We were very excited to receive a new piece of legal research last work carried out by undergraduate law and joint degree students from the University of the West of England.

A group of SARSAS staff and volunteers came up with a set of legal questions they wanted answers to and submitted them to the Law department, headed by Professor Phil Rumney. These questions were submitted to a group of students who spent months researching and writing up their findings.

The questions and areas covered by the report were:

Why might a case be taken back to court following a not guilty verdict?

If it is illegal to have sex with a 13-15 year old then why is it not automatically rape? If a victim is e.g. 14 at the time, why might the police pay attention to the issue of consent in her case, even when she is underage?

In terms of Special Measures what has been done successfully in the past and what do legal and policy experts recommend to improve this in the future?

What does mock jury research tell us about jury decision making in rape cases?

Modified questioning in court proceedings

The report produced some really interesting findings. You can download a copy of the report here.

Our director, Rowan Miller, visited the law department to say thank you on behalf of SARSAS and was presented with the report by Ben, Xavier, Angharad and Ellen.

We’re so pleased to see the positive impact that our Universities and students can have on survivors and the services that support them. Research like this means that we’re more informed, as a service, and can pass that on to our service users.

The information from this report will also be used in training as a way of keeping both our staff and volunteers up to date with the latest information.

A big thank you to Professor Phil Rumney for overseeing this project and to all the students for their hard work and commitment in researching and producing this report.

Leah Blackman
Kathy Boyle
Jessica Cambridge
Rebecca Davies
Angharad Griffiths
Ben Howells
Carole Orchard
Ellen Rye
Ryan Small
Xavier Stride
Thomas Watts