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Sunday, 22 November 2009

Government review of sex crime misses male rape

While I am delighted that the Government is currently reviewing sex crimes, and looking at announcing its ten year strategy to tackle violence against women a major part is missing from the review itself.

Baroness Stern, a cross-bench peer is leading the review of sex crime and she is very concerned that despite the review and the ten year strategy rapists will continue to walk free in the future.

Baroness Stern has been visiting police forces with a better track record ensuring that this best practice is seen and then shared amongst other forces rather than the usual way of seeing the worst ones and telling them to improve.

Baroness Stern feels that late-night transport for women would help to reduce attacks but also wants education for boys, teaching them the importance of sexual consent.

Given Britain has the lowest rape conviction rate in Europe, I agree that often radical ideas are needed but I also stress a word of caution to Baroness Stern.

Women are not the only victims of rape, male rape is more common than most people think. Research statistics tell us that almost 3% of men reported a non-consensual sexual experience as adults and over 5% of men reported sexual abuse as a child.

So, while I am more for ensuring rape conviction goes up, let us not forget it is both men and women who can be raped, as well as men and women who can rape.

If you have any suggestions for Baroness Stern, or just want to remind her that men can be victims of rape as well you can contact her here.

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