Rape Crisis Scotland have today (Wednesday 10th July 2019)
launched an updated video guide to the criminal
justice system for survivors of
sexual violence, featuring key people that survivors will come into contact
with during the justice process.
This includes a specially trained police officer, a rape crisis advocacy worker, a Procurator Fiscal, a defence lawyer, an advocate for the prosecution and a judge.
A judicially led review, chaired by the Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian, will develop new proposals for how sexual offences are dealt with within the Scottish Criminal Justice System.
Today sees the publication of a new report,
Interest Litigation in Scotland, which explores why
there is a lack of strategic court action in Scotland and suggests recommendations
to address this.
It suggests key barriers are:
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.