Violence against women and girls – Government action
UK Government actions
- In July 2020, the Crown Prosecution Service announced a new five-year strategy to address falling rates of charges and prosecutions for rape and serious sexual offences.
- In July 2020, following a legal challenge, the National Police Chiefs’ Council agreed to replace digital data extraction consent forms which had required victims of rape to consent to the download of all their mobile phone data.
- In May 2020, the UK Government announced an additional £28 million in funding for the domestic abuse sector, and £10 million to support sexual violence survivors, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Domestic Abuse Bill was introduced to Parliament on 3 March 2020. It creates a statutory definition of domestic abuse and introduces duties on local authorities to provide for accommodation-based domestic abuse services. In July 2020, the UK Government introduced amendments to include children within the definition of victims, to prevent the use of a ‘rough sex’ defence in cases of homicide, and to better protect survivors in the civil and family courts.
- In December 2019, the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) carried out a thematic review of rape cases.
- In September 2019, the UK Government announced the appointment of the UK’s first Domestic Abuse Commissioner.
- In March 2019, the UK Government announced a cross-government review of the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offences, in response to falling charging and prosecution rates.
- In 2016, the UK Government published a revised Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy to reduce violence against women and girls, and to increase reporting, police referrals, prosecutions, and convictions – the UK Government pledged to provide £100 million of funding before 2020. The Violence Against Women and Girls strategy was refreshed in March 2019.
Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on violence against women and girls.
Welsh Government actions
Violence against women and girls is a partly devolved matter. While aspects linked to the criminal justice system and policing are reserved to the UK Government, the Welsh Government has powers on violence against women and girls matters linked to housing, health and education.
- In June 2020, the Welsh Government announced a £1.5 million fund to help violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) service providers in response to the coronavirus pandemic – this is in addition to a £2.4 million budget boost in December 2019.
- In response to the pandemic, the Welsh Government made efforts to find appropriate housing for people who have no recourse to public funds (immigration conditions applied by the UK Government) but this support is not expected to continue.
- In May 2019, Welsh Government published its statutory guidance for the commissioning of VAWDASV services in Wales to support the commissioning of evidence based and integrated interventions by VAWDASV services to meet the purpose of the VAWDASV Act.
- In 2016, the Welsh Government published its National Strategy on VAWDASV for 2016-2021 and later published a Delivery Framework (2018-2021), which sets out how the Government will meet commitments made in the National Strategy.
- The Welsh Government’s Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 aims to improve the public sector’s response to the issue and National Indicators were published to measure progress against the Act in June 2019.
Read our assessment of the Welsh Government’s progress on violence against women and girls.