The demonization of young women was leading to a failure to secure more convictions of suspected rapists, according to Alison Saunders, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service in London.

At a talk at City Hall earlier this week, Saunders said that she wanted to ‘start a debate about how we in society view the offence of rape and whether we bring our conscious or subconscious views and stereotypes to our consideration of it’.

 

  • You can read an article by Cassie Williams HERE.
  • You can also read DS 5-0, a detective sergeant with 17 years’ experience of rape investigations HERE.

Alison Saunders was also interviewed by The Guardian.

 ‘If a girl goes out and gets drunk and falls over they are almost demonised in the media, and if they then become a victim, you can see how juries would bring their preconceptions to bear.’ Alison Saunders.

 

 

In her talk, Saunders said that it was ‘surprising’ that it was only in 1991 that the law was clarified to recognise rape could be committed within a marriage,’ she said. ‘Before then a husband could rape his wife with impunity. It is also not that long ago that we did not have rape specialists either investigating or prosecuting these cases and victim care was awful.’

Saunders said that she didn’t intend going back to ‘those dark days’ but went on to say that she thought that it was ‘worth some time reflecting on how far we have come and the improvements we have made before moving onto look at what else we need to do to improve the way in which these cases are dealt with now’. ‘I would not be as stupid as to say that everything is now perfect and that there is no room for improvement. There is,’ she said.

 

Profile photo of Jon Robins About Jon Robins
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award

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