There Have Been A Record Number Of Prosecutions For Violence Against Women This Year
The Debrief: Unfortunately it's not all good news - especially involving rape conviction rates.
Good news and bad news this morning from the Crown Prosecution Service: while prosecutions for violence against women are up across pretty much every category, the rape conviction rate has fallen to just 57%. In the year up to April, there were 107,000 prosecutions, which is up by 16,000 (18%) on last year.
This increased prosecution rate has shown that more women have 'the confidence to come forward', according to Alison Saunders (the Director of Public Prosecutions), with more victims being taken seriously when reporting crimes of violence against them. 'This progress must continue until we have a system where women who experience domestic violence have exactly the same level of confidence as victims of other crimes,' Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid told the BBC. 'That they are heard and believed, the system works for them and protects their human right to live free from violence.'
On the other hand, though, there is speculation that the rise might be due to the internet enabling criminal activity - prosecutors also reported a rise in child sex abuse cases and complex rape cases. And while the fall in rape conviction rates is worrying, Alison Saunders puts it down to the fact that the CPS is bringing 'the right, although often the more difficult, cases to court'.
Still, 57% is a pretty low percentage, and we agree with Katie Russell, of Rape Crisis England and Wales, when she told the BBC there was still 'some distance to travel'.
Picture: Li Hui
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