Government rape adviser quits over ‘lack of will’ to change at high levels

The Government’s rape adviser has quit claiming there is a “lack of will” in the police and civil service to change.

Emily Hunt, the Ministry of Justice’s independent adviser to its Rape Review, said myths about rape are perpetuated at high levels of the civil service and police.

Ms Hunt, herself an abuse survivor, said she is returning to the US because she does not feel safe in Britain.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, the campaigner said: “It’s going to sound silly but fundamentally we need to remember that the Government and all of the operational partners from the police to the prosecutors to the judges, they’re all just people.

“People innately believe in rape myth. So, you have people going through their day-to-day lives who believe that: ‘Oh, well, maybe her skirt was too short. Maybe she was drinking.’

“I have more come across it more within the professional and civil service side. I’d say that ministers are more careful around me.”

Ms Hunt said it is “scary” to live in a country where there is “no criminal justice system to keep me safe”.

She added: “I got to the point where I realised I don’t think I could ever report a crime to the police in this country again, at least not right now.

“And that made me feel really, really unsafe, because I do still have somebody out there who was harassing and stalking me.

“And it is very scary to feel unsafe and unprotected and to feel like if anything happened, I don’t have a criminal justice system to keep me safe and that it’s part of why I’m leaving.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson told the PA news agency: “We thank Emily Hunt for her valuable work over the last two years, supporting the Government in exceeding all three ambitions of our Rape Review ahead of schedule.

“We remain determined to stamp out these appalling crimes, making sure the criminal justice system supports victims and holds perpetrators to account.”

A recruitment campaign to find a new adviser is due to launch later this year.

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