We’ve made a model letter for you to send to the individuals mentioned in the last post, if you want some guidance. We recommend adding some personal input, however, as template letters become quickly identifiable and can be dismissed.
We’ve also put the choice between ‘implement’ and ‘support’ in the first sentence. This is because, while Lynne Featherstone, Ken Clarke, Theresa May and Keir Starmercan implement the prosecution of rapists, Jo Johnson and Yvette Cooper can only support it.
Let us know if you get any responses!
I am writing to you to implement/support the call to prosecute rapists, not rape survivors. Rape and sexual assault are rarely taken seriously by those in authority. Survivors of rape are made to feel that they cannot report to the police for fear of being penalised themselves, or being disbelieved. [Insert personal view here – personal experiences if relevant]
There are many changes that need to be made in order to improve the rape conviction rate and change people’s attitudes to victims. You have the power to make these changes. I urge you to ensure that:
- Accusations of rape and sexual assault are taken seriously by police and courts and victims respected
- Victim blaming which focuses on the survivor’s clothing, profession, sexuality, race, ability, age, sexual history comes to an end
In particular, the police and Crown Prosecution Service should focus on prosecuting rapists and stop prosecuting rape victims for so-called false allegations. Sex workers who are working together in safety should also not be prosecuted – the CPS has the power to decide that such prosecutions are not in the public interest.
If officers and prosecutors are not sacked for their negligent treatment of rape and sexual assault, they are led to believe that it is acceptable behaviour. The power remains in the hands of those who do not respect the very people they are meant to be protecting.
I urge you to address this problem, as it affects everyone. To refuse to do so is to enable rape-apologism and victim-blaming and leaves violent attackers free to attack again.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Donate to SlutWalk London 2012! We still need over £2,000 for a PA system, permits, stage etc.
A film against rape We are making a self-help film about rape which educates us instead of telling us to be ashamed.
SlutWalk London 2012!
Sheila Farmer's prosecution dropped
Photos: Tom Radenz and Claire Butler