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Victims of Crime

Volume 563: debated on Tuesday 21 May 2013

For many years victims have felt overlooked and completely unsupported by the criminal justice system. The Government are determined to put that right, which is why we are implementing a range of reforms that will put victims at the very heart of the criminal justice system, which we say is where they belong.

Today we will hear more about the tragic case of Maria Stubbings and how she was dealt with as a victim of domestic violence. Ministers have acknowledged that delays in our courts system disproportionately affect victims of sexual violence. Will they acknowledge that too many female victims in Britain get a raw deal in our criminal justice system, and what do they intend to do about it?

I categorically do not agree with what the hon. Lady has said. The Government are absolutely committed to tackling domestic violence and violence against women and girls. We have set up a national taskforce, led by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, to protect children and vulnerable people from sexual violence. We have also opted into the EU directive on combating child sexual exploitation and will continue to do everything we possibly can to ensure that vulnerable people are protected from the devastating crimes that can do serious long-term harm.