Thursday, 16 June 2011

Letter to the CPS (Wanted to share)

Dear *****,

                   I do hope I have sent this letter to the correct recipient if not please forward on this letter to the appropriate person. You won’t realise this but today (15
th June) marks the three month anniversary that I discovered you were not going to prosecute the man who sexually assaulted me on 23rd October 2010. Making this report was the hardest decision I have ever made however I was filled with confidence when I received excellent treatment from the **** police and the full support and dedication from my detective constable *****. I have not been as fortunate with my experience of the legal system and with yourselves. Being a victim of sexual assault has destroyed and disrupted my entire life. I have PTSD, depression, been suicidal, have to see a therapist twice a week, have had to take a year of out of university due to not coping and had to take months off worth without pay due to all of above, and because your decision allowed my abuser to return to work in the same building as me. I haven’t been able to step foot in that building since realising your decision. 

Whilst naturally my experience has destroyed my life another thing has greatly impacted me. And that was my right to justice, my right to a trial in court was taken away from me by your decision. A decision I fail to understand, that my detective failed to understand, that my ISVA at my rape crisis centre failed to understand. After learning your decision I spent an entire 31 days surrounded by darkness in the comfort of my bed, I couldn’t eat, sleep, was physically sick and fighting suicidal ideations every day. You make your decision and then you forget about me and the impact your decision has had on my life. For three whole months I have been waiting and waiting for a meeting with yourselves to discuss how you came to this decision, so that I could understand why, so that I could ask questions, so that I could have my say and tell you why I disagree with your decision.  So that perhaps, having this opportunity can allow me to try and close this chapter of my life. For three months you have dodged chase ups from my detective and my ISVA. When I was sent on holiday to move me out from my bed I received an answer phone message from yourself, saying you would ring me back the following week....this was now five weeks ago. In what universe is this fair? You have denied me my chance to get justice and you don’t even have the decency to meet me with to explain why! Three whole months has passed since you made your decision and still no word, this is so disgusting I’m beyond words. This whole situation makes me feel physically sick and I now completely understand why 90% of people do not report their abuse to the police. Why would they, when this is how they are treated? Do you have any idea what it is like to be betrayed in the most horrendous way by someone you thought was a nice man who you could trust? Do you know what it’s like to be so confused about the events, you make up excuses for his actions and try to forget that it ever happened? Even speak to him afterwards, even work a shift with him. Do you then know what’s it’s like when the truth starts to sink in the horrors of the incident start to replay in your mind over and over and you begin to hate yourself for the way you handled the situation, for continuing to be nice to this man after he has assaulted you. These past 8 months have been the worse of my life and have been made dramatically worse by your decision. I’m not stupid I’ve done plenty of research I know the conviction rate for reported crimes of this nature in this country is less than 7%, the second worse in all of Europe. Believe me in the future I plan to try and do something about this. But for now all I am asking for is what is right fully mine and that is a meeting to explain why you let my abuser walk free. Why you tore my case down rather than build it up. Why you make this presumed decision about me and the type of person I am without even meeting me. I am not just a case number. Why you had the audacity to state as one of your reasons for not prosecuting is because he ‘stopped himself in the end’ how sexually assaulting someone, attempting to rape them, preventing them from escaping, pulling them back when they try to escape and injuring them is ‘ok’ because he stopped in the end is beyond me. By that logic are you stating that beating a man within in an inch of his life is ok....if you stop yourself in the end? Or someone being raped for three minutes isn’t as bad as someone for 30 minutes, because it didn’t last as long and they stopped in the end? They all stop in the end, it doesn’t matter how far it got. The damage is already done.

I do apologise for the length of letter but I’m sure you can appreciate my anger, my frustration and my sadness at how I have been treated by yourselves. Many things have gone round and round in my head, all the things I would like to say to you, too much to put into a letter. So therefore I am going to end this letter with my plea to arrange this meeting asap! No more waiting around. Please do not leave me in this painful turmoil stuck in limbo just waiting for the day I finally get my meeting, my explanation. Please have the decency to explain to me face to face why you denied me the chance to get justice for such a horrendous crime, a crime I felt (and the police felt) I had substantial evidence to try and get that guilty verdict I so longed to hear. A report I read in the Guardian seems to ring true in my experience, the writer stated that ‘one of the problems with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is that their performance indicators – what they are judged on – are how many of their cases result in a conviction. This means that a lot of the cases that should go in front of a jury and have a fair crack of the whip in court are dropped because there is that possibility of failure. That can be very demoralising’
( The information you give on prosecuting for sexual offences on your website states that in your ten point pledge we can expect you to: ‘Take into account what impact a decision to charge (or not to charge) will have on you’ however it seems you have failed to take into account your decision not to charge has had on me, you haven’t even met with me to discuss your decision or see the impact it has had on me. You also state that ‘A decision taken not to prosecute a serious offence would have to be supported by very clear reasons’ something I feel has not been done. You also state that ‘You should be told by the CPS Prosecutor whether or not the suspect is to be charged within 24 hours of the decision being made. Decisions in cases of rape are taken by specialist Prosecutors’. I was told by my detective of the decision not to charge and have not had a single conversation with yourselves. I quote again ‘When the CPS informs you that they are not able to charge the suspect, they should offer to meet with you to discuss their decision’ – again something you have failed to do, three months on and I’m still waiting. It also advises that ‘If following a meeting you disagree with the decision taken by the CPS Prosecutor you may be able to challenge the decision through judicial review proceedings in the High Court. The time limit for applying for judicial review is three months’ Well because of you three months has now passed, if my appeal is unsuccessful are you saying I now can’t take it further because three months has past? All because I have been waiting and waiting to hear from you. I hope this isn’t the case because I will try everything within in my power to try and get justice, that way I can look back with pride knowing I did all I could.

I took this quote off your website ‘I would urge any victims of sexual offences to come forward and talk to someone about what you have been through. We will support you in giving evidence, and what you say could help the authorities protect you and other people like you’ ( - I did come forward, I bravely told my story, I came to you for help and support and I have received none. I tried to protect other people but you let him walk free. I have been treated disgracefully by yourselves and failed in every way, especially when I relate my experience to the promise made on your website. If you want more people to start coming forward you need to change the way victims of rape and sexual assault are treated by yourselves. I have no complaints against the police, they were excellent. I really hope you take onboard everything I have stated for the sake of future victims everywhere.

Thank You
I eagerly await your immediate response to finally arrange my meeting.
- Thoughts opinions and comment really appreciated! This took me a lot of strength and time to write. Thank you all!

1 comment:

  1. Your letter is wonderful. I understand your frustration with the justice system. I for one decided never to follow through with my report. To be writing these types of letters so soon after takes strength. For me it will be five years come the last day of August and I am still struggling with the numbness, the depression, which you have mentioned in a few of your posts. Don't stop writing. You have strength.