Yvette Cooper MP

Working hard for Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford & Knottingley

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Statement on Hampshire Constabulary compensation to rape victim

In response to news Hampshire Constabulary have agreed a £20,000 out-of-court settlement with a rape victim after officers failed to investigate her complaint properly and arrested her, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said:

“For a rape victim to be threatened herself with prosecution after asking the police to help is truly dreadful. This case shows far too little has been done to make sure victims get the help and support they need.

“Once again we have seen a victim judged rather than believed - and poor investigation of a very serious offence. And it isn't the only case. Over the last five years we have seen an appalling drop in rape prosecutions and convictions even though the number of reported cases has gone up. 

“The Government has done nothing to tackle this "culture of disbelief" in many police forces, and instead the specialist officers needed to deal with sexual offences are being cut back. There is now a desperate need for higher national standards in dealing with these serious sexual offences. And we need urgent assurances that more specialist teams will not be cut in the next Home Office budget cuts.

“It is extremely important and very welcome that the victim in this case has been able to hold the police to account and get further justice and compensation as a result of the Human Rights Act. The Government must not undermine human rights protection for vulnerable victims of crime.”

ENDS

Reactions

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commented 2015-05-31 09:44:52 +0100
£2000 is a paltry amount to compensate for the additional trauma this victim underwent, not that money could ever wipe out the demolition of self confidence caused first by the rape, and then redoubled by the failure to believe the victim. Until we see a complete culture change with reference to sexual behaviour in this country. There is a presumption that if a woman EVER wants sex, she ALWAYS wants sex, ie, that she forfeits the right to say no. There are still too many men out there who see increased sexual equality as open season for them to hit on any and all women. There are indeed many who think that women should be available, and if they don’t make themselves available, they should be forced to. And sadly, a lot of those men are in the police force still.

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