Rape Crisis responds to verdicts in trial of Max Clifford

28 Apr 2014

This afternoon (Monday 28th April 2014), Rape Crisis England & Wales responded to the news that publicist Max Clifford has been found guilty on eight separate counts of indecent assault, not guilty on a further two, and that the jury was unable to reach a verdict on a final, eleventh count.

Rape Crisis England & Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell commented:

“It is clear that the ten remaining jurors in this case have taken their significant responsibility very seriously, deliberating long and hard over the evidence presented in court.

This will have been greatly appreciated by the victims and witnesses involved and will no doubt provide reassurance to others currently going through the criminal justice system or considering reporting crimes of sexual violence to the police.

At Rape Crisis we have been contacted in the past by jurors who have been upset or traumatised by their experience of serving in sexual violence cases and we understand what an especially challenging job it can be.

These verdicts are a reminder of how important it is to allow the independent Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to pursue cases of non-recent sexual violence through the courts where there is sufficient evidence to do so.

Through our 40 years’ frontline experience of providing specialist services to women and girls affected by sexual violence of any kind at any time in their lives, Rape Crisis knows how difficult it can be to report such crimes, or even for a survivor to confide in anyone in their life about what they’ve been through.

Our member Rape Crisis Centres offer specialist support, advocacy and counselling and over 60% of those they currently work with are survivors of non-recent sexual violence, including adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

Government statistics indicate that only 15% of those who experience sexual violence currently choose to report to the police.

This figure will not increase until commonly-held myths about sexual violence, including the idea that women often lie about being raped or that a survivor can in some way be held responsible for violence perpetrated against them, are tackled and dispelled.

One of Rape Crisis’s main aims is therefore to raise widespread awareness and understanding of the realities of sexual violence, its prevalence and the long-term, often lifelong, impacts it has on lives and communities.

Regardless of how long ago their experiences took place or whether or not they choose to report to the police, it remains vital that all sexual violence survivors have access to the specialist, confidential and independent support services that Rape Crisis Centres provide.”

Rape Crisis encourages any woman or girl whose life has been affected by sexual violence of any kind at any time to find details of her nearest Rape Crisis services here. This website also contains information for male sexual violence survivors.