North East MSP calls for introduction of sexual assault victims law
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MSP Tess White has called for a victims law “to give women the voice they deserve” after new figures show at least one woman is being sexually assaulted or raped every day across the north-east.
Figures from Police Scotland show around 400 women over the age of 16 were raped or sexually assaulted in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray in 2021/22, a rise of more than 100 compared to the previous year.
Of those attacks, about half (209) were detected across the north-east.
Ms White is continuing to campaign for better safety for women and recently met representatives from British Transport Police to discuss its new new Railway Guardian app, which can be used to report incidents like sexual assault.
The Scottish Conservative North East MSP has backed her party’s plans for a victims law which would make seven key changes to the justice system including abolishing the controversial Not Proven verdict and giving all victims the opportunity to make statements in court.
Commenting on the figures, Tess White said: “These numbers are absolutely horrifying and it’s truly shocking that women are now more at risk of being sexually assaulted in the north-east than they were before.
“Sadly, most victims and survivors of rape don't report it to the police and these figures show that women have been left without a voice.
“Every single one of these cases is a stain on our society. The SNP’s soft-touch justice policies contribute to these figures by ensuring many abusers escape jail sentences and this must urgently change.
“It’s appalling the issue has got so bad that women feel they can’t walk alone on our streets anymore for fear of being sexually harassed.
“If we are serious about tackling this then the Scottish Government must act urgently by implementing a victims law while improving education about these issues in schools and homes.”