STUART Waiton's article asserting that Scots men are “at risk” of being branded rapists for political reasons was extraordinary ("Man at risk of being branded 'rapist' for political reasons", The Herald, October 15). It completely missed the point of why rape complainers in Scotland may consider taking civil action following an unsuccessful criminal prosecution.

In 2016-2017, there were 1,878 rapes and attempted rapes reported to the police but only 98 convictions. Most rapes reported to the police never make it to court. Of those that do, fewer than 40 per cent lead to a conviction. In our view there is a grave danger that significant numbers of rapists are walking free. To be concerned about this isn’t “political” – access to justice is a basic human right. Taking civil action for rape would not necessarily be anyone’s first choice – in the recent case, Miss M had to fight for five years for any form of justice, and go through the ordeal of giving evidence and being cross-examined twice. That she did so was testament to both her courage and to the desperate need for justice that many, many rape survivors tell us they feel. In her case, after hearing all the evidence, the Sheriff decided that Stephen Coxen raped her.

What this landmark civil case did was demonstrate to rape survivors that there may be another route to finding some sense of justice. Mr Waiton called this a “destruction of justice”. It’s not – it’s a wake-up call, both to the criminal justice system which is failing so many rape survivors, and to men who think they have got away with rape.

Sandy Brindley,

Rape Crisis Scotland, 46 Bath Street, Glasgow.