Please email your MP re: anonymity for suspects in rape cases
We have drafted an email that you can send to your MP about the recent recommendation of the Home Affairs Select Committee to extend anonymity to suspects in cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence.
You can find the email address of your MP here.
Please send a copy to the following as well:
Keith Vaz: firstname.lastname@example.org
You could also email a copy to:
Theresa May: email@example.com
Harriet Harman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvette Cooper: email@example.com
I am writing to you to express my concern about the Home Affairs Select Committee's recent recommendation to extend anonymity to suspects in cases of rape and sexual assault until charged or police 'need' to name them.
Each year in England and Wales 85 000 women and 12 000 men are raped. We know that only 10 -15 % of victims report to the police due to “shame, prejudicial media reporting and mistrust in the criminal justice process”. We also know that rape trials have the lowest conviction rate of any crime because of systemic and institutional disbelief of victims. Our adversarial legal system is predicated on the belief that women and children routinely lie about sexual violence – despite false reports of rape being no higher than any other crime; despite the fact that many ‘false reports’ are due to misogyny within the police who routinely ‘no-crime’ rape without investigating.
As the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) umbrella organisation made clear in their public statement, rape has an extremely high recidivism rate. This recommendation fails to address "the specific justice issues around sexual offences before making this serious recommendation on anonymity. These include very low reporting to the police rates, vulnerable witnesses, and the fact that rape is a known repeat offence."
Sexual violence is the only crime where sympathy is with the perpetrator rather than the victim. It is the only crime where decisions and recommendations about the criminal justice response is based entirely on fallacious assumptions, myths and victim blaming.
I would like the Home Affairs Select Committee to review their recommendation using evidence-based research on anonymity for perpetrators and not assumptions about ‘perpetrators feelings’. I would ask that you not support any attempt to change the law around anonymity for suspects in cases of rape or sexual assault.