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Offenders: Females

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of female offenders who have experienced traumas such as domestic and sexual abuse; and what steps they intend to take to prevent the victims of such experiences from committing crimes.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The Female Offender Strategy, published in June 2018, recognised the impact that trauma can have on female offending. We know that almost 60% of female offenders have experienced domestic abuse. It was also found in a 2005/6 prisoner survey that female prisoners who report having experienced abuse as a child are more likely to report suffering sexual abuse (67%) than male prisoners who have experienced abuse (24%).

A key theme in our Female Offender Strategy, is the need for a joined-up and holistic approach to addressing the often-complex needs of female offenders, such as those provided by the multi-agency, Whole System Approach models. As part of the Strategy, we have invested £5m in community provision to support female offenders. This included £2 million to support female offenders who have experienced domestic abuse.

In the Victims Strategy, published in September 2018, we consider the experience of female offenders and have committed to developing a victim’s pathway for female offenders in England.

In Wales, we will also use trauma-informed approaches to support female offenders who are also victims and consider how we can intervene early for women who disclose they are victims of domestic abuse at the first point of contact with the justice system.

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