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Criminal justice experience of victim-survivors of rape 22/08/2019 A new study shows the Scottish criminal justice process leaves those who have reported a rape or serious sexual assault feeling marginalised and with little control

Criminal justice experience of victim-survivors of rape

The Scottish criminal justice process leaves those who have reported a rape or serious sexual assault feeling marginalised and with little control regardless of their case’s outcome, a new study has found.

Researchers from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow interviewed victim-survivors who have navigated their way through the system to try and understand their ‘justice journey’.

While some positive experiences were identified, such as support provided through advocacy services and sensitivity shown by some specialist criminal justice professionals, victim-survivors also highlighted the lengthy duration of the process, administrative errors and poor communication from the police and courts. Other issues such the physical environments in which statements are given, the removal and non-return of personal possessions for evidential purposes, and in particular, being subjected to distressing questioning at trial, were also raised as significant points of concern.

Most notably none of the 17 victim-survivors, including those whose cases had resulted in a guilty verdict, believed that justice has been achieved.

Dr Oona Brooks-Hay, who co-authored the report with Prof Michele Burman and Dr Lisa Bradley, said she hoped the research findings would push for real change across the criminal justice system to address the significant concerns raised around how victim-survivors are informed, supported and represented.

More details can be found here and the report is available here.

 

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