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CPS launches guidance on sexual violence within LGBT communities

|News, Sexual offences

The CPS today publishes new guidance to assist prosecutors considering cases of sexual violence within LGBT communities.

The same-sex stereotypes guidance addresses the specific issues that arise in relation to abuse involving gay, bisexual and transgender complainants and suspects.

Drawn up following consultation with experts and victim groups, it complements existing CPS policy and guidance regarding heterosexual victims of sexual offences.

The publication comes as the CPS today launches its new Rape and Serious Sexual Offences strategy (RASSO 2025).

Sue Hemming, CPS Director of Legal Services and LGBT champion, said: “The CPS is committed to providing access to justice for all the diverse communities we serve.

“We know LGBT victims face particular difficulties in reporting sexual violence, which is why it is important our prosecutors are alert to these issues.

“These can include overcoming stereotypes about gender roles and sexual behaviour, as well as fear of homophobic or transphobic attacks.

“I hope this guidance will give LGBT communities the confidence they need to come forward and help us bring perpetrators of sexual violence to justice.”

Areas explored by the guidance include:

  • Dispelling myths and stereotypes, such as the idea gay men are promiscuous or that trans women trick men into sex;
  • The power balance within relationships where gender is not a factor;
  • The extent to which the crime is motivated by the victim’s sexual or gender identity, including so-called ‘corrective rapes’;
  • Victim and witness support considerations such as whether the parties are out.

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