Justice system should prioritise sex assault victims’ cases – Georgia Harrison | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Sexual assault victims must be prioritised in the justice system to prevent them having to suffer years of uncertainty and anguish, television personality Georgia Harrison has said.

Ms Harrison’s ex-partner Stephen Bear was jailed earlier this year for posting intimate footage of her online.

She also called for “massive online platforms” to be required to take down sexually explicit content which had been posted without consent, while speaking at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool.

Asked what changes the Government should make to help tackle violence against women and girls, the former Love Island contestant and The Only Way Is Essex star recounted her personal experience of the justice system.

She said: “One thing I wanted to highlight from my personal experience is I feel there needs to be more support for victims when they do choose to call the police and go into the court system because for me, from the day that I reported the crime, it took me two whole years to get a conviction.

“After the first year, the defendant changed his defence a week before the court case. My court case then got moved an entire year.”

She added: “What that meant for me was that it was detrimental to my career and my mental health, which was really hard for me.

Stephen Bear was jailed earlier this year for posting intimate footage of Ms Harrison online (Joe Giddens/PA)

“But I couldn’t help but think, imagine if you were either a victim of domestic abuse or a sexual assault, if you had been raped, and you get a phone call to say ‘actually you are going to have to wait a whole other year to even get inside of a courtroom’.

“You have got to spend the next year of your life walking down the street not knowing if you are going to get attacked, killed, violated. How would you live with that?”

She went on: “I think that those sort of cases should be prioritised, and 90% of those victims are women.”

Ms Harrison also told the conference she wanted to see “massive online platforms” be held accountable for taking down explicit content which had been posted without consent.

She said: “Even if it is content of a sexually explicit nature, videos or pictures, and it has been proven that it was shared without your consent, it does not become illegal content.

“I just think it would encourage so many more victims to come forward and reach out to the police if they knew at the end of what is such a hard battle that immediately online platforms have to remove their content which should never, ever have been allowed to get there in the first place.”

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, responded: “I am always trying to remind in the women’s safety space that we have to be careful we are not too grateful for the basics that we should have been expecting, that if images of you being violently abused are online, they should be taken down.

“It seems like quite an obvious thing to do.”

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