SafeLives responds to the New Victims’ Code

The Ministry of Justice has announced a new Victims’ Code that comes into force today.

We welcome the new Victims' Code, in particular the right for victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence to choose the gender of their police interviewer. We're also pleased to see an emphasis on victims being offered support via an Idva/Isva who we know are a lifeline for survivors and their children.

We look forward to working closely with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, the Victims' Commissioner, and the Government to see that the proposed Victim’s Law ensures that specialist support is funded for all victims of domestic abuse, whether they decide to report to the police or not.

In our report ‘A Safe Fund’, we estimate that £1billon in funding is required to cover support for adult victims of abuse, with £332m required to support child victims – following a welcome change in the Domestic Abuse Bill which for the first time will recognise children as victims in their own right.

We also hope that the Government accepts the need for a statutory duty on public bodies to commission specialist services for the whole family – all victims and perpetrators of abuse – to ensure that they get safer, sooner.

This code is a promising step towards ensuring victims are supported throughout the criminal justice process and their perpetrators are held to account, but to ensure its effectiveness the code must be communicated widely so that all survivors are aware of their rights and services can support them effectively.

Liz Thompson, Director of External Relations at SafeLives

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