Violence against Women and Girls crimes make up a fifth of the Crown Prosecution Service’s total caseload
Wednesday 26th September 2018
Violence against women and girls crimes (VAWG) make up a fifth of the Crown Prosecution Service’s total caseload, according to the CPS’s latest VAWG report released today. Women’s Aid responds to the figures in the report below.
The CPS’s annual VAWG report covers offences including domestic abuse, rape, stalking and sexual abuse. In 2017-18, the CPS brought more than 100,000 prosecutions of this type.
The number of prosecutions and convictions for domestic abuse-flagged cases has fallen, with prosecutions falling by 4.8% and convictions by 3.9%.
The number of referrals, prosecutions and convictions for rape-flagged cases has fallen significantly, with a 9.1% fall in referrals from the police and a 23.1% fall in the number of suspects charged.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“Despite more victims than ever reporting domestic abuse to the police, the number of offenders being successfully charged, prosecuted and convicted has fallen. This remains deeply concerning and, along with the dramatic decline in prosecutions and convictions for rape and serious sexual offences, needs urgent action from the CPS to understand why this has happened to ensure victims can access justice and perpetrators are held to account.
“With the police publicly prioritising domestic abuse more than ever, we have seen a record number of survivors build up the confidence to report their abuser. It is clear that survivors want to access justice and to be protected from further abuse. However, the referral rates for domestic abuse cases are far too low; the police and CPS must continue to address why cases are not being effectively referred for charging decisions.
“The CPS has made some progress in prosecuting cases of coercive control with a threefold increase in the number of successful prosecutions year-on-year. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Coercive and controlling behaviour is at the heart of domestic abuse and has a long-lasting and devastating impact on victims. We need the CPS to invest in robust and ongoing domestic abuse training delivered in partnership with specialists like Women’s Aid. We need a criminal justice system that both keeps victims safe and holds abusers to account, only then can survivors be safe in the knowledge that the criminal justice system is doing everything it can to protect them.”
Read the CPS’s VAWG report and press release online here.
If you are worried about your relationship or that of a friend or family member, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.
For more information, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected]