Monday 15 March 2021 / 12:16 PM Ellie Reeves.

Labour unveils Survivors’ Support Plan for victims of rape

Labour unveils Survivors’ Support Plan for victims of rape

 

The Tories have failed to protect women with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and two years on from the rape review being announced we still have no answers. This is the time for action, and that is why Labour has today unveiled its Survivors’ Support Plan for victims.

Rape and serious sexual assault cases should be fast-tracked through the criminal justice system, Labour says today as it unveils a package of reforms to end a decade of Conservative failure for victims.

 

Other urgent measures needed to tackle the fact that rape prosecution is at its lowest level on record include offering free and independent legal advice and representation for victims, and appointing a Minister for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Violence.

 

It has been more than two years since the Government announced its end to end rape review but there has been no action.

 

The crown court backlog now exceeds 56,000 cases, and rape and serious sexual violence victims are being left to wait years for cases to get to trial.

 

Labour’s recommendations for the Survivors’ Support Plan for victims include:

  • Fast-tracking rape and serious sexual assault cases through the police, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts
  • Establishing a pre and post-trial survivor’s support package, including offering free and independent legal advice and representation for victims and better training for professionals around myths and stereotypes
  • Appointing a Minister for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Violence to investigate and tackle the root causes of delays in the system, and act as a champion for victims

 

Ellie Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Solicitor General, said: 

 

“The Conservatives have let down victims on all fronts.

 

“A decade of failure has weakened the foundations of our criminal justice system, leading to a near total collapse in rape prosecutions and delays of years getting to trial.

 

“Many survivors feel the system is working against them, not for them, and that is completely the wrong way round.

 

“This government has no plan to support victims or address the failings on its watch. That is why Labour has set out our Survivors’ Support Plan to help secure and rebuild our criminal justice system so that it works for everyone.”