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Blogpost: Has rape in Harlow been “decriminalised?”

News / Fri 19th Feb 2021 at 12:02pm

WE HAVE always had the deepest respect for Sheila Coates MBE and her team at Synergy Rape Crisis Essex.

So when we were preparing our report on crimes of violence against women in Harlow, we invited Sheila to comment.

Sheila Coates of Synergy Rape Crisis Essex said:

​“The lack of justice for survivors of rape and all forms of sexual
violence and abuse in England and Wales continues to be completely
unacceptable.

​“The figures are stark and send the clear message that women’s
needs and rights, their safety, health and survival are not priorities.

​“Time and again, overwhelming evidence of the huge scale and
severe impacts of sexual violence and abuse are subsumed by fixation
with so-called false accusations and the myth of their prevalence.

​“Meanwhile, rape survivors are made to feel like the ones on
trial, with their credibility repeatedly questioned and undermined. And
they tell us of the trauma the criminal justice system, which is meant
to work for them, too often inflicts instead.

​“Where is the sense of urgency and determination from those
responsible for our criminal justice system? When such a serious,
violent crime as rape routinely goes unpunished, when the majority of
rapists walk free, surely it is time for radical action.”

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