Violence against Women and Girls: Charge Rates

Home Department – in the House of Commons at on 20 March 2023.

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Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

What steps her Department is taking to improve charge rates for perpetrators of violence against women and girls.

Photo of Sarah Dines Sarah Dines The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

We are committed to holding perpetrators of violence against women and girls to account, as has been demonstrated by the rape review, the tackling violence against women and girls strategy and the tackling domestic abuse plan, which includes violence against men and boys. To improve the police response, the Home Office is providing £6.65 million to develop the national operating model for rape investigations through Operation Soteria, and has funded domestic abuse training specifically for investigators.

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

Disabled women are twice as likely to be victims of domestic abuse as non-disabled women. I am currently dealing with the case of a woman who has ended up in hospital as a result of abuse from her partner. She has had no direct contact with the police, no personal statement has been taken, and she feels completely let down. I appreciate that thousands of women go through this, and I also appreciate that Greater Manchester police are doing the very best they can, but what is the Home Secretary doing to ensure that these women have the necessary confidence and trust to feel able to report such abuse to the police?

Photo of Sarah Dines Sarah Dines The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The confidence of any victim of abuse must be increased, and to that end the Government are spending unprecedented amounts on training not only new but existing police officers in how to deal with victims. Disabled victims are no different from any other victim, and they are entitled to the same number and quality of responses. I should add that police guidance dictates that officers will visit the scene of every reported instance of domestic abuse, the only exception being when it is unsafe for them to do so. The hon. Lady is right to raise this important issue, which we take very seriously.

Photo of Kate Kniveton Kate Kniveton Conservative, Burton

I welcome last week’s announcement by the Government which will lead to tougher sentences for domestic abusers who kill their partners or ex-partners. Can my hon. Friend confirm that this Government will always do everything possible to protect vulnerable women and girls and deliver justice to those who attack or threaten them?

Photo of Sarah Dines Sarah Dines The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

This Government are made up of the party that believes in law and order, and wherever we can, we will continue to review sentences. Strictly speaking, this is a matter for the Ministry of Justice, but I know that the Deputy Prime Minister, and also the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary, are thoroughly committed to reviewing this sort of offence.