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Law Commission to review the impact of ‘rape myths’ on criminal proceedings

Law Commission to review the impact of ‘rape myths’ on criminal proceedings
The Law Commission is launching a project to review how misconceptions surrounding sexual harm jeopardise justice for victims.

A project aimed at countering misconceptions surrounding sexual harm at trial has been announced by the Law Commission

The legal review body’s project will also assess how evidence is used in the prosecution of sexual offences.

It comes after a review into how the criminal justice system handles rape cases found one in two victims who report being raped withdrew from the investigation.

Em junho, the Government’s ‘rape review’ found that charges, prosecutions and convictions for rape have fallen over the last five years, despite the prevalence of sexual crimes remaining steady.

This important review will look closely at how to improve the trial process – ensuring only relevant evidence is used and that damaging misconceptions about these crimes are consigned to the past

Justice minister Victoria Atkins

The Law Commission’s new review will scrutinise the law, guidance and practice relating to the trial process in prosecutions of sexual offences – including rape – and consider the need for reform.

The project aims to increase the understanding of consent and sexual harm and improve the treatment of victims, while ensuring that defendants receive a fair trial.

Justice minister Victoria Atkins said the review will look closely at how to improve the trial process by ensuring only relevant evidence is used and that damaging misconceptions – known as “rape myths” – about these crimes are “consigned to the past”.

Ela disse: “It is vital victims of rape and sexual violence have confidence in the justice system and are treated with the utmost fairness in court.

“This important review will look closely at how to improve the trial process – ensuring only relevant evidence is used and that damaging misconceptions about these crimes are consigned to the past.

“We’re grateful to the Law Commission for carrying out this work, which builds on the Government’s action plan to transform the response to rape and increase the volume of cases going through the system.”