Press Release

25 April 2022

Refuge responds to new CPS Quarterly Performance Data on Domestic Abuse

Tracy Blackwell, Director of Strategic Insights and Partnerships at Refuge, said:

“A survivors’ ability to access justice should be a basic right.

“Yet the overall picture of referrals, charges and convictions of domestic abuse perpetrators is still woefully low, meaning that women are left in limbo and often fearful for their safety.

“This sends a terrible message to victims who want to report the abuse they have suffered to the police.

“The criminal justice system needs wholesale reform so that survivors can access the justice they deserve. Delays in charging decisions and to trials put survivors at risk, can compound trauma, and increase the chances of women dropping out of the criminal justice process.”

— Ends —

Notes to Editors

Today the CPS has published the Q3 Performance data which covers the three-month period from 1 October to 31 December 2021.

Below Refuge has compared this to any increase/decrease in Q1 and Q2 of this period 2021-22

  • Police referrals for domestic abuse offences to the CPS have increased on last quarter, continuing the upward trend so far in the period 2021-22. However, this must be put this into context by considering that in 2020-21, police referrals dropped by 26.5%.
  • The proportion of suspects who are actually being charged for domestic abuse offences continues to drop for the second quarter in a row this period
  • Furthermore, the number of completed prosecutions is down on last quarter continuing the downward trajectory so far in 2021-22. In the previous reporting period 2020-21, completed prosecutions dropped by 10.9% overall.
  • The volume of convictions continues to decline, despite the very small increase in the conviction rate. In the previous two quarters, the conviction rate declined, and the increase in the conviction rate this Q is still below the conviction rate at the start of this reporting period (2021-22) Again, looking at the bigger picture, from 2020-21, convictions dropped by 10.4%.

About Refuge

Refuge supports thousands of women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For real time automated guidance on how to secure your personal devices Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.

Visit Refuge’s Tech Safety Website at for information on tech abuse and to find guidance on how to secure your personal and home devices. For real time automated support Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.