CPS drops case
As a victim on historic and long-term marital rape, resulting in severe PTSD, I took it to the police and there was a year long CPS investigation.
As a result the culprit, a family member and transplant patient, suffered a massive deterioration in health and ended up on life support. The family was told he would die and knew about my accusation, from him.
A few hours after I emailed the police to tell them and ask for the case to be dropped, they rang me to tell me the CPS said they were dropping the case due to discrepancies with a witness.
I was relieved that my family's pain would now stop and longed my attacker would survive to spare them pain. He did, he pulled through.
I am struggling with this. I shouldn't be but I am. I have to right to meet with the CPS to discuss why it was dropped but the subject is so traumatic.
I feel to blame for his collapse also, I am also hated, and because the CPS dropped the case, it looks like I made it up. I didn't.
I also have mental health problems and another reason they gave for dropping the case, was that they believed I wouldn't have coped. If he had not fallen ill, yes, I could have coped. They would have been surprised how strong I am.
My complaint has ended so badly. I don't want him charged again, because it was more than I could bare, but I am now back where I started. Unheard and ignored.
I have a mental health issue but have never taken leave of my senses. I'm not a china doll either. I don't think it is right that the CPS can factor in mental illness as a reason to drop a case. This makes vulnerable people 'rapable'.
Also, they drop cases when they can't be sure of secure prosecution. No rape case is that clear cut, they are always going to be hard to prove, but rape victims still deserve justice.
I feel I want to campaign in some way, about how the CPS and police handle victims of rape and victims with mental illness. It seems wrong to me that a rape case can be dropped like that, with witnesses, after the victim has put themselves through such an ordeal in reporting it. I gave a 4 hour video testimony that made me ill for weeks. Where is that now? In the bin?
I don't want to press charges again (in my heart I wish I could) but I am concerned for other victims and how the CPS takes ownership of their ordeal, doesn't communicate and then discards it. I feel concerned that mental illness can reduce someone's chance of justice.
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I read this and felt, good on you and well done for being compassionate towards your abuser. I have taken the decision not to bring any charges against any of my abusers for a number of reasons, but recent high profile cases have made me not regret my decision. I feel for women who go through the male dominated criminal justice process and who for whatever reason end up without any justice.
The recent case against Bill Roache has made me feel particularly uncomfortable, as we know for the CPS to proceed with full prosecution there needs to a high probability of a guilty verdict. I know this from my time working within the CJS. Any witnesses or evidence has to be of sufficient ‘quality’ to pass the CPS gatekeeper in every police station. Unfortunately, this often results in rape and domestic abuse cases not being proceeded with, not because of the quality of the witness, but to do with the complexities of finding sufficient evidence to guarantee a conviction. At the bottom of this pressure is pressure on the public purse. So higher values such as Justice and Compassion get lost.
More troubling than the system which so often fails women, is the media assumptions following either not guilty verdicts or the dropping of sexual assault cases. Tragically, as seen recently in Rochdale where the victim of a rape committed suicide following the acquittal of her rapist, often the backlash from the media seems worse than the justice process.
Why do we so easily assume that five women must have lied about what happened to them, despite evidence of trauma in their emotional and mental health? Instead both the courts and media, use emotional instability as evidence that of course they must have made the allegations up… duh. As with so many responses to people in distress and particularly women who have been abused, the question needs to stop being ‘What is wrong with you?’ and become ‘What has happened to you, that you are so distressed?’
Thank you both – to the original poster, we believe you, and know it wasn’t your fault.
To the first commenter – thank you for your thoughtful comment.
We agree that the CJS is not fit for purpose in its current form. We know that we hear ‘what about miscarriages of justice for the falsely accused’, but we never hear about how the victim feels, when the miscarriage of justice for her means that she doesn’t get criminal justice, or in many cases, not even social justice.
Thank you both for finding our site and sharing your experiences. we believe you.
I wrote the post.
I think I got misunderstood. I don’t think any rapist should be shown compassion and they should all be reported to the police.
My compassion is only for my children. To me, he is dead now. I detest and despise him for what he did to me, and rightly so. I understand now I have no blame for him getting ill. I didn’t ask to be abused and I had every right to go to the police.
I am so glad he survived for the children (his children too), but for me, I would have preferred he’d died, if it were only me and him involved. After what he put me through, he deserved nothing. That may sound harsh, but it is how I feel.
What needs to be addressed is how rape cases are handled. The whole system is very cruel to victims. Rapist identities also must not ever be revealed, and I think for family situations like this, it should be done as subtly as possible, with conviction without sentencing being an option, and privacy guaranteed.
I think the police and CPS can do more to allow victims mroe justice. I think also as long as things remain as they are, there is a catch 22. As long as court cases are unreliable and CPS and police drop cases, genuine victims and innocent accused will never have their characters cleared.
My voice on my attacker was very hard but I just needed to make clear there was no forgiveness and no compassion from me. I don’t agree there should be. It was for our children.