13:03, October 17 58 0 theguardian.com

2019-10-17 13:03:03
Women let down by the justice system, two years on from #MeToo

Movements like #MeToo have been vital in highlighting the patriarchal structures that condone violence against women and encouraging more and more women to speak out. Yet, time and time again, seemingly reputable institutions are letting women down. The “chaotic response” of the police and prosecutors (Report, 15 October) highlights why we urgently need to break down the barriers to justice that women and girls face.

According to our research, one in five women in the UK and around the world have either been involved in a court case relating to male violence or know a woman who has. Of these, nearly a third said going to court was a negative experience. Many found it traumatic and some felt as though they were the ones on trial.

Rape is essentially being decriminalised – and this is why we will continue campaigning for global reforms of the justice system, including the ratification of the ILO convention. Women and girls’ voices need to be heard at every level.

Jean McLean

Deputy director of media, campaigns and public engagement at ActionAid UK

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