Draft sentencing guidelines give welcome focus on impact of sex offences on victims
Published: 06 December 2012
- 06 December 2012
Judges are being urged to take into account the psychological and long-term effects on victims
Victim Support welcomes the new draft sentencing proposals on sexual offences, which show a clear shift towards emphasising the harm caused to victims.
The Sentencing Council's draft sentencing guideline covers a number of offences including rape, child sex offences, indecent images of children, trafficking and voyeurism.
They propose a variety of changes to how offending is dealt with by the courts.
Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Victim Support, said: "We're pleased that the proposals better reflect the needs of victims of these traumatic crimes. The new guidance allowing a single rape to fall in the highest sentencing category is a huge step forward.
"However, the final guidance also needs to include clear information about victim personal statements, which are the main way for victims to tell the court how the sexual offence has psychologically affected them. Judges can't just guess this information."
The draft guideline is now subject to a 14-week public consultation until 14 March 2013.