Jill Greenfield urges major overhaul of criminal rape case procedures | Fieldfisher
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Jill Greenfield urges major overhaul of criminal rape case procedures

Following concerning Home Office figures on the number of women who discontinue with alleged rape cases, Jill Greenfield has said that the current process is simply not fit for purpose or properly resourced.

The statistics show that the number of women dropping out of rape cases has doubled to four in ten in six years, amid increasing court delays.

This equates to the proportion of rape victims withdrawing their support for a prosecution increasing from 19.7 per cent in 2015 to 42 per cent in 2021 and 2022.

This means the number of rape investigations moving to a charge has dropped from 7 per cent in 2015/16 to 1.3 per cent currently, equivalent to one in 70 cases.

Some rape victims have to wait up to five years before their case reaches court, with the average wait two years from the time of reporting to the completion of a trial.

Jill, who represented alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein in civil claims, said there needs to be a whole-scale rethink as to how criminal cases, often run in parallel, are investigated, progressed and brought to justice.

"If people lose faith in the justice system, abusers will never be brought to account for their actions.

"In my experience, very few perpetrators of sexual assault ever acknowledge their crimes or apologise, so victims desperately need the recognition of the courts about what was done to them.

"That's why Weinstein's very public imprisonment was so important to so many women."

Senior Associate Claire Glasgow is currently representing a claimant against Kevin Spacey for alleged sexual assault, as reported by the Telegraph.

Jill and regulatory partner Sarah Ellson are part of the current initiative with Time's Up UK to implement an independent standards authority within the entertainment sector to make it easier for victims of sexual abuse to report incidents without necessarily going to the police.

Read about our sexual assault claims and read one client's story.

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