30th November 2020   •   article
Police are dropping Asian and black women rape cases over stereotyping, report finds


by Barfi Culture Team | @barfi_culture.
Image: Unsplash
Stereotyping by UK police and prosecutors is behind a decline in the number of suspects being charged with rape and sexual assault cases, a report by women's organisations has found.

It found that white suspects were more likely to avoid further investigation if a victim was from a minority group. Moreover, offenders were more likely to be prosecuted if they were from a minority group.

In one case highlighted in the report, a woman who had been sexually abused by her grandfather said the authorities kept referring to it as 'honour-based violence' when it was irrelevant.

"The first question they kept asking me was oh are you scared of forced marriage and because they’re white and stuff they just assumed ‘she’s Pakistani, any problem she’s gonna have is a forced marriage’. Even [the specialist BME advocate] was really confused, she was like in the statement we’ve never said anything about forced marriage. That’s the only thing they were looking at."

The story was first reported in The Times newspaper today.

The report was drawn up by the Centre for Women’s Justice, the End Violence against Women Coalition, Imkaan and Rape Crisis England and Wales.

The report also says the Crown Prosecution Service had (wrongly) implied to prosecutors that rape cases could be closed if it was 'one word against another' without any corroborating evidence.

Sumanta Roy, Head of Research for Imkaan said,

"Black and minoritised women tell us about the level of racism and sexism and other types of discrimination from police and juries; women from lower social-economic backgrounds are subject to a certain kind of attack on their credibility; and disabled women encounter attitudes that disbelieve they can be raped."

The report is available from here
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