British Policy on Sexual crime

The UK government is committed to tackling sexual offences. The principle focus is on the rights and welfare of the victim, and ensuring that every victim of sexual crime has access to support. 

Current initiatives:

  • The government is currently looking at Baroness Stern’s 2010 report on the handling of rape complaints in England and Wales. A full response will be published in Spring 2011.
  • The government supports Rape Crisis centres - local services providing support and advocacy for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence. There are 39 Rape Crisis centres in England and Wales. This service will be maintained and new centres established where needed.
  • Support funding for 44 Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) was provided by the government in 2010/11. ISVAs work with victims of sexual crimes to enable them to access the services they need; they provide independent support and advocacy. A further £1.72m has been committed per annum for the next 4 years.
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) provide victims of rape, sexual abuse or assault with medical care, counselling and follow-up support, and the opportunity to assist a police investigation, including a forensic medical examination. £3.2m of government funding was made available to 36 SARCs in 2010/11. Another 14 are in development.
  • The issue of false allegations – highlighted by the Stern Review – attracts much attention and misunderstanding. The Government has commissioned independent research (due to report in 2011), which will investigate the prevalence and nature of false allegations.

Contact details: National Organisations