News – Pre-recorded evidence improves rape victims’ experience of court – Ministry of Justice and The Rt. Hon Dominic Raab MP

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Rape victims who pre-record their evidence are more likely to have a better experience of the court process, findings published today (3 April 2023) reveal.

Today’s report finds that victims who use the measure, which has been available in all Crown Courts in England and Wales since September last year, find their experience less intimidating as they do not have to face their alleged attacker in the full glare of a courtroom.

Other benefits include improved recall of events as a result of cross-examination being brought forward, normally nearer to the time of the alleged offence, and knowing exactly when they will need to give evidence. It also meant they were able to access vital support services earlier, such as therapy, without fear that it could be used against them in cross-examination.

The rollout of pre-recorded evidence is one of several actions the government is taking as part of the Rape Review Action Plan to give every victim the confidence to come forward and get support they need, and bring more rapists to justice. Our actions are working, the latest figures show that the number of rape cases reaching Crown Court has doubled since the Rape Review was commissioned in 2019 and that the government is closer to its target of returning to 2016 levels by the end of this Parliament. Pre-recorded evidence will help ensure all cases reaching court are supported in the appropriate way to see justice delivered.

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