Scotland

Video aims to demystify justice system for rape survivors

Rape generic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The new video aims to demystify the justice process

Rape Crisis Scotland has launched an updated video guide to help survivors of sexual violence understand the criminal justice system.

It sets out each stage of the process clearly and features key people that survivors will come into contact with.

These include a specially trained police officer, lawyers and a judge.

The video is designed to be an accessible and comprehensive guide to a system many survivors describe as complex and disorientating.

It is also hoped it the video will increase access to justice for crimes Rape Crisis Scotland said are widely under-reported.

'No silver bullet'

To mark the launch justice secretary Humza Yousaf and Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, co-chairs of the Victims Taskforce, will meet with a group of survivors advocating for change.

Sandy Brindley, of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: "There's no silver bullet when it comes to addressing the issues survivors experience within the Criminal Justice System, and even though there has been significant effort and improvements in recent years, we should be in no doubt that there is much more to do.

"Rape Crisis have always and will always support survivors whether they choose to report or not, but we believe that knowledge is power and are glad to be relaunching this video and demystifying the justice process.

"We're pleased that the Cabinet Secretary and Lord Advocate have set aside the time to meet directly with those who have experience of seeking justice, and we hope their voices are heard."

'Daunting'

Facilitated by Rape Crisis Scotland, the Survivor Reference Group is made up of survivors from across Scotland who have had some degree of engagement with the justice system.

The group has worked to identify common issues that survivors experience in pursuing justice and make recommendations for improvement.

Mr Yousaf said: "Listening to the views of survivors of rape and sexual assault is vital as we work to put victims' rights at the centre of the justice system.

"I am grateful to the members of the Survivor Reference Group who are prepared to speak out where the system is not delivering for their needs.

"We know the criminal justice process can be daunting and I am determined that we continue to make improvements to ensure it is trauma-informed at every stage."

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