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Working to end sexual violence

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Not Proven: An Update

Miss M drawing

We welcome the independent analysis, released yesterday by the Scottish Government (read it here), on the response to the consultation on The Not Proven Verdict and Related Reforms, and particularly the clear majority support for the removal of the Not Proven verdict.

For most people who have experienced sexual crimes in Scotland the justice system in its current state is, quite simply, not working. The conviction rate for rape and attempted rape remains stubbornly low, the lowest of any crime type, and it has been this way for over a decade. We need action, and we need it now.

A letter to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

We write to express our significant concern with respect to your letter dated 8th of March outlining the shift in approach of the Crown Office in dealing with reluctant complainers in rape cases, effective from today, and ask that you urgently reconsider this change to policy.

We share the knowledge that rape is an awful crime that can leave a lasting and profound impact on those who experience this violence. It is no secret that the concept of justice is one that is frequently far removed from the reality of survivors of sexual violence in Scotland today. I know you are also aware of the many barriers that stand in the way for those who pursue justice and even though considerable work has been done to address and remove these obstacles there remains a stubborn gap between those who experience sexual violence and their ability to access justice and we are clear that there is much more to do.

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