Domestic Abuse & the Criminal Justice System

In the year ending March 2023, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that:

  • Police recorded 889,918 domestic abuse related crimes in England and Wales (excluding Devon and Cornwall Police)
  • Police made 36.3 arrests per 100 domestic abuse related reported crimes (an increase from 29.6 per 100 in the previous year)
  • 67,063 suspects of of domestic abuse related cases were referred from police to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a charging decision
  • The CPS charging rate in England and Wales for domestic abuse related cases rose to 76.5%, the highest since the ONS began recording in 2015

It should be noted that as domestic abuse is under-reported, with Refuge estimating that less than 24% of domestic abuse crime is reported to the police, the statistics that exist are not a complete representation of the prevalence or seriousness of domestic abuse.

Women's Aid has information on its website about Professor Marianne Hester's examination of justice gathered from conducting interviews with survivors of domestic abuse.

    • More information from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) can be found here
    • More information from the ONS on Domestic Abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic can be found here
    • Police and courts can issue a variety of orders to protect those experiencing domestic abuse, more information on these can be found on our Protection Orders page

Domestic Abuse & the Family Court

It might be a result of arranging contact with children that victims/survivors of domestic abuse have to face their abusers in court. Often the victim/survivors feel that their views are overlooked about the risk that contact with an abusive parent will have upon the child/ren or that handover times could increase the risk.

If you are affected by this then please speak to someone, visit the Get Help section of this website for more details of local and national support services.

  • Rights of Women has information about child contact and child arrangements here and information of Family Court proceedings here
  • Child Law Advice offers information and advice on its website here
  • CAFCASS also offers support to parents who are separated here

On June 25th 2020 there was a press release which informed of an 'overhaul' to the way that survivors and their children will be offered greater protection when attending court; more details are here