A recent Observer investigation has caused an uproar, revealing that thousands of convicted sexual offenders across England and Wales have faced little to no jail time.
Among thousands of convictions made between 2013 and 2020, almost one-third of adults sentenced for sexual offences were either suspended or given community sentences, the study revealed. Only about 60% of convicted offenders faced serious jail time, while the others were simply met with fines and discharges.
The analysis rightfully caused an outrage, with Ministers finding themselves under heavy fire and demands to explain why thousands of convicted sexual offenders have gotten off scot-free.
The study further shed light on the extremity of the situation. A large portion of offenders who avoided jail time are adults convicted of sexually assaulting children less than 13 years of age. The shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, Jess Phillips, commented on the matter, referring to the numbers as extremely ‘alarming’. She further went on to say that “These figures, coupled with the failure to act on the years of warning about sexual abuse and harassment in our schools, and the tumbling number of rape cases being brought to charge, show us that the government needs to act rather than just keep apologising.”
Ministers apologized to victims in televised appearances last week for ‘failing thousands of sexual assault survivors,’ but are facing extreme public dissent. The government’s incompetence in handling cases of sexual abuse, especially those against minors, has been made obvious by the numbers revealed- nearly one in five adults sentenced for sexual assault of girls under 13 years only received a community sentence or suspension.
With cases of sexual abuse on the rise, while convictions are in steep decline, the public simply isn’t satisfied with apologies anymore. Labour MP, Stella Creasy, echoed this sentiment, saying “we don’t need more consultations or strategies or heartfelt apologies, we need answers and actions now.”