Ending domestic violence
Latest figures published by the Crown Prosecution Service show the conviction rate for domestic violence is at its highest ever level, with three-quarters (74.6%) of all cases reaching successful outcomes. Police referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service for charging decisions have also reached their highest ever levels, and the volume of prosecutions and convictions have both risen by over 10% in the last year.
Mr Pickles said with victims of domestic violence making an average 32 attempts to leave before they make their final escape, councils must do everything in their power to ensure there is nothing to prevent a woman from taking the vital steps to safety.
The £10 million fund will be available over this year and next, and builds on steps taken by this government to end domestic violence, support victims and ensure offenders are prosecuted.
International action against violence
25 November marks the start of 16 days of international action, to end violence against women and girls, and a range of government activity.
Later this week the government will announce details of local community groups who have received grants to help end the harmful practice of female genital mutilation.
Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone
will visit the Katherine Low Settlement
charity, to highlight the importance of communities talking openly about female genital mutilation.
She will also address students at King’s College London on the need for men to speak out as ‘agents of change to tackle violence against women and girls.
This is on top of action already taken to end the practice of female genital mutilation. In July, the Prime Minister and UNICEF jointly hosted the Girl Summit
, shining a spotlight on the importance of ending female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
The government has introduced a range of measures to support women and girls at risk of violence.
As part of the review of victims’ services ‘Getting It Right For Victims and Witnesses
’ the government also outlined plans to generate up to £50 million extra a year for victims’ services. This will be partly funded by making criminals pay more for their crimes.
The Victims’ Surcharge has been extended and increased so that criminals, not taxpayers, are contributing more to services that support victims. Next year there will be a potential total budget of up to £100 million, doubling the Ministry of Justice’s previous spending of around £50 million a year.
Since 2011 £4 million a year has been provided to female rape support centres in England and Wales, including funding to create the 13 new centres created through the Rape Support Fund. This has increased to £4.4 million in 2014 of which £300,000 has been set aside to allocate to two new centres.
In September, the government announced, that the coalition government has met its commitment to fund 15 new rape support facilities across the country since coming to power in 2010. There are currently 84 established centres receiving government funding through to 2015 to 2016, with two new centres due to open in 2015.
This includes dedicated housing support for those escaping domestic violence.
On this the government has:
- invested £6.5 billion to help vulnerable people through housing support – with a proportion used by local authorities to commission refuge services;
- made £500 million available since 2010 to local authorities and the voluntary sector to prevent and tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, helping the most vulnerable in society – including victims of domestic abuse; and
- funded UKRefuges Online, a UK-wide database of domestic violence services which supports the national 24-hour free phone domestic violence helpline – this service enables those working with victims of domestic violence to identify appropriate services and potential refuge vacancies around the country so victims can get the help they need as quickly as possible.
The Home Office has also issued an updated version of its
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) communications insight pack
. The pack covers a wide range of VAWG
issues and includes national statistics, background information on policy and government and partner campaigns. It also signposts other useful research and how to access various support materials available to partners.