Time for greater focus on conviction and prosecution rates for sexual violence and rape

Green Party Deputy Leader Clare Bailey MLA has today, Monday 17th October, welcomed the Assembly’s endorsement of her amendment to a motion on domestic abuse, rape and sexual violence.

“Today I proposed an amendment calling on the Northern Ireland Executive and the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to improve rape prosecution and conviction rates. I am delighted that this amendment received widespread cross-party support in the Assembly.

“Between 2010 and 2014, no prosecution was recommended in 83% of rape cases. This is unacceptable and my amendment ensures that there is a focus on tackling this low level of prosecution for rape and sexual violence cases. I propose doing this by calling on the PPS to begin collecting and publishing detailed data on why rape prosecutions are not successful, and further call on the Minister for Justice to instruct the Criminal Justice Inspectorate to undertake a full thematic review of sexual violence and abuse.

“The Minister for Justice has also recently announced that she will bring forward legislation to tackle domestic abuse and coercive control within the year. I welcome this and – as a member of the Justice Committee – will work to ensure that these commitments are delivered.”

ENDS
Notes to editors:

The amended motions read as follows;

‘That this Assembly expresses deep concern at the levels of domestic abuse, rape and sexual crime; encourages victims of these crimes to come forward; welcomes the increased reporting of domestic abuse, rape and sexual crime but recognises that a high level of underreporting still exists; notes that an analysis of final prosecutorial decisions between 2010 and 2014 shows that in 83 per cent of rape cases no prosecution was recommended; calls on the Executive to work together to address domestic abuse, rape and sexual crime and to support victims and survivors of such crimes; and further calls on the Public Prosecution Service to work to improve rape prosecution and conviction rates.’

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