Response to announcement to invest in prisons

UK domestic abuse charity, SafeLives, respond to the announcement that the Prime Minister will invest £2.5 billion into prisons, creating additional prison places.

Suzanne Jacob, OBE, SafeLives Chief Executive said:

We have long called for a change in the conversation from why doesn’t she leave to why doesn’t he stop, but we know very few DVA offences result in a prison sentence, so issues all the way through the Criminal Justice System need to be fixed.

Victims and survivors of domestic abuse need to feel the police understand the realities of coercion and control and will prioritise action to address it (recognising there is often a strong link between serious violence in public and domestic abuse behind closed doors). Victims and survivors also need to know that the courts will protect them and their families.

For perpetrators who do end up in prison, we want to see a robust link to a community-based response which stops people repeating the pattern of abuse with their current or future partners.

The work done with high harm perpetrators through the Drive initiative shows that challenging perpetrators to change can keep going all the way through a sentence and act as a powerful stimulus to behaviour change on release.

The solution to breaking the cycle is not just about prison. It’s also about supporting proven, safe programmes which challenge the behaviour of the perpetrator and making sure victims and survivors get the support they need if they take their case through the justice system

Suzanne Jacob, OBE, SafeLives Chief Executive

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