A safe, just and equal world for women

Victims and Prisoners Act 2024

May 28, 2024
We are pleased that the Victims and Prisoners Bill has passed through parliament and reached Royal Assent.

This is an important step in improving outcomes for victim/survivors of domestic abuse. However, we are disappointed that yet again we see a piece of legislation that fails to protect migrant women who are often denied the support and protection they deserve due to their insecure immigration status.

Advance’s report, ‘Her Story, Her Justice’, examined failures in the criminal justice system, and how the implementation of our Whole Justice Approach saw a 34% increase in the conviction rate of domestic abuse cases in the boroughs where we delivered this service.

The criminal justice system as it currently stands is not fit for purpose. Instead of protecting women and girls and holding perpetrators to account, it fails victims and leaves them feeling unheard and unsafe, with devastating consequences. Women are losing their lives either at the hands of their perpetrators or through suicide; they are losing their homes and their children, and are criminalised as a direct or indirect result of the abuse they endure. There is still so much to do, and we stand ready to work with our colleagues across the criminal justice system to ensure that women and girls get the support and justice they deserve, including:

  • Independent advocates embedded in all police stations to ensure women receive specialist help as early as possible and
  • the roll-out of Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts nationally.

We look to decision-makers and all political parties battling it out in the general election to prioritise the safety of women and girls and the eradication domestic abuse once and for all. We need to see firm commitments to fund specialist community services, and this must include ‘by and for’ services that are culturally competent and appropriate, recognising the structural racism and other forms of bias that exist within criminal justice systems.


Media enquiries

For more information, please contact Tracie Couper, Press Officer at Advance, at tracie.c@advancecharity.org.uk or on 0743 2700 287.

Notes to the editor 
  •  1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic abuse in their lifetime. The government estimates that 1.4m women per year experience abuse.
  • Community-based support is required for 95% of women seeking domestic abuse services.
  • Advance research highlights that the majority of survivors need support outside of crisis-based accommodation, with 89% presenting with health and well-being needs and 51% reporting problematic substance use.
  • Advance employs independent advocates who provide direct one-to-one assistance to women. Many of these support workers are co-located in different services, like hospitals, police stations and housing services. This means professionals in these agencies have an on-site specialist who can work directly with women in need, respond to crises, support colleagues, and improve referral pathways to other support services.
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.
  • As well as providing direct support, Advance works with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the issues these women face.
  • 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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