The four-year strategy was intended to challenge certain myths and stereotyping surrounding sexual and domestic abuse that had become commonplace in todays society, and has led to a dramatic rise in the number of convictions.
Despite the government having cut the budget of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by 25%, Keir Starmer and his team have convicted 15,000 more men of violent crimes against women in the past four years alone – a dramatic rise. There has also been a 21% increase in the number of reported cases, which hit a record 91,000 last year.
Whilst it seems distasteful and odd to welcome what is essentially a rise in crime, what has to be taken into consideration here is the gap between actual crime and reported crime. According to statistics from the British Crime Survey, each year in the UK an estimated:
- one million women are victims of domestic abuse
- 300,000 women are sexually assaulted
- 60,000 women are raped.
However, despite the above:
- Less than one in four who are victims of abuse from their partner report this to the police.
- Only one in 10 women who are subjected to a serious sexual assault report this to the police.
- Only 6% of reported rape cases ever end in an actual conviction of rape.
What these new figures are showing in part, is not necessarily a rise in crime, but instead an increase in the number of women coming forward to report these crimes.
The strategy was largely about informing the opinions of those who speak to victims – tackling myths and stereotypes surrounding sexual violence and the assumptions that many individuals make about the ‘type’ of women who would bring allegations of sexual assault.
The biggest aim of the strategy was ultimately to encourage victims to tell the truth and to speak out – bringing hope of justice to the thousands of women who suffer from acts of violence on a daily basis. For that, the strategy has brought about a huge difference.
If you, or anyone you know are experiencing abuse and are in need of help and support then don’t suffer in silence. It can be very difficult to take the first step and seek help, especially if you have attempted to talk to a family member or friend but either have found it too difficult or you did not receive a response that helped you.
Below are a number of organisations that can offer support and advice:
Have you considered counselling? Victims of abuse may also find they could benefit from the help of a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist. For further information please visit our Abuse fact-sheet.
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