The case of a rape survivor from Harlow and her experience of the criminal justice system has been raised by her MP and discussed in the House of Commons today (Wednesday 15th May 2019).
Robert Halfon MP brought a range of concerns regarding the treatment of victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse to a Westminster Hall debate in the presence of the Solicitor General after the woman, whose anonymity has been maintained, attended one of his constituency surgeries.
One of the main issues the MP raised on his constituent’s behalf was her sense of being let down by the decision to reduce her rapist’s sentence simply because she had successfully fought him off. He highlighted that attempted rape can carry the same sentences as rape in law, but in practice sentences are often reduced for the attempted offence, even when the criminal intent was clearly the same.
Robert Halfon MP said:
“Whilst [the perpetrator] got six years – now reduced to just three – my constituent feels that she has been served with a lifetime sentence, and left reeling from the anguish and suffering she has experienced.”
The MP also made strong statements on a number of other failings of the criminal justice system in relation to rape and sexual offences, including chronically low and falling rates of prosecution and conviction, lengthy waits for support and justice, and the inadequate resourcing of specialist services for sexual violence and abuse victims and survivors.
For full article please go to https://rapecrisis.org.uk/news/latest-news/harlow-rape-survivors-case-discussed-at-house-of-commons/