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Women and domestic violence

Why focus on women specifically…?

Baroness Corstons’ Report in 2007 instigated radical change in the way women are treated throughout the whole of the criminal justice system, and placed the focus on those who not only offend but are at risk of offending.

This approach treats women both holistically and individually through a woman-centred approach.


The stats

  • Women with histories of violence and abuse are over represented in the criminal justice system and can be described as victims as well as offenders;
  • Proportionately more women than men are remanded in custody;
  • Relationship problems feature strongly in women’s pathways into crime;
  • Coercion by men can form a route into criminal activity for some women;
  • Drug addiction plays a huge part in all offending and is disproportionately the case with women;
  • Mental health problems are far more prevalent among women in prison than in the male prison population or in the general population;
  • Outside prison men are more likely to commit suicide than women but the position is reversed inside prison;
  • Self-harm in prison is a huge problem and more prevalent in the women’s estate;
  • Women prisoners are far more likely than men to be primary carers of young children and this factor makes the prison experience significantly different for women than men;
  • Because of the small number of women’s prisons and their geographical location, women tend to be located further from their homes than male prisoners, to the detriment of maintaining family ties, receiving visits and resettlement back into the community;
  • Prison is disproportionately harsher for women because prisons and the practices within them have for the most part been designed for men;
  • The women’s prison population suffers disproportionately because of the rapidly increasing male prison population and the pressure to find places for men, leading to re-rolling of female prisons;
  • 30% of women in prison lose their accommodation 

 
The successful engagement of women by supportive services is increased if they are delivered by females or if there is the option to request a female worker. The difference in terms of biology, responsibilities and vulnerabilities must be recognised and support provided to female offenders or those at risk should be tailor made rather than a one size fits both gender approach.

If you would like to find out where and how to access service specifically tailored for women, please use the search functions at the side of this page.

Alternatively, if you are an organisation that provides services under this pathway and would like to be a member of this site, please contact us.

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