Third APPG report: Survivors’ experience of court and applying for compensation

I’m not sure how I missed this – drowning in thesis writing I’d guess – but there was a third APPG report published in October. This included data that I submitted from my research. The APPG recommendations were:

1. All court staff should undergo mandatory training that gives them a basic
knowledge of trauma and its impact on witnesses.

2. The Government should legislate so that witnesses attending a criminal trial under
a court summons or police warning have a statutory right to paid leave and
witnesses without a court summons or police warning have a right to unpaid leave.

3. All survivors of sexual violence and abuse should have an automatic right to
special measures such as video links to give evidence; it should not be at the
judge’s discretion.

4. The Government should urgently make an assessment of the number of
Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs), their geographical spread, their
average caseload and the variability in quality of service.

5. The Government should ensure justice is commensurate with the crime by:
• Consulting with survivors of childhood sexual abuse on the appropriate
length of sentences for offenders, taking into consideration the lifelong
impact of abuse
• Extending the Unduly Lenient Scheme to include all child sexual abuse
offences in order that survivors can appeal lenient sentences
• Legislating so that Parole Board always whether offenders seeking
parole have fully disclosed information about their victims

6. Government should publish a revised Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
without delay and ensure it consults thoroughly with specialist sexual violence and
abuse services (SSVSS) so that the needs of survivors are reflected in the new
Scheme. The Scheme should include measures to:
• Abolish the unspent convictions rule for survivors of child sexual abuse.
• Abolish the time limit for application for compensation for crimes of
sexual violence and abuse.
• Extend the definition of violent crime, and thereby eligibility for the
Scheme, to include non-contact forms of child sexual abuse including
• Recognise children can’t consent to their own sexual abuse.

The last one is so fundamental. You can read the full report here.

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