Responding to the Violence against Women and Girls refreshed strategy, APCC Victims Lead, Dame Vera Baird QC, said:
“I welcome the refreshed VAWG strategy and particularly the funding announced to back it. VAWG victims make up over half of high-harm, vulnerable and repeat victims in the Criminal Justice system and rarely emerge from it pleased with what has happened to them.
“I therefore particularly welcome the cross-sector end-to end-review of how rape and sexual offences are conducted, from reporting to police right through to the end of the court process. It’s a cause of worry that the number of sex offenders referred by police for prosecutions has dropped and the numbers prosecuted has fallen even more, all at a time when there are thousands more serious sexual complaints. This mismatch is capable of robbing any victim of the confidence to report a sexual assault. Rapists are usually serial offenders and will continue until they are made to stop and so there is also a serious wider risk to public safety from this concern. This is an issue that I have continued to raise with Government, and I look forward to working with them on their end-to-end review.”