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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assistance his Department provides for women engaged with the criminal justice system as a result of domestic abuse.
We recognise that female offenders often have complex circumstances, including backgrounds of domestic abuse, and we are committed to addressing their needs. We are developing a strategy to improve outcomes for female offenders in the community and in custody.
We are taking steps to provide assistance for women engaged with the criminal justice system who have experienced domestic abuse. This includes a confidential 24-hour helpline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, which is available in all women’s prisons and provides practical and emotional support and advice.
We have also invested £1m between 2016 and 2020 to support local areas to develop holistic, multi-agency approaches which aim to address the complex needs of female offenders and women at risk of offending, including those who have suffered domestic abuse.
We are committed to publishing a draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill. This will be accompanied by a programme of non-legislative work, and an additional £20m of funding to support victims of domestic abuse. Our aim is that all victims and survivors of domestic abuse will benefit from measures brought forward following consultation, including women engaged with the criminal justice system.