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CPS supports MumsNet rape awareness campaign

12/03/2012

CPS supports MumsNet rape awareness campaign

Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said:

"I welcome this campaign by Mumsnet highlighting the extent of rape and sexual assault and the obstacles that society puts in front of those who report them. Rape and sexual assault are dreadful crimes and ones that are often difficult for someone to report because of fear, shame and embarrassment.

"As the Mumsnet survey shows, victims can also be reticent to come forward for fear of being demonised in court and even in the media.

"I support the message of the 'We Believe You campaign', its aim to raise awareness of the extent of these crimes, and to challenge preconceptions.

"As a society we need to be aware of the myths and stereotypes that members of the public who become jury members may hold and which have the potential to influence court outcomes and ultimately lives.

"We need to challenge these myths and stereotypes which prejudge victims and add to their ordeal; the campaign by Mumsnet is a very important step in doing this.

"We have done a lot of work in CPS London with our prosecutors to dispel these stereotypes internally and our performance in prosecuting these cases is improving. More than 200 CPS London lawyers are designated as rape specialists.

"The criteria for becoming a rape specialist are rigorously applied and prosecutors receive specific training. This means that the prosecutor's decision is based on an objective assessment of the evidence, ignoring stereotypical assumptions about the victim's behaviour.

"I am determined to ensure that victims are confident in coming forward and reporting these crimes and I believe the Mumsnet campaign will help us to achieve this."

Read more about the Mumsnet campaign here.

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