The justice system has 'battered and bruised' rape victims

Three women who were assaulted by the same man say their interactions with the justice system were so traumatic that they would be hesitant to report another assault.

Jennifer McCann, Hannah McLaughlan, and Hannah Reid claim that the process has left them "battered and bruised" After Logan Doig, 23, was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison for a series of rapes and sexual assaults, they renounced their right to anonymity.

In addition, they wish to reform how sexual offense victims are regarded in court.

The three women were among the five women, including Holly Prowse and an unnamed witness, who testified against Doig in court.

Jennifer, Hannah, Holly, and Hannah were photographed arm-in-arm outside the High Court in Glasgow after he was sentenced.

They hoped the image would convey a message to all abused women that they were "turning our pain into strength."

After reporting that Doig had raped her, the 25-year-old stated that she contacted his previous girlfriends.

Hannah Reid, 23 years old, stated, "We all gathered in a group chat called Safe Space." Indeed, that is precisely what it was.

The defense argued that the four women were conspiring as "jealous ex-girlfriends" determined to "ruin a man's life" despite their claim that they could not have gone through the trial alone.

In addition to the trauma of being abused and raped by Doig, the women claim that the way they were treated when they were summoned to testify at his trial was also traumatic. Hannah Reid said, "It was inhumane." 

She mentioned that he had guidance and support throughout the entire process, whereas they were left in the dark and had no idea what to expect.

Hannah McLaughlan added that there should be stricter rules regarding what defense counsel can say to a victim who is testifying, because you are not considered a human being. She claimed there was no support after the trial.

Jennifer stated, He was always considered innocent until proven guilty, whereas they were considered liars until proven innocent.

Rape and attempted rape conviction statistics in Scotland are the lowest of any crime category. The conviction rate for cases that reach trial is approximately 51%, compared to 91% for all other offenses according to reports. 

The women have met with Dorothy Bain, the Lord Advocate, to discuss the changes they would like to see made for future victims. The outcome of the review will aid in the implementation of significant changes and the expansion of trauma-informed practices.

The women claim that reform is so desperately required that if they had to report abuse to the police again, they would give it serious consideration.

Each victim had a different  experience in reporting their abuse, receiving information about the trial, and receiving support.

They stated that they were advised not to attend the verdict because it would not "look good" and that they would have appreciated the opportunity to read their victim impact statements in court, which they believe would have aided in their rehabilitation.

The Scottish government stated that it had committed to expanding and enhancing the victim statement scheme and was working on a strategy that would more accurately reflect the needs of victims.