This Government is committed to ensuring that victims are supported at every stage of the criminal justice system, so that justice can be secured, victims and the public protected, and offenders punished. This is why we committed to legislation for victims in the Queen’s Speech and will be consulting on a Victims’ Bill later this year. The public consultation will ensure that a truly bipartisan approach can be taken and will allow a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties to input into our careful deliberations.
The new Victims’ Code, which came into force in April, is the culmination of two years of extensive work, including hearing from victims and victims’ groups, to ensure that we have a clear and comprehensive framework for victims’ rights. This vital work has laid the foundations for effective legislation in this area, and it is our intention to proceed without delay.
We will consult on how we will enshrine the 12 key rights in the new Victims’ Code in law and ensure that those rights of victims are upheld. We will consult too on the provision of community-based domestic abuse and sexual violence services to set the expectations for the availability of support, as well as a statutory underpinning for the roles of independent sexual and domestic violence advisers to ensure that victims receive a high standard of care.
Ahead of the consultation, we are working across government and with victims and those who support them to understand the key issues that need to be addressed by the Victims’ Bill. This work is vital to ensure that the Victims’ Bill is as comprehensive and impactful as intended.
This builds on the huge amount of work already underway from the Government in this area. We will publish new Violence Against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse strategies this year to help drive a step-change in the response to these crimes, building on the existing landmark legislation in this area, the Domestic Abuse Act and the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and we are investing record amounts in support for victims, more than £300 million this year.