Violence against women and girls (VAWG)

VictimReducing violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) is one of our key priorities. We see violence against women as a fundamental issue of human rights and, working with our partners, the CPS in London has put in place a number of measures to ensure higher awareness of these crimes and to put better systems in place.

To support victims and witnesses of these offences through the court process there are a number of special measures that we can put in place such as screens, giving video evidence and evidence given in private, for more information on special measures click here.

We aim to achieve justice for victims as soon as possible and deal with cases quickly and efficiently. In cases of sexual offences and domestic violence it is important that we have the support of the victim in prosecuting the case. Often the victim is the only witness to the offence and their evidence can be vital to ensuring a strong case is presented in court.

Our aims are laid out on the CPS VAWG webpage and we also work with London partners through the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which has a London specific VAWG strategy, which you can find here.

The range of crimes that fall under the umbrella of VAWG are:

  • domestic violence (more information below)
  • forced marriage
  • honour-based violence
  • female genital mutilation
  • rape and sexual offences (more information can be found below)
  • prostitution
  • trafficking
  • child abuse
  • pornography.
Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse it can also include psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse and can take the form of an incident of threatening behaviour or violence between intimate partners or family members. We know that it can be hard for victims to come forward and they aren't always confident in reporting the crime and we are working hard to change that. We strive to make victims feel supported and work with our partners so that they are confident in giving evidence.

Together with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) we work together to build strong and robust cases using a joint evidence checklist for both police and prosecutors for use in cases of domestic violence. The checklist is there to ensure police and CPS to take specific steps to achieve thorough investigations, effective prosecutions and to help ensure victims receive the service they deserve.

We have a service level agreement with the MPS in place to make sure that cases are dealt with in a consistent way and that we work together so that victims of both direct and indirect domestic violence are supported through positive actions and offenders are brought to justice quickly. In addition we have recently set up a dedicated domestic violence team to deal with cases in London magistrates' courts.

Rape and Serious Sexual Offences

All rape cases are dealt with by our RASSO Unit (Rape and Serious Sexual Offences), which comes under our Complex Casework Unit. Prosecutors in the RASSO unit undergo specialist training, including input from forensic physicians and psychologists. They are trained to deal with challenges such as commonly held myths and stereo types about rape and the victims of it and take part in practical exercises and pro-active case building.

Next page: Young victims and witnesses