Compulsory testifying for victims of sexual violence is always inappropriate
We are opposed to any laws, criminal or civil, which force victims of domestic and sexual violence to testify against their perpetrator. We believe that the justice system must put the health and safety of the victim first and that it is inhumane and unethical to incarcerate victims for refusing to testify.
We are extremely concerned with the outcomes of the recent case in Bradford where a 15 year old girl was incarcerated for her refusal to testify. The failure to appropriately support the victim lay with the prosecutor Gerald Hendron for applying for an arrest warrant against the child and the Judge Bartfield for upholding it. Holding a distressed child overnight and then forcing her to testify does not help "justice". It places the burden on an already traumatised victim. It is an insidious form of victim blaming which erases the responsibilities of the CPS and the judiciary.
No victim should be placed in a position where they are forced to testify to the detriment of their own health or safety. It is simply unacceptable.
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