Women’s Aid responds to HMCPSI’s new report into CPS’s handling of domestic abuse cases
Lucy Hadley, head of policy at Women’s Aid said:
“Despite commitment to prioritise domestic abuse, serious issues remain with how prosecutors respond to survivors. The court process is traumatic for survivors of abuse and it is vital that all agencies within the justice system respond effectively to reduce this burden
Reporting abuse to the police and supporting a prosecution is a time of significant risk to survivors. Yet the issues with communication, support and protection from the CPS to survivors uncovered in this report show that far too often their safety is not prioritised in this process. We welcome the recommendations for prosecutors to have consistent trauma training, developed in partnership with organisations specialising in violence against women and girls.
However, there are major gaps in provision of specialist advocacy services for survivors. This is why we are urgently calling for the government’s Victims and Prisoners Bill to ensure that specialist, independent women’s community-based domestic abuse and sexual violence support services are sustainably commissioned and funded locally. This must including services led ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women, given the scarcity of their resources and the funding challenges they face. We are also calling for a strengthened Victims Code, as it should apply to all victims, regardless of whether they pursue action through the criminal justice system, especially given the lack of women’s trust in police and the CPS.”