HC Deb 17 December 2001 vol 377 c84W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he has in place to provide support to victims of rape; and what funding he provides to support rape victims. [22449]

Mr. Keith Bradley

The Government are fully committed to meeting the needs of all victims of crime, particularly victims of serious crimes such as rape.

The Government grant to victim support, which offers support to victims of all crime, including rape and other sexual crimes, has doubled from £11.7 million in May 1997 to £25 million in April 2001. In 2000–01, victim support offered help to almost 5,000 victims of rape.

A first time grant, of £406,000, has been made available this financial year to the Rape Crisis Federation. The Federation provides training, support and consultancy services to the network of rape crisis groups across the country.

From April 2001, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme has increased the minimum award paid to victims of rape by almost 50 per cent. (from £7,500 to £11,000).

The 1998 Speaking Up for Justice report led to special measures being included in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 to help rape victims face the ordeal of a court case. These measures included prohibiting the cross-examination of rape victims by the defendant in court, and further restrictions to limit the questions that rape victims can be asked under cross-examination about their previous sexual history.