Rape victims’ counselling notes can be used against them

Rape and sexual assault victims have been told not to get counselling as lawyers could use their notes against them in court.

Eve Crawford, 24, was able to see her attacker’s sentencing after he assaulted her two years ago. However, she was shocked to be told not to have counselling until after her case as it would risk evidence being created against her.

Eve reportedly said: ‘I reported the crime a year after it happened and when you report a crime like that you get a call from a rape charity to talk to you about your options.

‘A really lovely lady spent ages talking to me and explained my options and how they could help and said I could have solo or group therapy which would have been great.

‘But she advised me to wait until after the case was done because lawyers can request your notes and use it to discredit you.

‘I was shocked. I didn’t really understand what she was saying, but CPS lawyers also strongly advise you not to have the counselling.

‘I have been so lucky to not have any mental health issues, but others have had their mental health brought up in court and made out to look like they are crazy and lying about the abuse.

‘It just shocks me that no one knows this is happening and this is access to something so private.’

Eve felt so strongly that something had to be done that she has launched a campaign to stop intrusive access to counselling notes in cases of rape and sexual assault. She has set up a petition asking for the Ministry of Justice to stop lawyers being able to gain access to counselling notes.

Defence lawyers are able to request for the notes to be made available to them, but the victim must be asked if they consent to this.

However, in a report conducted by the CPS in 2013, out of 32 cases where the evidence had been obtained, it was only definite that they had gained consent in seven.

TNT News

Photo Credit: Leon israel

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