Refuge responds to new figures on domestic and sexual abuse

New figures released today by Yvette Cooper MP show that the number of domestic violence cases being referred to prosecutors has dropped despite an increase in reports to the police.

 

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of RefugeSandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, says:

 

“It is an outrage that there were 838,000 reports of domestic abuse in 2012/13 – yet only 6% resulted in a conviction. Publishing data on police performance on this horrific crime is important – greater transparency will help to hold police forces to account.  However, it is only a first step.

At Refuge we support 3,000 women and children on any given day and we know that there are huge inadequacies in the way the police respond to victims of domestic violence. What we need now is action. We need the police to properly investigate reports of domestic violence, to collect evidence and arrest violent men. The police must also stamp out the ‘canteen culture’ of negative attitudes which prevents so many women and children from reporting their experiences in the first place. When it comes to protecting victims of domestic violence, it’s deeds, not words, that count.

Refuge is calling for a public inquiry into the response of the police and other state agencies to victims of domestic violence. The scale of police and state failure in relation to victims of domestic violence is shocking. It is a problem of systemic proportions. We urgently need a public inquiry to deliver meaningful action that addresses these failures. Please sign our petition here: www.refuge.org.uk/publicinquiry.”