Our first campaign aims to provide all primary and secondary school children with mandatory education on consent. With the implementation of compulsory sex education in all UK primary and secondary schools in 2020 we are calling on the government to include consent education as part of the national curriculum for children in all primary and secondary schools in order to reduce sexual assault and harassment.
Read more about consent here: https://thegeminiprojectorg.wordpress.com/2018/09/15/what-is-consent/
Our Second campaign aims to increase victim support and improve the justice system. This campaign focuses on demanding a victims law which the government have continuously promised but failed to deliver on despite stating that protecting survivors of sexual violence and supporting victims was a key priority.
As part of this campaign our main demands are as follows:
- Address funding issues in regard to support services
- Commit to allowing all victims to use Victim Personal Statements whereby they can directly address the ways in which they have been affected by the crime.
- The implementation of a victims law which would see the justice system become more victim-centred
- Increased communication between the police and victims. This would include a DC acting as a single point of contact and giving the victim regular updates as to the progress of their case.
- Protecting victims from certain lines of questioning and extensive cross-examination
- Stopping invasions of privacy into the victims phones, personal records and social media
- Preventing the defence from commenting on the victims mental health or using it in any way to form a defence that is not relevant to the circumstances of the case
- Giving victims the ability to report crimes at Sexual Assault Refuge Centres (SARCs) as well as online rather than in person at a police station
- A right for cases to be reviewed if charges aren’t brought
- A commitment to introducing advocate services for all victims
- The guarantee of support throughout the case as well as after court proceedings
- Compulsory referrals to counselling services
- The abolishment of the pre-1979 ‘same roof rule’ *Abolished as of February 2019*
- To get rid of Juries in cases of sexual violence and replace them with a panel of specialists. Cases of this nature should only be judged by judges who have received specialist training and education in regard to trauma responses, the dispelling of prominent societal myths, etc.
- Simplify the Victim Contact Scheme
- Increased responsibility for Police and Crime Commissioners monitoring and delivery of services and for their accountability if they fail to provide appropriate levels of care.
- Implement mandatory reporting for child sexual abuse
- The creation of a Victims’ Panel to represent the voice of victims in government policy making.
- To allow for independent universal credit applications and single payments
- Creating new offences to protect more victims and bring offenders to justice including: revenge porn, coercive or controlling behaviour, and sexual communication with a child.
- To make it illegal for perpetrators to use non-disclosure agreements or injunctions against their victims. Victims should be able to speak out about their experiences and should not be forced into silence by their abuser.
- Juries to be educated and informed so that they do not perpetuate societal myths about sexual violence and for all prosecutors, defense teams and judge’s to undergo mandatory training if representing/ judging a sexual violence case
Included with the campaign for a victims law, we are calling for judicial reform to ensure that the justice system is victim focused and fit for purpose. We are also calling for increased funding in these areas, particularly survivor support services.
Read more about our thoughts on the government’s victims strategy and the victims law here: https://thegeminiprojectorg.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/our-thoughts-on-the-governments-victims-strategy/
Our third campaign is to reform the language used by the media when reporting on cases of sexual violence.
The media has an obligation to report factual and unbiased information to members of the public. At present their reporting methods feed into and create societal myths. We are calling on the media to change the way they report cases of sexual violence.
We are asking the media to:
- Stop using the term ‘sex with a child/ minor/ underage person/’ when the victim is under the age of consent. A person under the age of consent is unable to consent to sex and therefore it cannot be sex, it is only ever rape and should be labelled as such. It is not right to diminish the severity of an incident with language.
- Stop using the term ‘non-consensual sex’- it is rape, label it as such. Tip toeing around using the word ‘rape’ and ‘rapist’ is unhelpful and feeds into the myth that only monsters are rapists.
- To include statistics when reporting false allegations to outline the rarity of this phenomenon
- Refrain from using information that is not relevant to the incident being reported on. For example: make the focus on what happened, not the character of the victim or perpetrator.
- Never try to justify or explain the reasoning for a persons actions in cases of sexual violence. Refrain from speculation of motive
- Report only the facts of what happened, cases of sexual violence do not need dressing up into narratives for click bait articles.
- To work with specialists when reporting on sexual violence cases to ensure that myths are not perpetuated.
- If the victim is not anonymous refrain from any invasions of privacy, they have already been violated and do not deserve to have their private life trawled through for the sake of an article.
We support the RMT guard guarantee to keep the guard on the train. Read more about their campaign here: https://www.rmt.org.uk/campaigns/rail/keep-your-guard-guarantee-northern-rail/
We support the organisation Justice for Gaia, their work and their campaign. Read more about Justice for Gaia here: https://justiceforgaia.com/about/