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Domestic violence

ONE in FOUR women will experience domestic violence at some time in their lives.

TWO women are killed every week by a current or former partner.

If a victim decides to withdraw support for the prosecution or no longer wishes to give evidence, it doesn't mean the case will automatically be stopped. Before deciding whether or not to proceed with the prosecution we will consider all the available options, ensuring the safety of the victim, children and any other person at risk remains our first priority.

We try to build cases on evidence other than that of the victim's, for example, evidence from the scene, accounts by police officers, and a record of 999 calls.

Violence against women and children is a crime -

  • Domestic violence
  • Rape and sexual assaults
  • Forced marriage
  • Child abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Human trafficking
  • Prostitution
  • Female genital mutilation

When prosecuting cases of domestic violence, we adopt the following definition:

"Any criminal offence arising out of physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse by one person against a current or former partner in a close relationship, or against a current or former family member."

This definition includes all forms of violent and controlling behaviour, for example assault, harassment or threats.

We aim to respond appropriately to the needs of all victims of domestic violence regardless of their gender or that of the abuser.

Further information relating to domestic violence is available on this website in the Publications/Prosecution Policy and Guidance/Domestic Violence section.

Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Perpetrators' phoneline RESPECT: 0845 122 8609

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