This section is a work in progress and we’re learning as we go. If you have suggestions or can recommend a useful resource, please let us know.
Please STOP HERE and take a few minutes to sign and share this petition to demand that the UK government ratify the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women. This law which helps prevent violence, protect survivors and prosecute perpetrators, was signed by the government in 2012 but they still haven’t put it into practice. If ratified, the law would improve education, prevent further cuts to domestic violence refuges and specialist support services and make it a legal requirement for the government to provide sufficient shelter and support for survivors.
- Around 85 % of adults raped in the UK never report to the police.
- For those that do, it is harder today to successfully prosecute a rapist than it was in 1977. Over the past 40 years, the attrition rate for rape has plummeted from 32% to 5.6%.
- Of the cases which make it to court, just 1 in 30 can expect to win a guilty verdict.
- In parts of the UK, up to quarter of reported rapes have not even recorded as crimes. Of those, only 28% were being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for further action.
- The more you need support to access justice, the less likely you are to get it. People with mental health issues are 40% less likely to have their case referred for prosecution. Those with learning difficulties see their chances reduced by 67%.
- Dorset Police has one of the UK’s worst rate of conviction for rape, with 82 recorded rapes per conviction in 2018. 2013-2019 the number of recorded rapes increased by 261%. In 2018 34 cases were referred to the CPS, down 43% compared with 2014. 12 charges were brought (down 57%) and there were eight convictions (down 64%). By 2020 they had still only managed 28 prosecutions for the 782 rape reports they received that year.
Watch this incredible video interview with survivor Fern Champion (courtesy: BBC News) speaking out about her experience, which was also Gaia’s and so many others’. Content warning: video contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence.
- Hundreds of vulnerable patients have died since 2012 following failings by health bodies. Independent investigations have found poor, inadequate or delayed care
- 75% of mental health issues develop under the age of 24, often as a result of trauma, yet young people’s services receive less than 7% of mental health funding.
- The Association of Child Psychotherapists identifies a ‘silent catastrophe’ in child and adolescent mental health services. Support on the NHS, especially in terms of specialist or acute services, is becoming increasingly difficult to access. The result has been rising suicide rates and countless people with nowhere else to go into hospital, increasing pressure on A&E departments.
Sexual Violence & Mental Health
Almost half of women who experience severe mental distress are survivors of sexual violence.
According to a report produced by the Women’s Resource Centre and Rape Crisis (England and Wales), funding cuts have forced over half of Rape Crisis centres to cut services or close down, with just 21% of services now fully funded and survivors waiting on average three months for support and counselling. The report concludes that support for those needing to rebuild their lives after rape has been turned into “a privilege determined by a postcode lottery.”
Survivors of sexual and domestic violence are now being turned away from shelters and onto the streets at a rate of 200 per day.
Find out more
To learn more about families like us fighting for truth, justice and accountability after losing someone they love in state care or in detention, visit INQUEST
To learn more about sexual and domestic violence, support for survivors and campaigns for change, check out:
- A Bill for Survivors: Womens Aid’s case for a bill to transform the national response to domestic abuse
- The Changing Landscape of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services: all party parliamentary group on domestic and sexual violence inquiry