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Saturday, July 20, 2024

We Must Continue to Support Survivors When Reporting Sexual Crimes

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SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Emma Roddick has said the Scottish Government must continue to work with its justice partners to make reporting sexual crimes easier on survivors.

The question, asked in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday [26th June], comes as the Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain KC, is seeking to overturn an 87-year-old rule which sees a victim’s distress or statement made shortly after an alleged crime being used as corroboration.  

Corroboration is seen by many dedicated campaigners as a “barrier to justice” as it creates additional layers to proving a sexual crime which may be hard for victims to obtain.

Speaking afterwards, Emma said:

“We need to make the process of reporting sexual crimes much easier on survivors, given how distressing it is for victims to relive the experience going through the court process, which can re-open the trauma of the initial incident all over again.

“Corroboration clearly presents a massive barrier for victims of such crimes, presenting an unfairly high bar to meet in order for a conviction to be made.

“This is not how the system should work and I am glad to see the Lord Advocate seeking to make changes that are so desperately needed.

“We need to continue pushing for further changes to be made for the justice system to make the process as easy as possible for survivors of sexual crimes to feel comfortable enough to use their voice and for it to be listened to, resulting in justice.”

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