DCCP Alison Mutch on the fight against the latest forms of Violence Against Women and Girls

30/12/2016

Alison Mutch, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, is the area lead for Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

She said: "The last two Annual VAWG Reports have highlighted the changing nature of this sort of crime.

"There's an increasing amount of online activity by perpetrators to monitor, publicly humiliate and threaten victims. With ever advancing technology, they are finding more and more ways to coerce and control their victims.

"Places that were once considered as safe havens by victims, such as friends homes, are no bar to cyber criminals, increasing the psychological and physical damage suffered by their victims.

"Young and vulnerable people are particularly at risk. They're easily targeted through social media, as the abusers build up their trust and make them believe that they are experiencing a true friendship or romantic relationship.

"Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service is working very hard to inform and educate prosecutors about the new methods being used to commit these crimes.

"This ensures that our prosecutions are of the best quality possible and that we can provide effective support to victims.

"In October 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service published revised guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media.

"The changing nature of VAWG has been addressed in these revised guidelines, which alert prosecutors to the various forms of cyberstalking. We have also provided information on the offences of Revenge pornography and controlling or coercive behaviour."

To read more about how these new guidelines are being used to prosecute defendants read this story in the Liverpool Echo