An unconventional public service announcement (above) has been released by the Leicestershire Police department in the United Kingdom to explain how loss of evidence can negatively impact a court case of sexual assault. Titled All Is Not Lost, it aims to encourage quick reporting of offences and preservation of evidence and challenge prejudice and misconception.
The film makes for uncomfortable watching, opening with the scene of a woman being raped by her husband. This is followed by a sequence of events that indicates the passage of time, including her running a bath and deleting messages on her phone, and is concluded by a man (presumably, the perpetrator of the crime) walking free from prison.
At one moment in the film, the woman almost dials a helpline to report the crime and seek help but, mirroring real life, is unable to do it because she is held back by fear. The man re-enters the home and it is implied that the sexual violence continues.
Nearly half of all the rapes are committed by members of the same family, the Leicestershire Police said. The film emphasises: “In the event of a rape, loss of forensic evidence will weaken the chance of prosecution. Make sure that all is not lost”.
The video then shows an alternate scenario in which the victim decides to seek help immediately. A calm voice on the other end of the helpline guides the victim and assures her of her safety. The sequence of events in which all the evidence is preserved now leads to the criminal serving time behind bars.