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Victims of rape urged to report incidents to police

Daniella Westbrook is encouraging people to report rape after a survey revealed many women are not contacting police because of a lack of faith in the legal system.

The actress, who herself was the victim of rape 19 years ago, says much more support and help is now available and is urging people to come forward.

Read about Reveal Magazine's 'Report Every Rape' campaign here

See the Rape Crisis website here

Campaign for more female advisers for rape victims

Reveal Magazine and charity Rape Crisis are calling on the government to devote more funding for independent female advisers to help rape victims through the legal process.

In their survey, 86 percent of respondents said they believed this would help more victims come forwards,

Currently, Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVA) fulfil this role, but campaigners believe there need to be more of them.

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A quarter of victims 'doubt rapist will ever be convicted'

A survey of 1,000 adult women in the UK found that 16 percent of respondents said they have had sex against their will. Of these:

  • Only 78% did not report it to police
  • 26% did not think there was a strong chance of prosecution
  • 18% did not think there was enough support from the legal system to help them through the process

The latest national figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate that only 16% of the 95,000 rapes that occur in the UK annually are reported, and that only 1% of these end in a conviction.

You can get help and confidential advice from the National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999

Survey: Only one in five rape victims report to police

As few as one in five rape victims ever report it to the police, according to a new survey.

In a poll of 1,000 adult women in the UK, 16 percent of respondents said they have had sex against their will, either with someone they know or a stranger.

Of these, 78 percent said they did not report it, either because they were scared by what people would think of them, or because they thought there was not enough evidence.

The study was conducted by Reveal Magazine and supported by Rape Crisis, who are campaigning for more independent female advisors to support rape victims through the legal process.

You can get help and confidential advice from the National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999

Police search for man who raped 12-year-old girl

Police are searching for a man who raped a 12-year-old girl after pulling her to a woodland area near a play park in Milton Keynes.

The incident was reported to police on Saturday and a scene watch is currently in place to allow a forensic examination, a force spokeswoman said.

The girl was attacked around March 23 at about 3pm at the end of the play area in Harrowden, Bradville, in Milton Keynes.

The victim is described as a white girl, aged 12, 5ft, of slim build, with long shoulder length mid-brown hair. She was wearing glasses.

Police said the offender is described as a white man, aged around 45 and of skinny build.

He had very short grey/black hair. He spoke with a Scottish accent and was wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans and black Dr Martens boots.

Anglia

Man convicted of raping boy

Gavin Randall Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A man from Cambridge has been jailed for three years after being convicted of raping a young boy when he was a teenager. 29-year-old Gavin Randall of Kingsway, Cambridge, abused the boy at an address in the city at some point between 1998 and 2001.

The boy, who was about 10 at the time of the offence, went to police in September 2011 to report the assault.

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Met police action over rape claims 'catastrophic' for women

The Women's Resource Centre, a charity which supports women's organisations has condemned Metropolitan Police after an IPCC report found officers had pressurised women to drop rape claims:

Yet another catastrophic outcome for women and children as a result of serious and endemic institutionalised failings within the police, and even more worryingly within a specific unit of the police set up to deal with rape and sexual violence.

They are obviously not fit for purpose! When will the institutionalised sexism obviously rife across the country be properly and satisfactorily addressed? Furthermore, in the wake of £3billion worth of cuts to the women’s sector under this coalition government, when will the life-saving work of women's charitable organisations be fully resourced to ensure appropriate support is available to women who have experienced such heinous crimes?

– Vivienne Hayes, CEO, Women’s Resource Centre

IPCC: Police pressured woman to drop rape claim

Police from a heavily criticised sex crime unit pressured a woman to drop a rape claim against a man who went on to murder his two children, the police watchdog has said.

An earlier rape allegation against Jean Say was dismissed by a detective sergeant at the Southwark Sapphire unit, who said the circumstances did not constitute rape because the woman "consented".

Jean Say killed his son and daughter when they went to stay with him for a weekend.

Deputy chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Deborah Glass, said:

"There's no doubt this was an incredibly serious, shocking incident. We know with all the cases that we've dealt with that the consequences of not dealing with allegations of rape can be extremely serious.

"This is yet another tragic illustration of that."

Find more coverage of this story on ITV London

Failings at Met sex crime unit between 2008-2009

A report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission has found failings in the working practices of the Metropolitan Police's Sapphire sex crime unit between July 2008 & Sept 2009.

It found instances when officers failed to believe victims and in one example, a woman was pressured to drop a rape claim against a man who went on to murder his two children.

Deputy chairwoman of the IPCC Deborah Glass said it was a sorry chapter of the Sapphire Unit’s history.

"The pressure to meet targets as a measure of success, rather than focusing on the outcome for the victim, resulted in the police losing sight of what policing is about – protecting the public and deterring and detecting crime."

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