News that starts with the people who are normally asked last

Russell Brand: Innocent until proven guilty?

Content warning: This episode discusses rape, sexual assault, and gender-based violence. If you need support, you can call Rape Crisis for free on 0808 500 2222
This week - though an 'open secret' in the media industry - it was revealed by the Times, the Sunday Times, and Channel 4 Dispatches that Russell Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse. 
Four women have alleged sexual assaults between 2006 and 2013, others have made a range of accusations about Brand’s controlling, abusive and predatory behaviour. More women have come forward since the article and documentary aired. Brand denied the allegations and said his relationships have all been consensual, and said there is a mainstream media conspiracy theory to take him down.
In this bonus episode, we address Brand's announcement of a 'mainstream media conspiracy', plus other reactionary statements including 'Why didn't she say anything before?', 'What about false accusations?', and - often the biggest statement when rich and famous men are accused of sexual assault - 'Innocent until proven guilty!'.
To address the crucial context of systemic failures that’s often missing from the conversation on rape convictions, we then revisit our Series 1 investigation: "Rape Justice: What happens to the 98%?"
The charge rate of rape is less than 2%. The investigation features rape survivors not just from the UK, but from the US and Europe too: however varied their experiences or assault, silence and injustice are themes that shape them all. They attest to the multitude of reasons why victims may not go to the police; and why even when they DO go to the police, they may come to regret it.
CPS Q3 and Q4 reports for 2022-2023


Alison Turkos @alisonturkos

Pieke Roelofs @pieke_r

Verity Nevitt @veritynevitt

Dame Vera Baird, Victim’s Commissioner @VictimsComm

Sarah Crew, National Police Chiefs Council @aspsarah_crew

Siobhan Blake, Crown Prosecution Service @CPSUK @crownprosecutors

Your hosts are @helenawadia and @mathildamall.
Music by Samfire @soundofsamfire.
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