Sara Payne Visits City Rape Centre; CRIME: Victims' Champion Hears How Law Treats Abused Women

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), September 29, 2009 | Go to article overview

Sara Payne Visits City Rape Centre; CRIME: Victims' Champion Hears How Law Treats Abused Women


Byline: Cara Simpson

VICTIMS' Champion Sara Payne visited a city rape and sexual abuse centre to help understand women's experiences with the criminal justice system.

Ms Payne, whose daughter Sarah was murdered in 2000, visited the Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (Crasac) in Radford to speak to rape victims and hear how their complaints are dealt with by the police and Crime Prosecution Service.

She was appointed Victims' Champion in January to act as a new independent public voice for victims of and witnesses to crime.

During her visit, she aimed to discover what factors influenced a rape victim to go to the police, what could be done to improve victims' confidence in reporting an offence and how to stop victims withdrawing a complaint.

Her findings and recommendations will form part of the cross-government Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, which will be published in autumn 2009.

Ms Payne said: "I have been very moved by the courage of the people I met in Coventry.

"They have all had the unimaginable task of putting these horrific experiences behind them and trying to move on with their lives. …

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