On 29 March 2023 the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and domestic abuse support organisations expressed disappointment at the content of the long-awaited Victims and Prisoners Bill which was presented to Parliament on that day. The bill has received its first reading and will have a second reading on a day to be appointed.
The government says that the bill will put the principles of the Victims’ Code on a statutory footing meaning that, where appropriate, victims will have a right to:
- Challenge decisions which directly impact them, for example getting the CPS or police to review why their case has been dropped in the most serious cases like rape and domestic abuse
- Receive information to help them understand the criminal justice process, such as on claiming compensation, how their case is progressing and its outcome
- Access vital support services such as Independent Sexual Violence and Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors
- Have the opportunity to make their views heard, for example being able to ask to read out their Victim Personal Statements in court.
For the bill, as presented, click here. For the government’s press release in respect of it, click here. To follow progress of the bill, click here. For comment by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, click here. For that of Refuge, click here. For the response of Women’s Aid, click here.