A WOMAN’S STORY – a personal experience of the criminal justice system
We highly recommend this article: A Woman's Story - My Personal Experience of going through the Policing and Criminal Justice System after being raped.
Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre released this statement in conjunction:
Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre has been honoured to work together with a woman who has used our services on A Woman’s Story. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has taken the difficult decision to share her personal story with the public in the sincere hope that it can contribute to making a difference to the experiences of other individuals affected by sexual violence.
A Woman’s Story describes the trauma of rape, and her experience of police, health, justice and other services. It focuses on the institutional and individual responses from services and professionals which the woman experienced as supportive and compassionate, and which aided her recovery, and those which she experienced as less supportive and at worst re-traumatising.
Whilst improvements have been made in relation to the investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes, and support and care for victims of these crimes, what A Woman’s Story tells us – clearly and urgently – is that much more needs to be done. It is just not acceptable for women not to be offered female doctors for what can be an intimate and distressing forensic examination in the immediate aftermath of being raped - or for these examinations to be carried out in police stations. Additionally, the not proven verdict is an anomaly, is used disproportionally in rape trials, and in our view should be removed. It is still the case that the by far the highest number of not guilty and not proven verdicts are to be found in cases of rape and attempted rape. However, the biggest issue is how intensely violating the experience of giving evidence in court can be which can end up feeling like being bullied and harassed.
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