Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons

Rape Crisis South London Visit

As part of my work to improve protection for rape victims in the criminal justice system this month I met Rape Crisis South London to hear about their vital efforts supporting victims of rape and sexual assault through the ordeal of trial. In 10 of the recent cases Rape Crisis South London worked, on a victim’s previous sexual activity and sexual preferences was raised in court. One of the Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVA) told me it was difficult to reassure victims about what awaits them in court because they can’t guarantee that they won’t be grilled about their previous sexual history. The fear of this and having it splashed across social media deters  victims from reporting to the police or giving evidence at trial.

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