Woman ‘repeatedly raped and burned with cigarettes by ex’ waiting for justice two years on

Rebecca says the system  “lets down survivors all the time”  (stock image)  (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Rebecca says the system “lets down survivors all the time” (stock image) (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A woman who says she suffered “off the scale” sexual abuse from a former partner is still waiting for justice two years after reporting him to the police.

Rebecca* told The Independent how she was subjected to multiple rapes, sexual abuse, coercive control and physical abuse from her ex. She reported him to the police in 2021 and he was charged, arrested, and remanded in custody before he was released on bail with a tag.

But, like more than 1,800 other victims, Rebecca has seen the case against her alleged perpetrator repeatedly delayed.

Her case comes as new figures revealed court backlogs for rape and sexual offences have hit a record high, with the most desperate victims driven to suicide by “devastating” waits for justice.

The logjam of cases in the crown courts surged to 7,859 sexual offence cases and 1,851 adult rape cases by September 2022, according to the latest Ministry of Justice data.

“He was very cruel to me,” Rebecca said. “The sexual abuse was off the scale. I will never recover from it. He was very controlling. He owned me. There was physical, sexual and emotional violence.

“He punched me in the face, put cigarettes out on me, dragged me, head-butted me. He raped me many times. If I said no, he said ‘well you know that turns me on’ and would rape me.”

Rebecca said her ex-partner was recalled to prison for infringing his bail conditions but has since been released on bail due to the time it has taken the case to reach trial.

She said: “The system is shocking. It lets down survivors all the time. The trial has been delayed twice. I have tried to take my life twice.

“Since it was delayed this time, there was no letter and no correspondence from the CPS. Other witnesses have been told when the trial is. I’m the only one who hasn’t.

“I haven’t heard from the police since it was delayed. I complained to the CPS. They said that shouldn’t happen. It is so traumatising. The trial is supposedly going to happen later this year.

“I am already getting sick daily from the fear of going to court – the stuff I have to discuss is so disgusting and shameful.”

Her comments come as the fallout out from the Casey Review continues. It found the Met Police was institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic. Crucially, it failed to protect women.

There is now scrutiny on those who might lurking in its own ranks in the wake of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens in 2021.

A slew of other scandals involving police officers has recently emerged, with David Carrick, a serial rapist who was also a Met Police officer, sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison last month. He is one of the worst sex offenders in modern history.

On the backlog of cases, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said the government is providing “real improvements in the response to rape”.

“In the last year alone, the number of rape cases referred by the police to the CPS is up more than 50 per cent, the number of suspects charged has increased by 54 per cent, and convictions are up by 65 per cent compared to last year,” the spokesperson said.

“But we know more needs to be done, particularly so that victims have confidence and feel supported, which is why we’ve quadrupled funding for victims’ services, enabled them to pre-record court evidence earlier and away from defendants, and launched a 24/7 helpline with Rape Crisis.”

*Rebecca’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

If you need help Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org