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Working to end sexual violence

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Survivor Reference Group

The Survivor Reference Group is a diverse group of over 50 survivors from across Scotland who have had some engagement with the Justice System, whether that’s a Police report that never went any further right through to trial(s).

The participation group advocate powerfully for change, drawing on their lived experience with individuals and institutions to improve responses to sexual violence.

The Survivor Reference Group have produced an initial report highlighting areas of priority, met with the Lord Advocate and Cabinet Secretary for Justice, raised issues around Police retention of mobile phones, shaped the Forensics Medical Services (Scotland) Bill, including meeting directly with the Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament, and engaged with media locally and nationally to highlight the impact of sexual violence, the justice system, health responses, societal attitudes and much more.

More recently, the Survivor Reference Group have published the Police Responses in Scotland Report, a collation of survivors experiences of reporting sexual crimes and what needs to change. This important report highlights issues that survivors experienced in reporting and makes important recommendations that - if implemented - could be transformative. Some of the survivors involved in the creation of this report met directly with Chief Constable Iain Livingstone who acknowledged the report and confirmed Police Scotland's support for a number of the recommendations relating to policing and his commitment to continued collaborative working, to improve the response to victims and survivors.

The group have also developed The Survivor Reference Group (SRG) Podcast Miniseries. This podcast series is by survivors for survivors, but it’s also for anyone else who wants to hear directly from survivors about their experiences, from seeking justice to self-care, to what it’s like to access support to media coverage.

The Survivor Reference Group are an invaluable part of what we do at Rape Crisis Scotland, ensuring that the voices of survivors are at the core of our work, shaping our priorities and helping us to improve responses to sexual violence in communities across Scotland.

To find out more about the Survivor Reference Group, please email Brenna.Jessie@rapecrisisscotland.org.uk

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