Women’s Aid welcomes CPS update on prosecution guidelines for online abuse

Thursday 3rd March 2016

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“Women’s Aid welcomes the CPS update on prosecution guidelines for online abuse, as part of the six week online abuse consultation. Perpetrators of abuse will use any means available to control and intimidate their victim, and they need to know that their abuse online will be taken as seriously as any other abuse.

“As Alison Saunders rightly points out, there has been an increase in the use of cyber-crimes as a means of perpetrating domestic abuse; this is something that is frequently reported to Women’s Aid by survivors. These crimes may be perpetrated in the virtual world, but the fear and long-term damage they cause is all too real; a Women’s Aid survey last year found that for almost a third of women, threats made online by a partner or ex-partner were then carried out.

“Coercive control is commonly perpetrated online. We therefore welcome the updated checklist on revenge porn and GPS and spyware being used as methods of coercion and control, to remind officers that this type of evidence should be collected and explored. We must send a clear message that tracking your partner’s movements is not acceptable. In addition, Women’s Aid want to see court orders, such as non-molestation orders, cover online abuse as a matter of course.”

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