Anger at Scottish policy that may force rape victims to testify

The Guardian

March 26, 2018

By Nick Dowson

Campaigners say move to compel court appearance if deemed in public interest is inhumane

Campaigners in Scotland have expressed anger at new guidance that could force rape victims to give evidence against their will.

Rape Crisis Scotland, , have hit out at the new “reluctant complainers” policy which means rape victims who try to withdraw from cases may be compelled to testify where prosecution is deemed to be in the public interest.

“For anyone who has the courage to report it and then gets to the point where they can’t continue – to then force them to testify is inhumane,” said Sandy Brindley, the chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland. “It’s also self-defeating – if you have to put them in the cells the night before it’s not going to be useful evidence.”

Rape Crisis Scotland has written an open letter expressing its concern to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), which is responsible for prosecutions in Scotland.

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