20/10/2008

Domestic Violence Victims To Receive Extra Support

Victims of domestic violence will receive extra help and support from six new Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs), announced today.

The new courts will be in Wales, the East Midlands, North East, North West and South East. They will add to the 98 SDVCs across England and Wales that are now a fundamental part of the Government's efforts to improve the support and care provided for victims of domestic violence. The first SDVC accreditation process took place in 2005/2006 with 25 accredited in April 2006.

These innovative courts work by bringing together police, prosecutors, court staff, the probation service and specialist support services so that more offenders are brought to justice.

Justice Minister, Bridget Prentice said: "Just because domestic violence goes on behind closed doors doesn't mean we can ignore the issue. It's a crime and will not be tolerated in our society.

"These six new courts will boost our existing network of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts which are central to the package of support we offer domestic violence victims. It's important that victims of these crimes have confidence in the justice system - these special courts will help with this."

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith also said: "Domestic Violence is a devastating crime and through almost 100 Specialist Domestic Violence Courts already in place we are providing victims across the country with the support they need to come forward and help us bring these perpetrators to justice. We know this approach is working - the number of prosecutions has doubled in the past four years and an average of 70% of cases now result in a successful prosecution.

"These six additional Specialist Domestic Violence Courts will mean that even more victims can benefit from these services."

This work is a continuation of the joint National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence which sets out clear aims and objectives and is proving to be effective in protecting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.

(JM)

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