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Domestic and Sexual Violence

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on steps to ensure that women are not discouraged from giving evidence in court proceedings in cases of domestic and sexual violence. (250985)

Successful prosecutions for domestic violence and rape have both increased since 2003. We want to build on this, which is why we have committed to:

Expanding the Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) programme;

Ensuring there are Specialist Officers and Specialist Rape Prosecutors across the country; and

Making video-recordings of rape victims automatically admissible as evidence-in-chief in trials.

I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on this matter through the inter ministerial group on sexual and domestic violence.