Domestic violence is defined as an intimate
relationship between partners, where one individual wants to assert power and gain
control over the other person. Mostly the abuser asserts power in different ways
of abuse, which might include physical, psychological, economic and sexual
abuse. Domestic violence is gender neutral and is not concerned with sexuality
or gender of the victim.1
Although according to Crime Survey for England
and Wales, women are more prone to domestic violence than men. 1 out of 4 women
and 1 out 6 men have faced domestic abused in their lifetime.2
Estimates of 1.9 million adults aged between 16 to 59 years have faced abuse in
the year ending March 2017. 3
It is clear that England and Wales is facing a
challenging scenario where too many women are subjected to domestic violence. The
CPS is trying to eradicate and tackle the problem by introducing new acts and
strategies like VAWG and Clare’s law4,
which will be discussed below.
The plan would look into new laws and acts introduced by CPS and how it is contributing
towards the betterment of the victims and the witnesses. Also, briefly mentioning
about any inconsistency that acts as a detriment towards the support provided
to the victims.
It is required by CPS to take greater care
while considering all the facts of the offender’s behaviour and the relevant
background history before any action could be taken against the offender. There
should not be any stereotypical assumptions made against the victim or the
abuser. As all the cases must be judged by their own merits by the police and
CPS Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG)
strategy is an overarching framework for crimes, which looks into the offences
like domestic violence, forced marriages, child-abuse, prostitution and
pornography. All of these crimes are committed by power and control of men. Hence,
VWAG provides protection to women and girls through Criminal Justice System,
but they also recognize that some victims could be men too.5
This is appreciable as male victims are often failed by the system.
CPS has taken commitment in The Prosecutor’s
pledge, in regards to the views of the victim that will be taken into
consideration while making decision of a case. 6
The safety of the victim is of utmost priority, so if a victim is vulnerable
and ask to stop the court proceeding, the prosecution will try to find out why
the victim have reached to that decision. But, in respect to more serious
violence or children abuse, the court often goes ahead with the case if there
is sufficient evidence with them.
CPS provides specialist support to the victims
that include outrage workers, refuge provision, Women’s aid. But the court can
pass a restraining order if it is felt that the victim needs additional protection.
However, the restraining order is subjected to the defence lawyer information
and Victim Personal statement (if any).