Dear ‘Your Honour’
I am writing to you because I want you to know how unjust the justice system really is.
I am a rape survivor and I had to face the perpetrator in court.
You will know all about the court and it’s processes being a judge and all. Anyway the point of this letter is for me to highlight to you the lack of support for rape victims.
First of all you have to fight so hard to even get to court. Most don’t even reach that stage.
According to Rape Crisis England and Wales 1 in 5 women between the ages of 16-59 have experienced sexual violence at some point in their life. But only 15% of those actually report it to the police.
So reporting it and getting to Court is a massive hurdle overcome in itself. A hurdle that isn’t easy to overcome when you are recovering from the horror and trauma of rape itself.
Then comes the trial. It starts and you are made to watch your video evidence in full in front of a jury of 12 people.
To relive every agonising moment, to hear the most personal and traumatic events replayed in front of a court full of strangers; to see their expressions, and reactions. Those people are considering everything about you’re future and with your fate in their hands.
The nerves that fill you up to the brim. Forget eating, sleeping or functioning.
A minute lasts all day.
I was given a room to wait in but when I went out of that room to the toilet I saw the perpetrators family and general members of the public who had come to watch the trial.
Why are general public allowed?
His family laughed when I gave evidence and NOTHING was done about that.
The jury have to be 99.9 % sure of guilt or they have to acquit the accused.
This is the case for all crimes, so why is the conviction rate for rapists so disproportionately low compared to other crimes?
The way the court deals with rape and abuse needs to be reviewed. So many rape victims don’t report the crime through fear of not receiving justice or support. And they are right!
According to ‘Amnesty’ a third of people believe that women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped!!
There has to be a fairer way to hold trials. Something needs to change. There has to be more support for the victim.
We need to have open and honest conversations about the way society views rape and how victim blaming is commonplace.
Simple little things like a separate toilet for people who are seated in the witness protection suite so we don’t have to face anyone we don’t want to see. It isn’t rocket science but it would make a massive difference to victims.
The pain lives on long after the decision of the court.
Please please hear us.
Give us support and understanding.
I know people have to have a fair trial but my trial was far from it and nobody stood up for me.
The decision on my case was a few years ago now, but it never goes away, it never ends.
The Masked Avenger