To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of convictions for domestic abuse in England and Wales.
15 June 2022
The Government is absolutely committed to tackling domestic abuse. Our commitment is demonstrated by our landmark Domestic Abuse Act last year, and more recently the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan. The Act has established a wide-ranging statutory definition of domestic abuse that incorporates a range of abusive behaviours beyond physical violence, brings in important new protections and support for victims in court and creates new offences such as of non-fatal strangulation. Building on the Act, the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan will seek to transform the whole of society’s response in order to prevent offending, support victims and pursue perpetrators, as well as to strengthen the systems processes in place needed to deliver these goals.
We are also giving victims more time to report domestic abuse-related assaults, through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.
We expect these measures to make a significant difference to victims being able to give their best evidence in court and to ensure more perpetrators are brought to justice, and therefore to help drive up conviction rates. As a Government, however, we acknowledge that there is more to do to improve the experience domestic abuse victims have of the entire justice system. In May, we published our draft Victims Bill and wider package of measures, to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. The Bill will amplify victims’ voices and entitlements, strengthen transparency and oversight of victims’ treatment by criminal justice agencies, and improve support for victims.