The number of prosecutions relating to violence against women and girls in England and Wales reached a record level in 2015. The DPP have reported that the number of offences against women including domestic abuse, rape and sexual assaults, rose by almost 10% to 117,568 in 2015-16.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, has said that the ease with which such crimes could be committed online was contributing to the increase in prosecutions.
Other areas where online abuse is being used as a tool of harassment and intimidation are within the record numbers of stalking cases being taken to Court. In 2015-16 the CPS prosecuted more cases of stalking and harassment (12,986) than ever before. Of those almost 70% involved ongoing domestic abuse, and many perpetrators use the internet or other technology to carry out the offending.
Because of the scale of the offending, special guidance is now being issued to prosecutors about the growth of cyber stalking to improve prosecutions.
However, the DPP accept that historical under-reporting of offences, such as stalking, domestic violence, rape and sexual assaults, means that the number of cases being charged was only a proportion of the offending taking place.
Contact us at Warren’s Family Law where we have a specialist team to help and protect you.
Debbie Smith, Senior Solicitor and Mediator
Warren’s Law & Advocacy
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