Victims of sexual crime can carry the physical and mental anguish with them for years, if not their whole lifetime.
All deserve justice but for a case to be brought to court, there has to be a thorough examination of the circumstances so the facts can be established – a difficult task for all involved.
Sadly, for many survivors of sexual violence the thought of having to relive their ordeal to investigating officers – and later, potentially, in a courtroom – is enough to stop them speaking out against their attacker.
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Today we’ve published the Survivor Reference Group: Police Responses in Scotland Report, a collation of survivors experiences of reporting sexual crimes and what needs to change:https://t.co/0mD1A8jhlf
— Rape Crisis Scotland (@rapecrisisscot) November 3, 2021
For some, a general scepticism of the police can be a huge obstacle.
Barriers have to be broken down but a new report suggests victims of sexual violence are being let down, even when they do report a crime.
It says urgent action is required in order to improve the situation and ensure victims are properly supported in the justice system.
“When I reached the path it in was complete darkness, my heart just sank because I suddenly thought to myself 'oh god, this is how things happen'.” || COP26: Police Scotland apologises after last minute diversion forced people to walk through unlit park https://t.co/sqNbcradFx
— Beth Murray (@Beth_Murray_) November 2, 2021
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone – who has engaged on the issue – and his senior team, must now show they are serious about addressing the shortcomings.
And the force must be absolutely transparent about how they go about that process.
Police Scotland has a duty to provide a safe haven for victims of sexual violence, not an environment where trust is broken and trauma heightened.