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Criminal Proceedings 2018/19 - Our Comment

Commenting on the Criminal Proceedings in Scotland publication released today, Rape Crisis Scotland said:

“The vast majority of survivors of sexual crimes do not see a court room, let alone justice.

Figures released today show the conviction rate for rape and attempted rape continues to be the lowest for all crime types, as it has been for the last decade. This is something that should concern us all.

The average acquittal rate for crimes overall is 6%. For rape and attempted rape this is 52% and for sexual assault this is 39%, with Not Proven – Scotland’s third widely misunderstood verdict – being disproportionately handed out in these cases.

It is worrying to see that convictions for sexual assault have dropped to their lowest rate in 10 years. These figures reinforce our fears that survivors of sexual violence are being let down by the justice system.

Too often we are asked why sexual crimes are underreported but as a country we have to question whether it is fair to keep expecting survivors to put their faith in an intimidating and retraumatising system that too often does not deliver justice. Instead we should turn our attention to those who have the power to effect change, those who could build a fair system and ask what they are going to do about it.”