Women’s Aid responds to Ministry of Justice tougher sentencing announcement
Lucy Hadley, Head of Policy at Women’s Aid, said:
“Coercive control is at the core of all domestic abuse and this law change is a positive step towards greater awareness and recognition of the immense damage caused by controlling behaviours. It is imperative that sentencing for male violence reflects the severity of the crime, and sends a clear message that society will not tolerate these horrific murders. We know that sentences handed down for male violence vary hugely and women do not see justice as a result.
“However, the reality is that conviction rates for coercive control remain very low. Women’s Aid urges police and all levels of the justice system to take up training, such as the Domestic Abuse Matters programme, to ensure a comprehensive understanding of its impact and how to respond effectively.
“Given extremely low reporting and conviction rates for coercive control, it is also essential that government support expands beyond the criminal justice system: decision makers must commit to sustainably resourcing domestic services so that all survivors, regardless of whether they pursue criminal justice outcomes, are able to access life-saving support.”