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Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) releases 10th annual Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) report

10 Oct 2017

More defendants than ever before are being prosecuted and convicted for sexual offences across England and Wales, new figures reveal today (10th October 2017).

The Crown Prosecution Service's 10th Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) report outlines the increases in convictions for rape (48%) and other sexual offences (79%) that have been witnessed in the decade since the first VAWG report was first published in 2007-08.

It also shows annual increases in prosecutions and convictions over the last year for rape (11.8% and 11.2%, respectively) and other sexual offences (12.5% and 14.7%).

 A Rape Crisis England & Wales spokesperson said: 

"Rape Crisis welcomes the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)'s ongoing commitment to scrutiny and transparency, as reflected in the publishing of its annual Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) report.  

Increases in the volume of prosecutions and convictions for sexual offences, both in the last year and over the decade since the CPS began reporting, suggest a growing number of victims and survivors of adult and child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault and all sexual violence are willing to report to the police and pursue criminal justice.

This data also reflects steady improvements in the CPS' and wider criminal justice system's responses to sexual violence. Rape Crisis has welcomed the special measures introduced this year to support vulnerable or intimidated victims to give their best evidence, and the CPS drive to improve performance through revised guidance and training for prosecutors in rape cases.

Rape Crisis also appreciates the efforts the CPS is making to improve the quality of the data it collects and collates, with the age of rape victims at the time of the offence included for the first time in this year's VAWG report, for example. We must highlight again, however, the ongoing need for further signifcant improvements in this area. For instance, until age at the time of reporting as well as at the time of the offence is included, the significant number of victims and survivors of child rape and sexual abuse coming forward to report as adults remains hidden in these figures.

 Similarly, while Rape Crisis fully supports the continued focus on violence against women and girls by the CPS, we'd also like to see this data disaggregated by sex and gender in future.  

Rape Crisis believes all sexual violence victims and survivors deserve to be represented in official figures, to be treated with respect, empathy and impartiality, and to have access to long-term support from specialist sexual violence services, in the interests of both social and criminal justice." 

The CPS press released can be found at its website here.

The full 10th annual Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) report from the CPS can be found here.