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The Decriminalisation of Rape

The justice system is failing survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and needs to change.

Rape and sexual abuse have been effectively decriminalised.

55,259 rapes were reported in 2019.

During the same period, there were just 1,659 rape prosecutions and 702 convictions.

In this report, Rape Crisis England & Wales, Imkaan, the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), and the Centre for Women's Justice find 'rape myths' throughout the police and courts system.

We call for major changes to police and prosecutor work practices, a Special Commission on juries, wraparound victim support, and research on which women don’t report rape and why.

Download the report

Despite the high prevalence of rape and sexual abuse and the increase in reporting in recent years, prosecutions and convictions have dropped to the lowest since records began.

Home Office figures suggest that rape complainants now have a 1 in 70 chance of a complaint made to the police resulting in a charge, let alone a conviction.

This represents a truly unprecedented crisis in rape prosecutions.

An illustration of two women with no facial details stand side by side with their right arms raised up and their hands in a fist.