Women’s Aid responds to ONS Crime in England and Wales: year ending March 2018
Thursday 19th July 2018
The ONS has released the Crime in England and Wales: year ending March 2018 which includes latest police statistics on the number of domestic abuse-related offences recorded. Read the full report online here.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“For far too long domestic abuse survivors have not had the confidence to report the abuse to the police for fear of not being believed or the consequences of speaking out. We know that since police leaders have made transforming the police response to domestic abuse a priority, many more women are coming forward, as highlighted by the latest HMICFRS report. We are pleased to see that this trend is continuing with a 23% increase in domestic abuse-related offences being recorded by the police in the last year.
“We also welcome the increase in the number of coercive control offences recorded in the last year. This must now be matched with an increase in the numbers of perpetrators charged and convicted, especially in cases where there is no physical abuse. From our work with survivors, we know that coercive control is at the heart of domestic abuse and the police need comprehensive and ongoing training to ensure that they recognise and fully understand the impact of this form of abuse. Coercive control is the isolation, control and intimidation of the victim which instils fear in the victim with devastating and long-lasting consequences. Yet since it was criminalised in December 2015, abusers who continue to perpetrate this awful crime are yet to feel the full force of the law. This must change.
“We urge the police to continue to make tackling domestic abuse a priority. The police have made some improvements in this area but there are still huge challenges with how domestic abuse is being recorded. We want to see further improvements in how the police gather evidence in their investigations, especially when it comes to coercive control offences, to ensure that perpetrators of domestic abuse are held accountable and that survivors are safe. Only then will survivors have the confidence that they will be listened to, believed and supported when they report the abuse to the police.”
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 or to arrange interviews with Women’s Aid spokespeople or case studies, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected].