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Poem by John Roedel

my brain and heart divorced a decade ago over who was to blame about how big of a mess have become eventually, they couldn't be in the same room with each other now my head and heart share custody of me stay with my brain during the week and my heart gets me on...

This is my life, written down on paper

My name is ‘Rosie’. This is my life written down on paper. My childhood was not a very good one. My parents were heroin addicts and as you can imagine they were not very good at being parents. Throughout my whole life I had no boundaries no one to tell me off. I was...

Jen is a brave survivor of the most horrific sexual abuse who still struggles every single day……

I WAS REPEATEDLY RAPED, SEXUALLY ASSAULTED, BEATEN AND TORTURED. At the age of four when I lived with my parents, I suffered from emotional abuse and beatings. At the age six until the age of thirteen I was raped, penetrated, sexually assaulted and beaten by few white...

Natural Thinking by Ria Walton

the frondescence of flourishing leaves  coming to life the essence of new life for spring the re birth of trees the birds singing their melodies sweet songs of morning nature alive with fresh new growth buds blooming their energy forthwith to bring, the floral...

The Three Girls Workshop

Three Girls Workshop With lockdown having restricted the hosting of events ‘in person’ the Foundation recently ran on online meet-up centred around the BAFTA award winning BBC mini-series Three Girls.  The programme (for which Maggie worked as the Programme...

“I feel lost, and I don’t know if this pain will ever leave me…..”

I  was abused from age 7 to 20. No one in my life knows except doctors/counsellors/helplines or the occasional Samaritan. I carry on every day like I'm absolutely fine. No one would ever know.   It's almost like having two lives which makes me very sad. I was...

Poem 2 by Michelle

In these eyes I hold the key, To a life you will never see. Beneath the surface of fake smiles

VICTIMS’ COMMISSIONER SAYS CULTURE CHANGE TO SUPPORT AGGRIEVED LONG OVERDUE

Categories - General


By Ryan Hooper, PA Chief Reporter 

A new, specific law is required to give more rights to those affected by crime, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales has said. Dame Vera Baird QC said a change of culture” was long overdue” to look after” victims of crime, amid concern of plummeting confidence levels in obtaining justice. 

A policy paper reviewing the judicial process makes 34 recommendations for the Government to enshrine in law. This includes a statutory right for sexual assault victims to be given free legal representation in some circumstances, a requirement to keep victims better updated on the progress of investigations, and for court-ordered compensation to be paid to the victim, and later recouped from the defendant, by the court rather than drip-fed on a weekly basis. 

Dame Vera told the PA news agency: 

“The point is to bring about a long-overdue change of culture whereby the criminal justice system starts to look after victims properly. At the moment we have a situation where a lot of victims say the process in the courts makes them feel worse than the crime did, and they’re dropping out quite quickly… due to how they’ve been treated. It is very bad if somebody is so poorly treated that they don’t feel that the state is supporting them when they have been wronged in this way. It’s terribly bad for them but it’s also terribly bad for us as a civilised society if we don’t give victims the support they need.”

Last year a Victims’ Commissioner survey suggested just 18% of respondents felt that victims were given enough support through the court process. 

A separate piece of research by Dame Vera also suggested that just 14% of respondents agreed with the notion that survivors of rape and sexual offences can get justice by reporting an incident to the police. Currently, all victims of crime have a set of rights set out in the Victims’ Code, with a new version coming into effect in April. 

The Conservatives pledged to enshrine this code into law in their manifesto, but legislation is yet to be introduced in Parliament. However, Dame Vera said she hopes her report will be of interest to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who she described as being extremely interested in victims’ rights. 

She added: “The Ministry of Justice has promised a victims’ law… it emerges (in manifestoes) and disappears. It would make a massive difference to victims if it was done. Victims are participants from start to finish, but they are currently treated more like bystanders. We must recognise justice cannot be delivered without victims and our justice system needs to reflect this. I’m calling for a redefinition of the victim that moves beyond treating them as simply an onlooker or maybe a witness, but as a recognised participant, with statutory rights to be informed, supported and to be able to make informed choices. This does not in any way undermine the rights of the defendant and does not make them a party to proceedings, or a decision-maker, but it does confirm victims as active contributors in their own right to the criminal justice process.”

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