Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said that rape should be talked about in the open so that victims can feel confident enough to come forward and offenders brought to justice.
Tony Lloyd was speaking at a special event in Partington organised by Trafford Rape Crisis.
The event drew together agencies that investigate and support victims of rape, along with people affected by the crime.
Tony said: “Rape is an issue that affects us all – it’s something society needs to deal with, which is why it’s so important to talk about it in an open and frank way. When we talk about it openly it, victims can feel empowered to come forward and report it.
“We’ve not always got it right – victims often feel they are left on the sidelines in the criminal justice system when actually they should take centre stage.
“Things have improved greatly in recent years, but we have to ensure that rape investigations and prosecutions are focussed around the needs of the victim.”
Tony also paid tribute to the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, which provides independent advice, support and evidence gathering for victims of rape.
St Mary’s was the first centre of its type and its model is now replicated across the country. Tony said St Mary’s was the “best in Britain” and praised the staff there who provide a vital service.
For more information about St Mary’s visit their website at www.stmaryscentre.org/.
Other speakers at the event, held at Partington Community Centre on Friday 7 June, included Councillor Karen Barclay, Trafford Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing; Catherine Fleming, Trafford’s safeguarding development manager and Dave Jones, creative director from GW Theatre.
Trafford Rape Crisis is a feminist organisation run by women for women, which aims to support women survivors of rape or sexual abuse so they can maintain control over their lives. More information about their work is available at www.traffordrapecrisis.com.