The British police now expect victims alleging rape to give up extensive personal data if they want their case pursued, sparking outrage among politicians, rights advocates, and sexual assault survivor groups.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council and Crown Prosecution told the Evening Standard only a “reasonable line of enquiry” would justify examining electronic devices, and victims would be notified before their private messages were presented in court.
Women's rights activists insist the “Digital Processing Notice” requirement will discourage women who already face significant hurdles to be believed.
Does this new rule unjustly make victims—rather than police forces—responsible for the proper investigation of sexual assault allegations?
Or is such information disclosure both usual and necessary to help investigators identify credible claims faster?
Sexual assault | Where to get help
For help and support, if you’re a victim of sexual assault, contact organisations such as
Rape Crisis (rapecrisis.org.uk) on 0808 802 999
SurvivorsUK (survivorsuk.org) (for men) on SMS: 020 3322 1860
Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.