Press Release

30 July 2020

Refuge responds to the latest CPS rape and domestic abuse statistics.

Refuge, the UK’s largest provider of specialist domestic abuse services, responds to the latest CPS rape and domestic abuse statistics.

In response to the release today of rape and domestic abuse statistics from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Lisa King of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

‘Refuge is extremely concerned by these disappointing and alarming statistics. Once again, rape convictions have reached a record low. Survivors are being failed on all sides by both police and the CPS, with an 18.6% drop in the number of cases being referred by the police to the CPS compared to last year, and the number of convictions falling by 25%. Rape convictions are now at their lowest level since 2007.

‘Police referrals for domestic abuse cases dropped by 21%, which is shocking in light of the Government’s public statements regarding their commitment to tackling domestic abuse. Only 20% of the survivors Refuge supports report the abuse they have experienced to the police, meaning today’s statistics represent only a fraction of the trauma survivors face on a daily basis.

‘What message does this send to women and girls who have been subjected to this horrific abuse? How are survivors of domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault expected to have faith in the criminal justice system?

‘While Refuge welcomes efforts by the CPS to improve the number of rape convictions, we need to see comprehensive reform to the criminal justice system, both to the police and the damaging culture around reporting and prosecuting rape.

‘The Covid-19 crisis has magnified the terrifying reality facing countless victims who are trapped with abusive partners and these statistics are a wake-up call for the criminal justice system. Now more than ever women need a robust criminal justice response and must have the confidence in the system to treat domestic abuse as serious crime.’

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