Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, has voiced her disgust at the fact victims of domestic violence are more likely to receive an apology or monetary compensation, rather than seeing the offender face jail-time for their crime. With two women killed every week by their partner or an ex-lover, Cooper points out that if this were to happen at a football game, there would be a national outcry.
Prosecution for domestic violence is said to have taken a back-seat, with community resolutions in their place. It has been argued, that confronting violence with this resolution proves that the government do not take violence against women seriously enough.
Community resolutions are meant to address minor offences like trivial thefts, public disorder, vandalism and inconsequential assaults – NOT domestic violence. Labour has stated it has become increasingly concerned, because evidence has proven that many will not file a complaint after their first exposure to violence. It has also said that for police to take a violent abuser home in order to apologise to the victim, they risk making the situation worse.
The amount of domestic violence cases that have been dealt with using community resolutions has doubled within the past four years. There are now an average of nine every day, despite Gary Shewan, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police telling Radio 4 that only a small percent of domestic violence cases are dealt with using community resolutions.
Domestic violence remains rife in the UK. According to a Crime Survey for England and Wales, 1.1million women, which amounts to 7 percent, were victims of domestic violence last year alone, with 7 being killed every week.
It has also been estimated that around 750,000 children will grow up having witnessed domestic violence, with one incident reported every minute. In response to criticism, a Home Office spokeswoman said the government are reviewing how community resolutions are used.