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Rape Crisis Scotland


08088 01 03 02

Phone the free Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline
Every day, 6pm to midnight


The list below shows some useful publications both from Rape Crisis Scotland and from other organisations. You can browse through these publications using the list on the right hand side of this page. We have categorised them by publication type, as well as a tagging system to help you find what you are looking for.

You may need Adobe Acrobat to view some of these.

Responding to Gender-based violence in Scotland

Paper by Michele Burman, University of Glasgow, Jenny Johnstone, Newcastle University (both Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research) and Janette de Haan & Jan Macleod, Women's Support Project, looking at the Scope of the Gender Equality Duty to drive cultural and practical change.

Publication: Reports

Disclosure of records and privacy rights in rape cases, by Fiona E. Raitt

The prosecutor’s duty of disclosure of evidence to the defence in criminal prosecutions is one of the cornerstones of adversarial procedural justice and a long-standing principle in Scots law. It is a fundamental component of a fair trial, in particular the principle of equality of arms whereby the greater resources of the state to investigate crime entitle the accused to have access to the same evidential material that is available to the Crown. This is so even if the Crown has no intention of relying upon that material as evidence. The defence has a right to examine all information uncovered in the course of a criminal investigation that might exculpate or mitigate any criminal liability of the accused, or undermine the Crown case.

The Scottish Parliament recently enacted the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 which clarified and re-drew the boundaries of disclosure in Scots law. The Act contains detailed measures for extending the duty of disclosure together with the provisions for judicial regulation of non-disclosure in limited circumstances. This article focuses on a hitherto neglected aspect of disclosure, namely the impact on witnesses and complainers. The article argues that the Act will impact negatively on all witnesses but raise particular concerns for complainers in cases of rape and other serious sexual assaults. In such cases it is predictable that there will be an increase in the disclosure of medical and other personal records of complainers for any potential they have to cast doubt on the credibility and reliability of complainers. For the  purposes of disclosure, sensitive personal information such as mental health history could very possibly be characterised as material and relevant information. The problem with this lies less in the principle of disclosure of these records, and more in the ways in which the privacy interests of complainers could be heavily compromised in circumstances where they will have no access to independent legal advice.

The article explores the experiences in other jurisdictions where the disclosure of personal records has created an additional obstacle for complainants and a further disincentive to reporting rape. Clear parallels can be drawn with the use of sexual history evidence in rape trials which, despite efforts to regulate its admissibility, continues to be deeply problematic.

The extended ambit of disclosure set out in the Act has direct implications for the privacy rights of complainers and it is argued that the Act provides insufficiently robust safeguards for the protection of these individual interests. Given the complex environment in which disclosure obligations in adversarial proceedings must be satisfied, the article argues that on this issue Crown prosecutors cannot adequately discharge their traditional responsibilities to take the interests of complainers into consideration as part of the public interest. The article concludes that complainers should therefore have an entitlement to independent legal representation to pursue their legitimate privacy interests in non-disclosure. Although the article centres on the reforms in Scots law, the issues have broader application in all common law jurisdictions.

Publication: Articles

Woman to Woman, An Oral History of Rape Crisis in Scotland 1976-1991
Woman to Woman, An Oral History of Rape Crisis in Scotland 1976-1991

As the rape crisis movement in Scotland movement celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2006, Rape Crisis Scotland decided to undertake an oral history project, and recorded a total of 33 interviews with women in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and further afield.

This document puts together the testimony of many of the women who were involved in the earliest years of the development of a rape crisis movement in Scotland, and tells the story of why and how it emerged, and what it meant to them to be part of this unique piece of Scottish herstory.


This document is by no means an exhaustive account of the experiences of women who were involved in Rape Crisis in Scotland during its first 15 years. There are many women whose names and contributions remain unrecorded but who nevertheless played just as significant a role as the women whose testimony is documented here. Their words pay tribute to the determination, resilience, ingenuity, courage and compassion of all the women whose monumental efforts forged the Scottish Rape Crisis movement which continues the fight against sexual violence today.

Publication: Book

Evidencing sexual assault

Drawing on recent research conducted in Scottish criminal courts, this article discusses the evidencing of sexual crimes through victim testimony. Despite significant reforms, complainers in sexual offence trials still find the process traumatic; the amount of sexual evidence introduced into the trial has increased; and the nature of such evidence draws on pervasive and outmoded rape myths.

Publication: Research

SWA and RCS joint press statement 23rd December 2010

Joint press statement issued about funding announcement by Scottish Women's Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland on 23rd December 2010.


SOS Pledge signatories

List of MSPs who have signied the Save Our Services pledge

Publication: Resources

Hard Knock Life - Violence Against Women: A Guide for Donors and Funders
Hard Knock Life - Violence Against Women: A Guide for Donors and Funders

This report updates the guidance given to donors in NPC’s first report on domestic violence, Charity begins at home. It also broadens out the discussion to provide information about tackling other forms of violence against women. This report gives context for donors who wish to understand the range of violence that is committed against women in the UK, the impact that it has, what works to keep women safe and to help them to recover, and how the government is involved. It outlines the vital work of charities in tackling violence against women, shows the results that charities achieve, and helps donors to prioritise their funding based on these results.

Publication: Reports

Closing the credibility gap: The prosecutorial use of expert witness testimony in sexual assault cases

Recent Home Office research indicates that complainants in sexual offence cases still struggle to gain credibility in the eyes of police, prosecutors and jurors. This article examines some of the credibility barriers confronting victims of sexual offences within the criminal process. In the USA, prosecutors
have utilised expert witness testimony in an effort to educate jurors and restore credibility to complainants’ accounts. This article critically assesses these developments and explores the potential admissibility of ‘educational’ expert witness testimony in criminal courts in England and Wales.

Publication: Articles

Yes You Can! Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (2nd edition)
Yes You Can! Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (2nd edition)

Yes You Can! has been developed for people working with, or likely to be working with, survivors of childhood sexual abuse. People present to frontline services with a range of issues which may relate to childhood sexual abuse and this booklet has a particular focus on the impact that childhood sexual abuse can have on mental health and wellbeing. Not all survivors need, or wish, medical intervention, and many seek counselling and support services. This booklet aims to support people working in a wide range of services to gain a better understanding of the needs of people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, how best to raise this sensitive issue, and how to respond in an appropriate andsupportive way.

Outline Guide to the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009

Outline Guide to the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009

Publication: Resources

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