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Rape victims like myself are being denied proper counselling

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It is widely known that rape victims get a raw deal from the criminal justice system. But a recent Vice investigation has brought to light the extent to which victims' emotional needs post-assault and in the run up to the trial are even more woefully handled than many had believed. I have first-hand experience.

In February last year, I reported the man who raped me in 2006 to the police. I was 15 at the time of the rape and tried to push what happened to the back of my mind. It was only when I googled my rapist’s name and discovered he was in prison for committing another sexual offence almost a decade after what he did to me that I finally found the courage to seek justice.

Within hours of calling the police, an officer was sat in my living room with a notepad and pen. Telling a stranger the details of what happened was embarrassing and painful, but it was surprisingly freeing too.

From 15p €0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.

The police gave me the number for a sexual assault referral centre in Manchester and told me that with this centre’s help, I’d be able to access counselling. However, this support came with a caveat: my counselling notes could........

© Independent