by someone who is already known to the victim, leaving many women in a position where, if they don’t get a guilty verdict, they’ll potentially have to have daily contact with their assailant, the bleak truth becomes all too clear.
The main point here is that somewhere along the line, thousands and thousands of women are being let down by a legal system that only seems to make the vulnerable more vulnerable and we need to find better ways to encourage women to report crimes and methods of supporting them once they do.