RCNI ask for a response as delay is signaled in the extension of the DPP’s Reasons Project to rape victims

Rape Crisis Network Ireland call on the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, to reassure rape victims and respond to statements in the Office of the DPP Annual Report 2012, which signals a very lengthy delay to  any expansion of the giving reasons for non-prosecution project, including to victims of rape.

Executive Director Fiona Neary said ‘We know that treating victims with dignity and respect at every stage of the legal system encourages others to come forward, when they see that the trauma and devastation of rape crimes is recognized by the state – even when it cannot deliver a prosecution. We know that giving victims’ information assists in their recovery. Treating victims with dignity throughout is a critical component of a legal system, which recognizes that terrible crimes have been committed, and a person violated, when sometimes these crimes cannot be prosecuted. It enables victims to move on with their lives, knowing that they stood up to their attacker and did everything they could to prevent further rape crimes.

‘Rape victims have told us how they feel when they are not given information by the legal system: “I feel my case isn’t important to them. I was forgotten about” (Rape and Justice Ireland, 2009).

‘RCNI call on the Government to reassure victims of sexual violence crimes and demonstrate commitment to them by committing to resourcing the OPPD to provide reasons to victims of sexual crimes. RCNI ask “what are the priorities of this country if is not committing resources to those who have been violated?”

‘Under the EU Directive on the Support of Crime Victims, the State will be obliged to give reasons to victims of sexual crime for not bringing a prosecution in their case. The Government should take steps now therefore to ensure that the DPP is given the resources to put in place an efficient, compassionate and fair system to provide reasons to victims for her decisions.’

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Cliona Saidlear