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Rape Crisis - Longer Sentences Not The Answer

Rape Crisis responded to the Minister of Justice, Tony Ryall today saying that the Government needs to look at prevention and longer sentences are not the answer for deterring rapists.

"Only a third of Rape Crisis clients report to the police, and today we heard that sex offences has one of the lowest resolution rates for police - thus increasing sentences is simply not going to be efffective because the majority of sex offenders are not even caught," said Claire Benson, National Spokeswoman for Rape Crisis.

The National Government has not yet addressed the sentencing disparity between rape and unlawful sexual connection that allowed a man to receive a two year sentence for orally raping a child last December. Rape Crisis says the new home invasion laws won't deter offenders because most crime in the home is committed by people entitled to be there.

"We need prevention programmes in schools and throughout our communities to change the attitudes that cause rape and sexual assault - and we need to work with offenders to change their attitudes," says Ms Benson,"A good start would be to show our community's abhorrence to these crimes by compensating victims and acknowledging the suffering they've experienced."

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