A safe, just and equal world for women

Advance CEO, Niki Scordi on Stephen Parkinson announced as new Head of Crown Prosecution Service

September 15, 2023
Women survivors of domestic abuse continue to be let down by the criminal justice system.

The appointment of Stephen Parkinson as Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is an opportunity to improve how the criminal justice system responds to women affected by domestic abuse. We need to see the CPS adopt a coordinated approach, working alongside the police and other statutory services, as well as domestic abuse support services to respond to survivors’ needs throughout the criminal justice process. We know that our Whole Justice Approach of specialist Criminal Justice Advocates supporting women and working with the CPS and the police leads to increased prosecutions, improved safety and support of survivors through the criminal justice system, and holds perpetrators to account.

The justice response continues to fail women, with a 36% increase in domestic abuse incidents reported from 2017 to 2022, yet domestic abuse-related prosecutions decreased by 43% in the same period across England and Wales (ONS). Only 3.5% of over 1.5m domestic incidents reported were prosecuted last year. Women tell us that they feel unprotected and silenced; that when they do report their abuse, they feel unheard and misunderstood by prosecutors and the courts. They tell us that the process is long and traumatising and feel left in the dark regarding their own court cases.

“it’s your case but it’s like you’re not at all important in this… You’re terrified and shaking and then [the prosecutor] walks in, and I thought ‘do you not want to know what [the abuser] was like? This strange man’.”

– Survivor of domestic abuse supported by Advance

At Advance, after 25 years of supporting survivors’ journey for justice, we know what works: Advance’s specialist Criminal Justice Advocates, working in Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts and closely with the police, CPS, and the Probation Service ensure that women are part of the process. Our work has helped to increase prosecutions and convictions, and we urge the new Director of Public Prosecutions to prioritise close collaboration with other criminal justice agencies and the specialist women’s sector to better improve outcomes for survivors on a national level.

“If it hadn’t been for Advance I wouldn’t have gone through the court case. Now I feel really confident that I can trust the police”

– Survivor of domestic abuse supported by Advance


For all press enquiries, please contact:

E: press@advancecharity.org.uk
T: 020 39533111

About Advance
  • Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society. The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and take control of their lives, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
  • Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get Help
  • For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our Impact
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