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Holburn and St Pancras MP calls for greater rights for sex abuse victims

PUBLISHED: 14:15 20 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:15 20 October 2015

Sir Keir Starmer (Picture: Polly Hancock)

Sir Keir Starmer (Picture: Polly Hancock)

Archant

Sir Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, has introduced a draft bill to Parliament which aims to give greater rights to the victims of sexual abuse.

The former director of public prosecutions used the ten minute rule motion to introduce the bill to the house today (Tuesday), which is the start of the long process by which bills can eventually become law.

Sir Keir said: “We’ve got cross-party support, which I am really pleased about. The growing consensus is that the time has come for a victims’ law.”

He said that victims of sexual abuse were often reluctant to come forward because of the way they were treated and silenced by the legal process.

“The problem is that for many years we saw our criminal justice system as a straightforward fight between prosecution and defence, and so victims didn’t really get a look in.

“Recently we have put in lots of voluntary codes to help victims, but that put together doesn’t really combine very effectively, so what we want is something much clearer and much sharper and with legal teeth because that changes the whole nature of the dialogue between the victim and those providing services.”

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