Refuge responds to CPS interim guidance on rape and sexual assault

 

In response to the CPS interim guidance on rape and sexual assault, Ellie Butt, Head of Policy and Public affairs at Refuge said:

‘Refuge welcomes the CPS interim guidance on rape and sexual assault, particularly the focus on rejecting rape myths and stereotypes, as well as  the relevance of the sexual history of victims when establishing consent. We hope it will help lead to more rape suspects being prosecuted and that  more women feel empowered to report rape and sexual assault and give them  confidence that the justice system will support them.

The idea that women’s behaviours are in any way ‘responsible’ for attacks on them is an outdated myth which must be recognised as such, and we hope this guidance will ensure prosecutors reject these damaging stereotypes, do not allow them to influence decisions to prosecute, and that in turn we can see a rise in prosecutions and women being able to access justice. The impact of this new guidance should be closely monitored.

The CPS has rightly been scrutinised as rape convictions have fallen to a record low. This is one positive step forward to address that, but much more needs to be done in order to reverse the huge declines in prosecutions over recent years.’

Interviews available on request please contact the press office on 0207 395 7731 or email: press@refuge.org.uk