So, I came across an article the other day and have been meaning to share some of my outrage and hurt over it:
“Everyone with an interest in the protection of women is encouraging rape victims to come forward and it seems that they are starting to.
Good news, that seems like it could be a step forward, so why haven’t the number of convictions or even prosecutions risen also?
It is therefore profoundly disappointing that we have not seen a surge in the number of decisions to prosecute. In fact, the proportion of rapes being sent for charges, prosecuted and convicted have been shrinking every year under this Government.
How is this progress? This is no better than almost 10 years ago when I reported rape. I hoped, stupidly perhaps, that things were getting better. It seems the right noises are being made, but ultimately too little is changing.
the Safer London Foundation reported that gangs were switching from knifing their rivals in revenge to raping their girlfriends because criminal charges and a lengthy jail sentence are so much less likely to arise from a rape.
That is shocking. Horribly, sickeningly shocking. These men rape, because they know they can hurt their rivals with little chance of prosecution. The wrong message is being sent to these people. Yes, they should be afraid of prosecution if they knife someone- I hope it deters them, but similarly, they should be deterred from rape for the same reasons. Men should know that if they rape they are going to be detained, prosecuted and then removed from society. It’s like we are giving rapists a free pass.
To be a victim of rape is hell- I don’t quite know how else to describe it. Unless you have been raped, you cannot truly understand what it is to live through it, and then with it. I am confident I am on a journey to healing, yet equally confident that my rapes will be with me for the rest of my life. It is a life sentence.. and what do the rapists get? For many- most even, nothing.
I read a comment on a similar article to this and someone had written “it’s like a slap in the face to survivors of rape”. No, it isn’t, that doesn’t even come close to the pain and the disgust I feel right now. It makes me feel like we don’t matter, that I don’t matter.
So, what are our government doing to ensure rapists think twice before raping? What are they doing to show those victims they will do everything they can to find justice for them? Sweet F A from the looks of it.
It is all well and good to publish stats showing the rise in reporting of rapes, but that doesn’t get rapists off the streets. They are not doing enough. Putting a victim of rape through the hell of reporting and then not seeking justice for her is a crime in itself.
I have heard (read) women describe their experience of reporting as feeling raped all over again. I concur. I have done it, reported and re-lived my ordeal, yet nothing was done. Nothing.
Why encourage victims to come forward, what is the purpose? It sure as hell isn’t to bring the rapist to justice. It may make the numbers look good for the government, but that is all.
So UK Government, don’t bother encouraging victims to come forward if you aren’t going to do anything about it. Prosecute- find justice for these women (and men). They deserve it. We deserve it. I deserve it.