Women are more likely to drop out of rape cases than men

From 2017/18 to 2021 to 2022, an average of 57.2% of women dropped out of the justice process in rape cases compared to 51.9% of males.

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The numbers showed that women are more likely to leave the justice process in rape cases.

Figures show that women are more likely than men to drop out of a rape case – with one charity saying that for many it is not an option but a “necessity”.

A five-year view of rape cases shows that an average of 57.2% of females have dropped out of the justice process as opposed to 51.9% of males despite its widening in recent years. Analysis by the NationalWorld of Home Office of figures for crimes involving adult victims showed that female victims were more likely than male victims to not continue working, and in such cases the score “the victim did not support further action” is recorded.

The gap between male and female victims has widened in recent years – although the proportion of cases ending this way has increased in both groups. In 2021/22, police in England and Wales closed and determined findings for 43,991 rape offenses involving adult victims – 40,754 female victims and 3,237 male victims. Of those, 3.8% resulted in a charge or summons – 1.4% for male victims and 3.9% for female victims.

However, the majority of cases ended with the police citing that the victim did not support further action. or females, this was the result of 25,131 (61.7%) violations, for males 1,798 (55.5%). The suspect may or may not have been identified.

In 2017/18, 16,983 women (53.3%) did not support further action out of 31,891 results. or men this was 1,021 out of 2,083 results (49%).

Why are rape cases dropped?

She said: “It is well established that the criminal justice system fails rape victims and survivors, who often share that they feel traumatized again after dealing with it.rom facing disbelief when reporting, to having massive amounts of their personal data requested, to a lack of communication – it can The process leaves the survivors feeling as though they are being investigated.”

Increased waiting times and a backlog of cases in the courts are another reason, with Handy saying some survivors can wait years for their case to reach court.

She said: “The impact of such delays on victims and survivors cannot be underestimated, as many of them experience symptoms of severe trauma such as flashbacks, panic attacks, and increased anxiety and stress as a result.or many women, opting out of the process is not an option, but a necessity. , as they want and need to progress in trying to create a more normal life for themselves.

She added: “Furthermore, some survivors are advised not to seek vital specialist advice during a criminal investigation if this conflicts with the case; others are told if they seek professional support they should not talk about the assault. It is not surprising that victims and survivors choose to Not continuing to deal with a system that treats them this way.

“Finally, there is data maintained by police forces to show that cases where victims withdraw are often due to someone else reporting their rape, where the survivor never wanted to report or felt safe.”

It is “crucial” that survivors have access to support

Meanwhile, for sexual assault cases involving victims over the age of 13 during the last five-year period from 2017/18 to 2021/202, the average proportion of dropout victims was similar for males and females – 41.4% and 41.9%, respectively. . However, figures for 2021/202 of sexual assault victims show that 46.5% of females have dropped out compared to 44.3% of men.

Handy said the authorities need to take action to ensure that those affected by rape and sexual assault receive support in the right way so they can get justice. She said: “For survivors to remain engaged in the system, it is essential that they have access to counseling and advocacy that specializes in sexual violence and abuse, long-term, confidential, and trauma reporting.

“It is also critical that the police, prosecution and Crown Courts prioritize and appropriate resources for rape and other sexual offenses, so that survivors have a better chance of accessing justice.”

What is being done to help rape victims?

The government says measures to speed up justice for victims and improve their experience in the justice system have been introduced since the start of the pandemic. This includes extending unlimited sitting days for the new financial year, so that the Crown Courts can operate at maximum capacity. Video technology has been deployed in over 70% of all courtrooms, with over 3,000 virtual courtrooms open across all jurisdictions.

The government also indicated funding for victim services is set to increase to £192m per annum by 2024-25, while funding for victim support services will be increased to £460m over the next three years. The number of independent sexual and domestic violence counselors will increase by 300 to more than 1,000 by 2024/25 with additional fortified funding.

Other measures include introducing the Victims Bill, working to develop a 24/7 rape and sexual assault support line, and continuing to begin witness examinations and re-examinations of vulnerable witnesses. There are also new pilot schemes in three Crown Courts aimed at helping support rape victims and increasing prosecutions and convictions, including specialized trauma training for staff and new video technology.

A Department of Justice spokesperson said: “We are overhauling our entire response to rape – strengthening support for victims at every stage of the justice system, introducing a new suspect-centred approach to police investigations and improving cooperation between police and prosecutors so we can double the number of cases that are processed. Charge it and start up in court.

As a result, rape convictions increased 67% last year, and they increased 54% in the year through June. Victim Support funding will quadruple by 2025 – allowing us to hire more independent sexual violence counselors so victims feel supported at every stage of the justice system.”

The Rape Crisis England and Wales Helpline is available 24/7 and can be contacted on 0808 802 9999

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