Barbara Keeley

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

Barbara tells Government to rethink proposals for anonymity for rape defendants

BK MEN 2Barbara has called on the Government to rethink their proposal to give anonymity to rape defendants, arguing that it will deter other victims of rape from coming forward and sends a message that victims of rape are not to be believed. The Government came under heavy criticism earlier this week by Labour MPs during an adjournment debate in Westminster.

Barbara said:

“The Government should abandon their plans to change the rules for prosecuting rape cases by granting anonymity to rape defendants. The reality is that it is often only after many rapes that a defendant is finally brought to court and it is only when previous victims see the name and details of the defendant that they too find the courage to come forward.

“The Government needs to explain why only rape defendants are to be granted anonymity under their proposal and not those accused of other crimes. To make only rape defendants anonymous sends a message to a jury that rape victims are not to be believed. It also says to a woman who has been raped and brave enough to come forward – we don’t believe you.

“Great progress was made under the last Labour government on bringing more rapists to justice. This ill-conceived proposal from the new Government will turn the clock back thirty years.”

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