Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-11-06

UK: Rape Cases Resulting in Fewer Convictions, More Cautions

Government figures in the United Kingdom show that the number of offenders cautioned for rape is increasing, as is the number of rape reports, but that convictions are becoming rarer. In 1994, only 19 people received cautions for rape, but in 2004 that number had climbed to 40, a significant number when considered alongside only 791 convictions that year, according to Reuters. A caution can be given by a senior police officer when there is an admission of guilt; the offender is put on the sex offender register, and the caution shows up on his criminal record.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) claims that cautions are given only in rare circumstances, most frequently to juvenile offenders, in cases that date back several decades, or when a victim wants an admission of guilt but does not want to pursue a trial, reports BBC. However, women’s groups are outraged by the increasing number of cautions, and called for more transparency about when cautions were used. Nicola Harwin, chief executive of Women’s Aid, told the Times that “it is worrying that cautioning for rape is something that is not discussed, explored or explained. We need to be told the exact circumstances in which cautions are given.”

The news about cautioning comes just a few weeks after an announcement that the government would be exploring changes in the way rape cases are handled in order to raise the conviction rate. Reuters reports that currently, only one in 20 rape cases results in a conviction, as opposed to one in three thirty years ago. Amnesty International UK applauded the government’s effort to improve handling of rape cases, but cautioned that the government should support “an integrated strategy to end all types of violence against women in Britain – including, for instance, prevention through education and public-awareness schemes and better victim support.”

Media Resources: BBC 4/10/06; Reuters 4/10/06; Times 4/10/06; Amnesty International United Kingdom, 3/29/06


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
 
2/27/2015 Houston Is Finally Testing a Backlog of Thirty-Year-Old Rape Kits - The city of Houston, Texas has finally begun testing decades-old rape kits - and in just one week, those have led to hundreds of leads. Houston is one of the first of the major cities nation-wide to clear their backlog of over 6,000 untested rape kit s- some of which were more than thirty years old. . . .
 
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .