Strengthening rights for Victims of Sexual Violence

Richard has been a steadfast advocate for the rights of sexual violence victims and survivors. In December 2023, he participated in the debate on the Victims and Prisoners Bill, and working with Rape Crises supported amendments to bolster the rights of these victims. One key amendment he backed ensured a presumption against disclosing counselling records of rape and sexual assault victims during investigations unless a judge orders otherwise. In the debate, Richard was clear that "counselling is there to explore feelings not as a source for revealing or investigating facts". Richard is very pleased that the Government recently accepted an amendment to raise the legal threshold for requesting rape survivors' counselling notes. Read more about this amendment.

Richard also introduced his own new clause (NC41) to the Bill, which aimed to provide victims of rape and sexual assault with independent legal advice and representation. Recognising that research shows a disproportionate investigation effort is put into testing the credibility of a victim’s account rather than undergoing a thorough investigation of a suspect's behaviour, this clause addressed issues such as excessive requests for a victim’s data throughout an investigation. Watch Richard's contribution to the debate.

See below for all of Richard's news on support for victims and survivors of violence and abuse. 

News

Richard speaks in Victims and Prisoners Bill debate

At the recent Third Reading and Report Stage of the Victims and Prisoners Bill this month, Richard was pleased to support several amendments which strengthen the rights of victims of sexual violence including a presumption not to disclose counselling records of victims of rape and sexual assault