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Survey: 75% of UK rape victims’ mental health affected by police

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By: Nihal Abu Al-Saud

Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 12:31 PM

A survey conducted in Britain and published by The Guardian newspaper, an official study funded by the UK Home Office, highlighted for the first time the trauma experienced by rape survivors as a direct result of their contact with the police.

Three quarters of respondents to the largest survey of rape and sexual assault survivors in England and Wales said their mental health had been affected as a direct result of the police handling of their case.

The survey, funded by the Home Office, reveals many failings in the policing of serious sex crimes, and reveals that countless respondents said their rapist had re-offended against them and/or others.

Women described being more traumatized by their experience with the police than by the actual rape itself, when one woman wrote, “I fear the police more than being raped again.”

Only 14% of participants said they felt safer as a result of the police, and 39% said they felt less safe.

Andrea Simon, director of the Coalition to End Violence Against Women, said the survey showed the criminal justice system was the “most harmful site” for rape survivors, and she said it was a fundamental human rights issue.

The survey revealed that 190 survivors of assaults decided not to report to the police, and the most common reason was that they felt ashamed and embarrassed and did not believe what happened to them afterwards. 31% of them said they did not feel safe with the authorities, and half of them said the authorities were “nice” to them.

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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