Violence against Women Guidance

Legal Guidance, Domestic abuse , Sexual offences


The CPS published a Violence Against Women (VAW) Strategy and Action Plans in April 2008, which link and co-ordinate all aspects of violence against women work.

The strategy provides a framework which seeks to improve coordination and performance via increased successful outcomes in cases of:

  • domestic violence, including harassment;
  • forced marriage and so-called honour crimes;
  • rape and sexual offences;
  • child abuse;
  • crimes against older people;
  • female genital mutilation (FGM);
  • pornography;
  • prostitution; and
  • human trafficking.

VAW has been designated as one of nine mission critical projects by the CPS Board. In the context of crimes involving violence against women, the CPS specific objectives are to:

  • improve the number and quality of prosecutions;
  • increase public confidence;
  • improve support, safety and satisfaction for victims; and
  • address any equality disproportionality.

This VAW Guidance aims to outline the CPS approach to these crimes, describing their gendered nature, providing information on common patterns and highlighting relevant issues. It advises on ways to improve both prosecution of these cases and the safety of victims. Annex 3 provides links to the specific policy guidance where further clarification is needed.

International and National Context

The VAW Strategy outlines the human rights framework of VAW as recommended by the United Nations and Council of Europe.

The Government has passed several pieces of legislation in the last five years that reflect an increased focus and commitment to tackling violence against women. Recent additions include the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 and the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.

Building on the Inter-Ministerial Groups (IMGs) and cross-government delivery plans on domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and prostitution, Ministers have indicated that tackling VAW is a key priority for the current Government. In March 2009, the Home Secretary announced details of a national VAW consultation, to be followed by the publication of a cross-government VAW strategy, in Autumn 2009.

The CPS Approach

Although there is no specific offence of VAW, there are some specific offences within the criminal law that may constitute VAW. For example, perpetrators can be prosecuted for offences including rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, prostitution, child pornography and female genital mutilation.

For some VAW strands, there are no specific offences to prosecute under. However, if an offence falls within a specific policy or within an agreed definition, then it should be prosecuted as such. For example, although there is no specific offence of "domestic violence", cases of "domestic violence" are prosecuted under a range of other offences, ranging from common assault to murder.

The lessons learnt from these individual strands of work can now be shared, and patterns of crime, victimisation and support addressed.

The strategy is underpinned by effective partnership working at both a local and national level. At a national level, for example, the CPS works with External Consultation Groups both within domestic violence and the wider VAW arena, which consist of national voluntary sector organisations and key statutory agencies. These groups are consulted quarterly on the CPS VAW work programme.

At an Area level, the CPS works with communities through local partnership structures including domestic violence forums and Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels (HCSPs). The inclusion of more VAW strands within HCSPs remains under active consideration.

CPS Areas have established minimum standards of coordination, of VAW work, to ensure effective implementation of the strategy. The majority of Areas are ensuring integration of all their VAW work through the existing domestic violence and rape coordinators, with a number of Areas appointing specific VAW coordinator posts.

The VAW work is clearly part of the community prosecutor approach, providing a more locally responsive service, especially with the high prioritisation in many Area community safety partnerships of work to address domestic violence and rape. Issues of forced marriage and so-called honour crimes may also be prioritised in some Areas, as may issues of prostitution in other localities. VAW work addresses the three main strands of this approach: more community aware decisions, problem solving with partners and visibility to communities.

The Need for a Gendered Framework

The VAW strategy is an overarching framework to address crimes that have been identified as being committed primarily, but not exclusively, by men (94%) against women (89%). [Data from the VAW Strategy and Equality & Diversity Impact Assessment 2008, relates to CPS data on prosecutions rather than police recorded crime.]. It is an umbrella for a set of crime types that have a pattern related to gender.

The nature of the offending can indicate that the defendant exerts a controlling influence on the victims life. The context is frequently one of abuse of power, used by the perpetrators, the majority of whom are men, to control victims who are women - forcing them, for example, into marriage, prostitution, pornography or sex.

The individual policies that sit within the VAW framework are gender neutral and will be applied fairly and equitably to all perpetrators and victims of crime, both men and women.

Drawing the most common strands of VAW together allows expertise and experience acquired in respect of individual strands to be brought to bear on others that have the same dynamics. This helps prosecutors to be aware of the raft of issues that they may need to address, e.g. repeat victimisation which can often be a significant factor in VAW crimes.

Victim & Witness Characteristics

Improving the safety, support and satisfaction of victims and witnesses is a key objective of the VAW Strategy. In progressing cases, CPS staff should be aware of the particular difficulties faced by VAW victims and the sensitivities involved in supporting them.

Safety of victims should be of prime concern from the outset, especially as in the majority of cases the perpetrator and victim are often known to one another. Escalating levels of violence are regularly observed in VAW crimes. For example, a number of cases of domestic violence have involved a sudden shift from harassment to murder.

The nature of the relationship between the two may well mean that the victim has additional issues to consider before even reporting an offence to the police, e.g. there may be children and/or young people involved, or there may be a high level of financial dependency between victim and defendant.

A victims own perception of risk should always be taken seriously and form part of the overall risk assessment, as cases have illustrated that their assessment may be more accurate than any risk assessment by a third party.

Not only is specialised support needed for the victim, but the approach to the prosecution of the defendant also needs to be specialised. Prosecution policies also need to address issues relating to evidence in the light of the often close, and controlling, relationship between defendant and victim and the increased likelihood of repeat victimisation and victim intimidation. The potential for retractions and non-attendance at court are significant in these crimes.

Offences committed against victims may not be of a single type and can range from abuse by a single perpetrator to being part of international organised crime.

For some VAW crimes there may be a delay in reporting the crime, for example in rape cases, which needs understanding and explanation in the prosecution of the case.

There are common experiences within VAW crimes based on gender. In addition, the interaction of gender with other identities can produce distinct experiences of violence for each individual woman. The CPS considers that an understanding of these different identities, referred to as intersectionality, is crucial to tackling violence against women.

Victims circumstances may also be complex and not dominated by a single issue. They may be affected by a variety of factors such as age, economic situation, cultural background or immigration status.

Individual womens experiences of violence will be different. Women may also encounter additional barriers to accessing justice. For example, a lesbian might be anxious about reporting violence because of a fear of homophobia, or being forced to come out. An older, disabled woman could find it difficult to report violence because of her disability and because of fears that there are no services available for her.

Victims can be targeted as a result of their vulnerable status including, for example, having mental health issues or learning or physical disabilities.

Key Requirements of the Prosecution Response

The prosecution response to VAW crimes can also be seen to have a number of key requirements. Although each will not apply to every VAW strand, the following provides a useful summary of aspects present in the prosecution of many VAW cases.


Explore all evidential avenues including whether to hold a pre-trial witness interview. From June 2009 pre-trial witness interviews are to be considered in all rape cases, with recorded decisions. Build strong cases so, where possible, there is more than just the victims evidence. This is crucial as one of the features of VAW crimes is victim withdrawal. Where a victim seeks to withdraw support for the prosecution always consider whether they may have been pressured or frightened into changing or retracting their statement and take any appropriate action.

Public interest

Certain public interest factors in favour of prosecution, will often be highly relevant to the prosecution of VAW crimes. For example, in paragraph 5.9 of the Code for Crown Prosecutors, common public interest factors that favour a prosecution which may be relevant to VAW crimes include:

  • c) a weapon was used or violence was threatened during the commission of the offence;
  • e) the defendant was in a position of authority or trust;
  • i) the victim of the offence was vulnerable, has been put in considerable fear, or suffered personal attack, damage or disturbance;
  • j) the offence was committed in the presence of, or in close proximity to, a child;
  • k) the offence was motivated by any form of discrimination against the victims.. sex ..or the suspect demonstrated hostility towards the victim based on any of those characteristics;
  • m) the defendants previous convictions or cautions are relevant to the present offence;
  • o) there are grounds for believing that the offence is likely to be continued or repeated, for example, by a history of recurring conduct and
  • q) a prosecution would have a significant positive impact on maintaining community confidence.

In addition paragraph 5.12 emphasises the consequence for the victim of the decision whether or not to prosecute, and any views expressed by the victim or the victims family. For many VAW crimes we need to strike a balance with considering the victims views alongside the need to consider future risks to them, their children and any other potential victim.


Consider the full range of possible charges to reflect the seriousness and extent of the offending. A common assault may include a history of sexual abuse and false imprisonment. Other victims may be trafficked into prostitution, then raped and subjected to domestic violence. Act speedily as many VAW victims may withdraw if the case is prolonged. In addition, where possible, prosecutors should seek to check perpetrator criminal history with the police. Evidence of perpetrator offending with other victims may assist in bad character applications or provide the basis for further charges.

Multi-agency partnership working

Much VAW work requires co-ordination and co-operation with a range of organisations drawn from both inside and outside the CJS to ensure the most effective prosecution. Best practice includes development of protocols which set out the CPS relationship with external partners. Key examples of this include the CPS-ACPO protocol on the handling of rape cases, the multi-agency protocol on the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases and the Specialist DV Court protocols on domestic violence. Consideration should be given to ensuring that work on all VAW strands locally is carried out with partner agencies, with protocols on the role of each agency where possible. Public awareness is crucial to change understanding of juries and public confidence and often partner agencies can take on this role more effectively.

Risk assessment and management

The serious risk faced by many VAW victims indicates the need for co-ordinated risk assessment and risk management procedures for victims, perpetrators and children, where possible. Partner agencies may provide this work on risk, but information on any risks needs to be taken into consideration in the prosecution of cases. Information on perpetrators will be assessed through Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPAs) and Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) which seek to ensure the safety of children.

For domestic violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) bring agencies together to improve the safety of high and very high risk victims. Consideration should be given to obtaining information from the police and partner agencies on potential risks in cases, e.g. in relation to their safety at court and making bail decisions.

Recent homicides have indicated that our work with partners is crucial to ensure risk assessments have been carried out.

Identification of cases

Case identification is also, in a CPS context, a key characteristic of VAW cases. Correct flagging on the COMPASS Case Management System (CMS) is critically important in developing accurate statistics and provides the basis for improvement of the prosecution response through performance management. Currently flags exist on CMS for cases of domestic violence, specialist domestic violence court cases, rape, child abuse, forced marriage and honour crime.

Performance management

Performance management is a key part of increasing the number and quality of VAW prosecutions, and this has been integral to the success the CPS has seen in increasing successful outcomes in domestic violence. Performance management is now playing a significant role in the same manner in other VAW crimes, such as rape and sexual offences. Area coordinators are recommended to play a key role with Area Senior Management Teams in assessing performance of the VAW Indicator. In addition Areas may wish to consider monitoring their performance on other VAW strands to identify any issues to improve prosecutions.

Expertise of prosecutors

Specialist prosecutors typically have a role prosecuting a range of VAW crimes. All CPS prosecutors have been trained to deal with cases of domestic violence, with dedicated prosecutors in specialist domestic violence courts. Specialist prosecutors take on cases of rape, and in some Areas child abuse and hi-tech crimes (including pornography). Specialists are due to be trained to deal with cases of forced marriage and honour-based violence, whilst Complex Casework Units often prosecute organized human trafficking crimes. Consideration is needed to decide which prosecutors will have the most appropriate experience to deal with cases, especially where specialists are not established.

Court listings

Court listing considerations may also play a part in the prosecution of VAW crimes. Specialist Domestic Violence Courts already operate what is in effect a fast-track or cluster court model, whilst expedited trials are important in rape and child abuse cases, for example.

Support for victims

Areas should seek to ensure victims are referred to specialist support agencies to provide help and advice before, during and after court proceedings. Witness Care Units will provide contacts for the cases proceeding to trial. Victims of VAW crimes are often in need of special provisions when attending court and regular consideration should be made. This, of course, includes the use of special measures to assist in giving evidence, such as the use of screens in court, the provision of a live link or video evidence-in-chief. Early special measures meetings should also be considered in VAW cases.

Where possible, other measures which could be considered for VAW crime victims include, for example, pre-court visits and the provision of separate entrances at court. Consideration of the safety of victims outside, as well as at, court is needed. Further details of the support needs of VAW victims are detailed below.


As well as being victims of child abuse, children may also be victims in other VAW crimes; for example children in domestic violence cases, persons under 18 trafficked or forced into sex work and child victims of female genital mutilation or so-called honour crimes. Childrens services may well be involved in this respect, and risk assessment of children needed. Work with key childrens charities such as the NSPCC may also be helpful to identify issues to address.

County Lines

'County Line' offending is a national issue which involves the exploitation of vulnerable young people and adults by violent gang members in order to move and sell drugs across the country. It involves city-based organised crime gangs taking over a single telephone number in a new area to sell drugs directly at street level.

The gangs target and recruit vulnerable people, invariably children and often boys aged 14-17 who are groomed with money and gifts, and forced to act as couriers and carry out the day to day dealing.

In some cases, gang members enter into relationships with young women, who are often controlled, coerced and sexually abused, in order to secure location for drugs to be stored in the new area. These young women are also vulnerable to sexual exploitation and violence from other gang members.

Gang environments are largely male- dominated, and rape and abuse is predominantly against female victims. It is particularly  important that prosecutors are alert to the dynamics of gang offending when giving charging advice and consider all available offences when reviewing a case in connection with 'County Lines' offending.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 may be considered in cases where there has been deliberate targeting, recruitment and exploitation of vulnerable children or adults in these circumstances.

What prosecutors and CPS staff can do individually to address victim safety and confidence

The main responsibilities of prosecutors and other CPS legal staff in supporting victims of violence against women and ensuring their safety are set out below.

Ensure victims are referred to specialist VAW support organisations, through Witness Care Units, including Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) or Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs), so that support can be tailored to suit their needs. If no specialist organisations are available consider referral to general support agencies such as Victim Support. Annex 2 provides a list of key national VAW organisations who could advise on Area referrals.

Obtain an up-to-date risk assessment from the police to inform charging decisions so that the charges reflect the severity and extent of offending.

Ensure the victim is informed of case developments and decisions at each stage by liaising with the Witness Care Officer (WCO) or where appropriate through the specialist police officer, IDVA, ISVA or other single point of contact preferred by the victim and ensure that the WCO is updated. This may contribute to victims feeling more in control of their situation and improve the low self-esteem that can result from victimisation.

Liaise with Witness Care Officers or other 'single points of contact' (e.g. police officer or the IDVA/ISVA) to make sure you are kept up to date with any victim information.

Use up-to-date Victim Personal Statements to inform the court during the sentencing process and when considering whether or not to ask for bail conditions (and which conditions to request).

Comply with the specific obligations of the CPS towards victims under the Prosecutors Pledge, Direct Communication with Victims Scheme and Code of Practice for Victims of Crime:

  • Apply to the court for special measures, where appropriate;
  • Make sure victims and witnesses are assisted at court to refresh their memory from their written or video statement;
  • Ensure that victims and witnesses are protected from unwarranted or irrelevant attacks on their character;
  • Advocates should introduce themselves to the witness at court and answer any general queries that a witness may have (without discussing the detail of the case);
  • Make sure witnesses who are kept waiting at court are told the reasons for the delay and the estimated time when they will be required to give evidence.

Liaise with specialist support organisations (through Witness Care Units and the police) to make sure that victims are getting the support they need for them to participate in the criminal justice process.

Keep informed of relevant outcomes of Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) and other protection arrangements, e.g. Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), to inform decisions around, for example, special measures or bail.

Liaise with the Witness Care Unit to make sure that separate entrances, exits and accommodation facilities are available for witnesses so that they do not have to mix with the defendant or his or her friends or family.

Arrange for the CPS to pay reasonable expenses to the witness, including childcare and travel, for attending court.

When necessary arrange for the appropriate interpreters to assist victims and witnesses at court. For further information see the CPS Guidance on the use of Interpreters.

Tackling myths and stereotypes around VAW crimes

A large number of myths and stereotypes surround VAW crimes, and prosecutors should be mindful of these in prosecuting such cases. Myths and stereotypes will often become apparent during the course of VAW cases, and prosecutors should do all that they can to dispel them.

Common myths around rape, for example, include rape usually occurring between strangers in isolated locations and victims provoking rape through the way that they dress or act or by being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The implications of these myths can be damaging for victims and each are disproved by the facts, for example, the majority of rapes are committed by a person known to the victim.

Equally there are also a number of myths surrounding domestic violence cases which can be dispelled by reference to the facts. These include the suggestion that victims of domestic violence are in some way to blame for the offending, that domestic violence only takes place in higher crime areas and that it is easy for victims to leave their abuser if they so choose.

The CPS has collated longer lists of the myths that are often found to exist in cases of domestic violence and rape, together with the facts that disprove them. These can be found in Section 21 of the Rape and Sexual Offences Guidance  as regards rape, and in Appendix 1 of the CPS DV Expert Witness Report for domestic violence.


The successful prosecution of VAW crimes is a strategic priority for the CPS, and is one of nine identified mission critical projects for the Service. The CPS is currently seeking to embed further the approach to VAW crimes into the mainstream methods of prosecuting and to increase the number of perpetrators brought to justice, support for victims and overall increase the confidence of the public in our Service.

This VAW guidance will be updated as the approach becomes embedded further within the CPS.

Annex 1: IDVAs, IDVAs and SARCs

Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs)

In some parts of England and Wales, IDVAs have been introduced as part of a Government initiative to provide targeted professional support to high or very high risk victims of domestic violence.

IDVAs work with victims from the point of crisis, that is, a police call-out or an Accident and Emergency attendance. They assess risk and tailor their service to respond to the level of risk the victim is experiencing. They prioritise their resources by focusing on those at greatest risk of harm.

IDVAs work in a multi-agency setting and involve other agencies when required. They are trained to understand the value and legal requirement of information-sharing and, as such, are integral to the MARAC system.

From a victims perspective, the IDVA offers a main contact point through the different agencies and processes they may need to access. The IDVA identifies sources of help and safety, explains the processes and supports the victim to get the help they need.

The IDVA can be a key point of contact for a victim who is a witness in a trial. Because of the independent nature of the IDVA role, they can work with victims from the point of crisis, through the court process and after.

Working with criminal justice agencies and Witness Care Units, the IDVA can ensure that the victim stays informed throughout the criminal justice process. They can also coordinate the protection of the civil and criminal courts to ensure a victim is protected.

Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs)

A small network of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) has also been rolled out across England and Wales as part of a Government initiative to provide targeted professional support to victims of serious sexual violent crime.

ISVAs are professionally trained specialists who work alongside victims from the point of crisis, such as initial contact with emergency services, throughout the legal process and beyond. ISVAs also work with victims outside the criminal justice system.

ISVAs can be based in Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) or specialist sexual violence voluntary organisations and link in with essential services such as victim and witness organisations, counselling and health, whilst ensuring the safety of the victim is co-ordinated across all agencies.

Further information on ISVAs can be found on the Home Office website.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres

A Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is defined by the Home Office as:

  • "A one-stop location where victims of sexual assault can receive medical care and counselling whilst at the same time having the opportunity to assist the police investigation into alleged offences, including the facilities for a high standard of forensic examination."

Some police areas have established SARCs in premises away from police stations, usually in health service premises or buildings in residential areas.

SARCs provide a dedicated, forensically secure facility which is integrated with hospital services. They should be accessible for 24-hours a day, seven days a week, with availability for victims within four hours by appointment.

They are usually provided by a partnership including the local police force(s) and health services, with close involvement of the voluntary sector. These centres can have specially trained medical and counselling staff who deal with the victims of serious sexual offences.

SARCs also provide a confidential self-referral service whereby victims can attend the centre directly. In these circumstances staff at SARCs can give the victim the following four options: report the matter to the police for investigation; report the facts anonymously to the police for intelligence purposes; secure and retain all necessary physical evidence samples for subsequent referral to the police, if that course of action is decided upon, or provide appropriate medical, psychological and counselling support for the victim.

Further information on SARCs can be found on the Home Office website.

Annex 2: Voluntary sector organisations

Womens Aid Federation of England and Wales

Womens Aid Federation of England (Womens Aid) is the national domestic violence charity which coordinates and supports a network of over 340 local domestic violence organisations in England providing over 500 refuges, helplines, community-based advocacy and outreach services.

Womens Aid works in partnership with national and local government, police, social services, health authorities and voluntary organisations to promote the need for an integrated approach to prevent domestic violence and to protect abused women and children.

Womens Aid provides a range of resources, publications, training and national information services. Publications include the UK Gold Book, which is a directory of domestic abuse services and includes details of specialist refuges and advice services for black and minority ethnic women, languages spoken and other specific provisions.

For further information see: In Wales, the website is

Rape Crisis Coordination Group (England and Wales)

The Rape Crisis Coordination Group (RCCG) is a group providing coordination of Rape Crisis Centres in England and Wales.

Rape Crisis Centres have been established across the UK and Ireland to provide services for women and girls, and can generally also provide information on support agencies for men and boys.

Not all Rape Crisis Centres provide the same services. The following website gives details of locations and services offered:

Survivors Trust

The Survivors Trust is a charity which provides organisational support and networking opportunities to specialist voluntary services working with male and female survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse.

There are currently eighty member groups located throughout the UK. Some member groups provide separate services for women or men, while many work with both male and female survivors. Many groups also provide a service for young people. Training and supervision for professionals working with survivors is offered locally by member groups. For further information email:

Organisation contact details

A short description of a number of VAW victim support organisations, together with their contact details and website links are provided below arranged in groups covering:

The national organisations can be contacted for information on local groups. When Witness Care Units make contact with local groups they should ensure they comply with the Contact Directory Guidance, contained within the NWNJ starter pack.

Domestic Violence

Womens Aid: is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. Providing protection prevention and provision, including refuges, for domestic violence victims.

Address:PO BOX 391,Bristol BS99 7WS


Organisation telephone and Email

National helpline number: 0808 2000 247 (24hours run in partnership with Refuge).

T: 0117 9157453


Refuge: its network of safe houses provides emergency accommodation for women and children facing domestic violence.

Address: 4th Floor, International House, 1 St Katharine's Way, London E1W 1UN


Organisation telephone and Email

National helpline number - Same as Womens Aid above

T: 020 7395 7700


Respect: is the UK membership association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services. They also provide support for male victims.

Address: 1st floor, Downstream Building,1 London Bridge,London SE1 9BG


Organisation telephone and Email

Respect phone line is an information and advice line 0845 122 8609

T: 020 7022 1801


Broken Rainbow LGBT DV Service UK: support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experiencing domestic violence.

Organisation telephone and Email

LBGT Helpline 08452 60 44 60 from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm Monday to Friday.


Southall Black Sisters: a not-for-profit organisation that provides a comprehensive service to Black and Minority Ethnic women experiencing violence and abuse.

Address:21 Avenue Road,Southall,Middlesex, UB1 3BL


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 8571 9595


Imkaan: is a national second tier charity dedicated to the development of the specialist Asian women's refuge sector. It provides support to refuges serving the needs of Asian women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Address:Tindlemanor, 4th Floor, 52-54 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 7250 3933

E: and

MALE (Mens Advise line): a confidential helpline for men who experience violence from their partners or ex-partners.


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 0808 801 0327


Welsh Womens Aid: is a key national charity working in Wales to end domestic violence of women and children. It supports a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.

Address: Welsh Women's Aid, 38-48 Crwys Road, Cardiff CF24 4NN


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 029 2039 0874

Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 801 0800

CAADA(Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse): is working to create a consistent, professional and effective response for all victims of domestic violence in particular those at high risk. They deliver accredited training for IDVAs and MARACs nationally and have developed accredited IDVA standards for IDVA services. They offer ongoing support for those they have trained.

Address: CAADA, 6th Floor Market House, Baldwin Street, Bristol BS1 1NG


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 0117 3178750

F: 0117 3763364


Rape Crisis (England and Wales): was set up and registered as a charity to support the work of Rape Crisis centres in England and Wales. It provides co-ordination and support to affiliated member groups and rape victims. If you would like information on other organisations that work with victims email or call on the number below.

Address: Rape Crisis (England & Wales), c/o WRSAC, PO Box 39, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 1XF


Organisation telephone and Email


Survivors Trust: can also provide a list of all local agencies at:

Womens Aid and Refuge: also provide services for women raped in domestic violence settings (see above).

Prostitution and Human Trafficking

Lilith Project: coordinates two major networks for organisations working with women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence: The Sexual Violence Action and Awareness Network (SVAAN) is a network for voluntary and statutory agencies which provide support services to women who have been raped or sexually assaulted and The Kalabash Forum is a network and for voluntary and statutory agencies which support Black and Minority Ethnic women and girls who have experienced any form of gendered violence.

Poppy Project: provides accommodation and support to women who have been trafficked into prostitution. It has 35 bed spaces in houses throughout London. The POPPY Outreach Service works to improve the safety and wellbeing of women from all over the UK who have been trafficked and who are in need of short term support and advocacy. (Provides accommodation and support to women aged over 18).

Address: 2nd Floor Lincoln House, 1-3 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6DE


Organisation telephone and Email


T: 020 7735 2062

Anti-trafficking Alliance: Empowering survivors of forced abduction and sexual slavery by providing psychological, social, legal and medical support, assistance to return home (if wanted by the victim) or to stay in the destination country and income generation schemes to empower victims and provide them with economic security.

Address: 22 Corinne Road, London, N19 5EY


Organisation telephone and Email


ECPAT UK: works to end child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

Address: ECPAT UK, Grosvenor Gardens House, 35-37 Grosvenor Gardens,London, SW1W 0BS


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 7233 9887


Salvation Army: provides safe accommodation and rehabilitation programmes for victims of prostitution and human trafficking

Address: London Central Division, HQ, 3rd Floor, 1 Tiverton Street, London SE1 6NT


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 7378 1021


Independent Sexual Violence Advisor working within Prostitution: providing support for sex workers experiencing sexual violence

Address: Armistead Street, 1st Floor, Muskers Buildings, 1 Stanley Street, Liverpool, L1 6AA

Organisation telephone and Email

T: 0151 227 1893

United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC): the was established to lead the fight against human trafficking. As global experts in their field, the Centre brings together a number of agencies from law enforcement and government to non-governmental agencies (NGOs) and charities to create a specialist team. The experience of the UKHTC in advising on victim care and how to deal with traffickers can reassure members of the public that if they call with information it will assist the suspected victim and the matter will be dealt with effectively. Victims can also be reassured that any information will be dealt with in complete confidence and that the welfare of the victim always comes first.

The UKHTC takes a victim-centred human rights approach in its outlook to victim support.

Victims are often severely traumatised by their experiences and need specialist and sensitive care to help them stabilise their lives and plan a return to normal life.

Websites: UK Human Trafficking Centre

Organisation email


UK Network of sex workers project (UKNSWP): is an umbrella organisation which brings together projects who are offering some sort of frontline support services to people involved in sex work. If you would like information on other organisations that work with victims email or call on the number below.

Address: UKNSWP, Unit 14 Cariocca Business Park, Sawley Road, Miles Platting, Manchester, M40 8BB


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 0161 629 9861


UNICEF: protects children from exploitation, abuse and violence, trafficked and forced to work in abominable conditions, in prostitution rings and sweatshops.

Address:UNICEF House, 30a Great Sutton Street, London, EC1V 0DU


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 7490 2388


Forced Marriage and Honour Based Crimes

Forced Marriage Unit: provides confidential advice and assistance to those who have been forced into marriage overseas, are at risk of being forced into marriage or people worried about friends or relatives being forced into marriage.

Address: 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 7008 0151


Ashiana Project: offers safe accommodation across 2 schemes - a shared house for South Asian, Turkish and Iranian women and a 4-bed safe house for young women being forced into marriage.

Address:P.O. BOX 816, London, E11 1QY


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 0208 539 9656 /0427/6800


Womens Aid, Refuge, Southall Black Sisters and Imkaan also provide services for women being forced into marriage and at risk of honour crimes in domestic violence settings (see above).

Child Abuse

NSPCC/Child line: the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) protects children from cruelty, supports vulnerable families.

Address: NSPCC, Child Protection Research Group, Weston House, 42 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3NH


Organisation telephone and Email

Helpline number: 0808 800 5000 (for adults)

0800 1111 (for children)

T: 020 7825 2500


Barnados: supports abused, vulnerable, forgotten and neglected children.

Address: Barnardos, Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex, IG6 1QG


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 8550 8822

Womens Aid, Refuge and Imkaan also provide services for children in domestic violence settings (see above).

Elder Abuse

Action on Elder Abuse(AEA): works to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults.

Address: Action on Elder Abuse, Astral House, 1268 London Road, Norbury, London, SW16 4ER


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 8765 7000 and 020 8765 7016

Helpline number: 0808 808 8141

Help the Aged: is an international charity fighting to free older people from poverty, isolation and neglect.

Address: 207-221 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9UZ


Organisation telephone and Email

T: 020 7278 1114


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development (FORWARD): is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works to advance and protect the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of African girls and women.

Address: 765-767 Harrow Road, London, NW10 5NY


Organisation telephone and Email

T: (0)20 8960 4000

General Support

Rights of Women: is a womens voluntary organisation committed to informing, educating and empowering women concerning their legal rights.

Address: Rights of Women, 52-54 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT.


Organisation telephone and Email


Victim Support: is the independent national charity that helps people to cope with the effects of crime. It provides free and confidential support and information to help victims deal with their experiences.


Organisation telephone and Email

T: Victim Support line: 0845 30 30 900


Witness Service: is run by Victim Support in every criminal court in England and Wales to give information and support to witnesses, victims, their families and friends when they go to court.

Address: National Office, Cranmer House,39 Brixton Road,London, SW9 6DZ

Organisation telephone and Email

T: 0207 735 9166

F: 0207 582 5712


Annex 3: Links to relevant CPS Guidance

Domestic Violence

Guidance on Domestic violence

Policy on Domestic violence

Aide-memoire on Charging

Rape & sexual offences

Rape and Sexual Offences

CPS Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Rape

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Sexual Offences (Pre 1st May 2004) - Buggery / Gross Indecency

Sexual Offences (Pre 1st May 2004) - Indecent Assault

Sexual Offences (Pre 1st May 2004) - Rape

Sexual Offences (Pre 1st May 2004) - Unlawful Sexual Intercourse

Human trafficking

Human Trafficking and Smuggling


Prostitution and Exploitation of Prostitution


Obscene Publications

Extreme Pornography

Elder abuse

Prosecuting Crimes Against Older People

Child abuse

Protocol on Child Abuse

Children as Victims & Witnesses

Indecent Photographs of Children

Dangerous offenders

Sentencing of Dangerous offenders

Further reading