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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 213350, tabled on 4 November 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to prevent the identity of rape victims becoming known to (a) their alleged assailants and (b) the families of their alleged assailant.

Answered on

11 November 2014

The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 prohibits the publication of any information that is likely to lead to a person being identified as the victim of an alleged sexual offence, from the point at which the allegation has been made. But this prohibition does not prevent the complainant’s name from being used in court and therefore would not serve to conceal it from the defendant (if it was not already known to him). In exceptional circumstances a court may make a witness anonymity order under sections 86 to 90 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. Such an order prevents the disclosure of the identity of a witness (including the complainant) or any information that might allow the witness to be identified in or in connection with the proceedings except to the judge and jury or magistrates.