Rape survivors in Scotland have shared their stories for the first time as the row over juryless trials continues to engulf Scottish politics.

Conviction rates for rape in Scotland stand at just 51%  compared to 91% for other offences, leading to calls for reform.

Part of the Victims, Witnesses, and Justice Reform (Scotland) Bill put forward by the Scottish Government would include pilots of juryless trials, which would see those accused of sexual violence stand trial before a single judge or sheriff.

First Minister Humza Yousaf pointed to the prevalence of rape myths which can sway jury decisions as he defended the proposals, as well as pointing out that both France and the Netherlands have introduced juryless trials for such offences.

Read More: Rebellion over juryless rape trials grow as more lawyers join boycott

However, the proposals drew a furious backlash from lawyers and opposition politicians, calling it an attack on the fundamental principles of the Scottish justice system.

Now for the first time people who have been through the process as victims of rape have spoken to the Herald to share their experiences.

Hannah said: "No one was looking for the truth of what happened in that room, it was all about manipulating a jury.

"It’s all about telling stories and winding people up. It felt like it was about confusing people, until they aren’t quite sure what the answer was.”

Miss M, who has an anonymity order and cannot be identified, reported being raped while at university. But her experience of the system was so bad that, around 18 months into her case, she tried to pull out entirely.

The Herald: Lawyer are threatening a boycott should juryless trials go aheadLawyer are threatening a boycott should juryless trials go ahead (Image: Newsquest)

“I didn’t have any support after the police handed the case over to the Procurator Fiscal, and as time went on it got so bad I couldn’t go to university anymore. I was really struggling. So I wrote to the procurator fiscal and said ‘unfortunately the time has come where I need to think of my own mental health and future, over this case’. They didn’t respond, but within six or seven hours I had two police officers at my door, saying I could have a case against me, if I tried to pull out, because they had laid charges by that stage.”

Read the full article by Liam Kirkaldy here: Brutality and limbo: Inside the plan to change Scottish rape trials