Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service

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The Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS incorporates RCPO.

Domestic Violence (including Aidememoire)
Introduction The definition of domestic violence and the CPS Violence against Women (VAW) strategy Gender and the CPS Violence against Women Strategy (VAW) Case Building Early consultation Previous Domestic Violence incidents and serial perpetrators Pre-charge activity Charging Out-of-Court Disposals Simple cautions Conditional cautions Bail and Remand Bail Use of pre-charge bail Post-charge bail Bail conditions Applications to vary bail Preparing and managing the case Case review Special measures Self defence and Counter Allegations Briefing and instructing agents and counsel Acceptability of pleas Withdrawals in Domestic Violence cases Witness summonses Witness warrants Bind overs Victim Personal Statements Sentencing The impact and dynamics of Domestic Violence Identification and flagging Terminology Avoiding assumptions Issues relevant to particular groups of people Children Same sex and transgender relationships Older people Disability issues Black and minority ethnic communities, including Gypsies and Travellers Refugees and asylum seekers Support and safety of victims and witnesses Risk assessments

How to use this Legal Guidance CPS Public Consultations
We want to hear your views about our prosecution policy and so we conduct consultations to help inform our policy making. Visit the consultations page to view the current and previous consultations

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Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service
Multi-agency risk assessment conferences Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) Sexual Assault Referral Centres Local domestic violence refuge, resettlement and outreach services Witness Care Units Victim Support and the Witness Service Multi-Agency working and specialist Domestic Violence courts Information sharing Specialist Domestic Violence Courts Civil proceedings and legislation Obtaining and using documents and information from family proceedings Civil legislation Annex A - Evidence and issues to be considered checklist Annex B - Aide-memoire on charging in domestic violence cases Annex C - Examples of domestic violence offences

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Introduction
Cases involving domestic violence can be very difficult to prosecute, and because of their nature require sensitive and careful handling, especially with regard to victim care and support. The provision of accurate and up-to-date information to the victim throughout the life of the case, together with quality support, and careful consideration of any special measures requirements are all important factors for the CPS to consider. It is important that we work closely with the police and other agencies to ensure that the best evidence is gathered and presented to the court. A strong, coordinated prosecution team is required to proactively build and manage a case. It is also essential that we liaise with Independent Domestic Violence Advisers - IDVAs (where these exist), Witness Care Units (WCU), and voluntary sector support organisations, to ensure that the victim's safety and support needs are addressed throughout the life of a case, we remain informed of the victim's situation and we keep them up to date with actions.

The definition of domestic violence and the CPS Violence against Women (VAW) strategy
The Government definition of domestic violence is: "any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality". An adult is defined as any person aged 18 years or over. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents whether directly related, in-laws or step-family. The definition is supported by an explanatory text: "The definition acknowledges that domestic violence can go beyond actual physical violence. It can also involve emotional abuse, the destruction of a spouse's or partner's property, their isolation from friends, family or other potential sources of support, control over access to money, personal items, food, transportation, the telephone and stalking. Violence will often be witnessed by children and there is an overlap between the abuse of women and abuse (physical and sexual) of children. The wide adverse effects of living with domestic violence for children must be recognised as a child protection issue. They link to poor educational achievement, social exclusion and to juvenile crime, substance misuse, mental health problems and homelessness from running away. It is acknowledged that domestic violence and abuse can also manifest itself through the actions of immediate and extended family members through the perpetration of illegal activities, such as forced marriage, so-called 'honour crimes' and female genital mutilation. Extended family members may condone or even share in the pattern of abuse." This is also the definition that the police will use to identify cases of domestic violence to be referred to the CPS under the Director's Guidance on Charging. The safety of victims and children in addition to the defendant's accountability are so important to us, that when prosecuting cases of domestic violence, we will apply our policy to all cases of current or former partner or family abuse irrespective of the age of the perpetrator or the victim. From 2011, the police have used the CPS definition, including under 18s, to identify cases of domestic violence to be referred to the CPS under the Director's Guidance on Charging.

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and some victims may encounter additional barriers to accessing justice. and those perpetrated by youth offenders. When reviewing cases and deciding whether and how to proceed. Each victim's individual experiences of violence will be different. For example. an older. we will count as domestic violence only the cases that fall into the Government's definition. children. information or evidence from other key agencies. The safety and needs of each victim should be assessed on an individual basis. against women.g. and if not on the file. Though the majority of victims covered by VAW offences are women. housing departments about requests for emergency accommodation or repairs to doors or windows etc. prostitution. immigration status. and use by victim or other agency of civil proceedings. use of hearsay evidence . We ensure that the individual policies that sit within the VAW framework. so-called honour crimes. forced marriage. human trafficking. It is often a series of incidents including those of greater and lesser severity but often increasing in frequency and seriousness which may have a cumulative impact on the victim. and religion or belief. prosecutors should make links with other topics such as rape and sexual offences. witness summonses. information as to whether one was requested and consideration given to obtaining one if possible. Case Building It is important that the police focus efforts on gathering evidence to build a prosecution case that does not rely entirely on the victim's statement. Whatever form it takes. e.. we will flag cases involving victims under the age of 18 as domestic violence and child abuse (and any other appropriate flag) where those situations arise. Victims' experiences of domestic violence are undoubtedly affected by identities distinct from gender. any formal risk assessment. and that family members can be abused by siblings. Gender and the CPS Violence against Women Strategy (VAW) The Violence against Women Strategy (VAW) provides an overarching framework for crimes that have been identified as primarily being committed by men. prosecutors should refer to the Evidence and Issues Checklist at Annex A and the CPS Aide-memoire on Charging in Domestic Violence cases at Annex B. the possibility of calling doctors/probation officers/voluntary agency supporters to provide information or give evidence as to fear etc. the Victim Personal Statement. like their ethnicity. For further advice on what a proactive approach requires. are gender neutral and are applied to all perpetrators and victims of crime irrespective of gender in accordance with the Full Code Test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. measures and facilities available under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. child abuse. cases should be constructed on the basis of evidence other than that of the victim. pornography. Prosecutors should recognise the connections and links between crimes of violence against women .uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . we recognise that a minority of offenders will be women and likewise a minority of victims will be men. Prosecutors should recognise the diversity of victims. 'persistent young offender' (PYO) and 'prolific priority persistent young offender' (PPPYO). as well as adult to adult cases. A young woman forced into marriage may find it difficult to report domestic violence because she fears she will not be taken seriously as a result of her age. disabled woman experiencing sexual violence at the hands of her partner could find it more difficult to report abuse because of her dependence on the perpetrator and her fear that no services are available to her. Domestic Violence is widely recognised as being a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour. Prosecutors should also recognise that domestic violence also takes place within same sex relationships. Where appropriate. When monitoring for Government purposes. sexuality. grandchildren and other relatives. age.in terms of both defendants and victims. and female genital mutilation.cps. Domestic violence prosecutions should therefore be addressed within an overall framework of violence against women and an overall human rights framework. For cases involving perpetrators under the age of 18. cases should be flagged as either 'young offender' (YO). crimes against the older person. within a context of power and control. for example. domestic violence or rape. disability. Where possible. that men can be abused by women. domestic violence is rarely a one off incident. Youth offenders are therefore identified as the sum of these. From such flagging we will be able to see the number of cases that fall within the category of domestic violence child abuse. The police are aware of the need to gather evidence in this way and close liaison with them is essential. matters to be taken into account should include the following: effective and pro-active evidence gathering and case building.gov. http://www.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 3 For the purposes of our own domestic violence monitoring.

the officer's view on the chances that the suspect/defendant will re-offend. http://www. whether the suspect/defendant has made any threats since the incident. but corroborating evidence from other victims may strengthen cases where it had been previously decided not to prosecute as there was insufficient evidence at the time to proceed. Generally. many victims may experience multiple assaults and become 'repeat victims' (more than one domestic violence incident in 12 months).cps. Therefore. identifying all evidence that may be gathered to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . When reviewing charges prosecutors should then ascertain if information pertaining to earlier complainants can be used to: from separate charges. support an application to adduce the defendant's 'bad character' or 'reprehensible behaviour' under section 101 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The Criminal Procedure Rules (CPR) allow an indictment to contain more than one count if all of the offences charged are found on the same facts or more importantly in this context: 'form or are part of a series of offences of the same or a similar character' (The CPR also provides a similar authority for joining cases in the magistrates' courts). we should provide investigative advice. details of any children of the family. It is very important that this information is provided to the prosecutor at the earliest opportunity. the victim's view on their own and their children's safety if a prosecution does or does not follow. the police should provide the following background information: the ability and willingness of the victim to testify. and information from other agencies or organisations who are involved with the family. the effect on the relationship of continuing with the prosecution against the victim's wishes. there may be circumstances when. relatives. In addition. and their allegations were of the same or similar nature against a suspect. A brief written record of the consultation should be made. cases which previously failed to meet the evidential stage of the Full Code Test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors may now merit further review. these cases can be joined properly when there is sufficient nexus between the constituent cases. in the light of new evidence from a further case or cases. his friends. the questions to be asked of suspects. prosecutors should ensure that the police carry out checks for intelligence when dealing with a domestic violence suspect so the prosecutor is aware previous abusive or violent behaviour. or associates (either since the incident or post-charge). information on whether the victim has been contacted by the suspect/defendant. Where 'repeat victims' or 'serial perpetrators' are involved. we should be proactive in requesting it from the police. Where the background information is inadequate. the current status of the relationship between the victim and the suspect/defendant. It remains the position that each constituent case would need to satisfy the two-stage Full Code Test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Previous Domestic Violence incidents and serial perpetrators Prosecutors should make proactive enquires of the police to ensure that all information in respect of the suspect's criminal behaviour or intelligence reports relating to domestic violence incidents (even if they concern a different complainant) are provided.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 4 Early consultation In domestic violence cases. Where we consider there is not enough evidence to proceed to charge but that further evidence could be obtained.gov. there must be full and early consultation with police to build the case together by exploring all avenues of investigation and evidence gathering. Prosecutors should also be aware that the police define all acts of domestic violence as 'domestic abuse'. They may take place in any case where the early involvement of a prosecutor would assist in the gathering of relevant evidence. Due to the nature of domestic violence. any pre-charge court procedures and any strategy for a likely prosecution. Where a suspect has committed an act of domestic violence against two or more different victims or complainants they should be considered a 'serial perpetrator'. whether counter allegations have been made. including where they were during the incident and the impact of the violence on them. Early consultations need not be restricted to cases where there is already an identifiable suspect or cases that pass the Threshold Test. including the completion of a detailed action plan on the MG3. prosecutors should be aware that some suspects will have perpetrated abusive or violent behaviour in other relationships. In a situation where previous victims are willing to give evidence. details of any civil orders made and whether there have been any breaches. This further review may lead to the conclusion that the evidential stage is now met and that the earlier case can be joined with the later case(s). particularly if there has been violence and/or abuse in the past. the history of the relationship.

give the court adequate powers to sentence and impose post-conviction orders. We should actively consider as wide a range of appropriate charging options as possible in accordance with The Code. Out-of-Court Disposals Simple cautions Cautions are rarely appropriate in domestic violence cases. This should include the need to apply for special measures. All alleged offences of domestic violence are to be referred to duty prosecutors or CPS Direct once the Threshold Test has been met. including charges for breach of non-molestation orders and offences under sections 2 and 4 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The Aide-memoire on charging cases of domestic violence can be found at Annex B This sets out the main issues relevant to charging cases of domestic violence.cps. Annex C outlines an interpretation of domestic violence offences. such as common assault. We will need to satisfy ourselves that evidence has been or is being effectively gathered and that the MG2 and MG11 will include sufficient details to enable witness care issues to be comprehensively assessed.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 5 Therefore. the earlier victim(s) may still be able to support the later case through the provision of bad character evidence against the suspect. The detailed review on CMS must include a list of the authorised charges and refer to all relevant issues from the Advice/Review Checklist. The prosecutor should consider the needs of the victim when advising on charge. The timescale must be recorded in the Action Plan. who should: create an MG3/3A and Action Plan with action dates. and must set out which of the Threshold Test or Full Code Test applies. We must agree with the police a realistic timescale for receipt of evidence and preparation of case papers. with an emphasis on the importance of proactive case-building and support for victims and witnesses. it should be remembered that where a summary only offence has been committed. A Direct Communication with Victims letter must be sent to the complainant in accordance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime which should include an offer of a meeting in appropriate cases. such offences must be charged (or information must be laid) within 6 months of the date of the alleged incident. However. the case should be allocated to a prosecutor. This is because such cases involve a breach of trust and are unlikely to be the first offence. check that the reverse of the MG11 is filled in and any related MG2 completed. Pre-charge activity Upon receipt of an expedited report or evidential report. However. This time limit may prevent some previous cases being joined with those involving later victims. The charges selected should reflect the seriousness and extent of the offending. Upon receipt of such a case any decision to take no further action or to charge a lesser offence must be agreed by a senior lawyer experienced in domestic violence cases. This potential to join cases and/or give bad character evidence underlines the need for good information-sharing arrangements between investigators and prosecutors.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . there should be other evidence available of the suspect's abusive or violent behaviour. Charging Charging decisions in domestic violence cases are made by prosecutors. create a detailed review on CMS to refer to all relevant issues from the Advice/Review Checklist. The charging decision must be recorded on the MG3/3A on CMS. http://www. by joining individual cases together in such a way against a single suspect. This may mean that each of the cases is mutually strengthened to the point where there was now sufficient evidence to afford a realistic prospect of conviction. All available charges should be considered. especially potential third party material (detailed guidance is contained in the legal guidance chapter on "Disclosure of Unused Materials"). the public interest will require the prosecution of the suspect where there is sufficient evidence for charges to be brought. Conditional cautions Part 3 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 makes provisions for offenders to be diverted from the courts by issuing them with a conditional caution. and consider unused material. ensure that the case is properly flagged as a domestic violence case on CMS. and enable the case to be presented in a simple and clear way.gov. Generally.

These must be taken into account when making our recommendations to the court about bail. To protect victims and witnesses from the risk of danger. either by the police or by the CPS in accordance with local arrangements. Normally. We look to the police (and through the police. where relevant) to supply us with sufficient information. Local Safeguarding Children Boards. It is important that any changes to the bail conditions or custody status of a defendant are communicated to victims. Applications to vary bail We should insist that the defence gives proper notice of any application to vary bail in order that enquiries can be made of the victim to seek views and check whether any court orders already exist or are pending.gov. to help us make our decisions. we should be aware that we rarely have the necessary information or training to deal with this .uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 .cps. shopping etc.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service As stated clearly in the Director's Guidance on Charging. Magistrates will. Preparing and managing the case Upon receipt of the full evidential file. Serious consideration should be given to expediting such cases. threats or repeat offences. http://www. school. It is vital that the CPS gets as much information about the offence. not victims. we may ask the court to impose conditions on the bail or may ask for the defendant to be remanded in custody. Post-charge bail Victims of domestic violence may be afraid of what will happen to them once a defendant is charged. to IDVAs and other specialist support organisations. Care should be taken when formulating bail conditions to ensure that the victim retains as much freedom of movement as possible by curbing the ability of the defendant to approach or intimidate the victim at home. review the unused material. The court can only agree if we can show that there are substantial grounds for not granting bail as set out in the Bail Act. be aware that it is for the family court to make arrangements regarding child contact and generally it should not be a matter to be considered within a bail hearing. A victim may have expressed concerns in a Victim Personal Statement about the effect the crime has had on them and may have raised particular issues about bail in such a statement. the police will supply such information with the case file. serve prosecution evidence in accordance with court's directions. and that any breaches will be taken very seriously. a full file review should be drafted by the allocated prosecutor and recorded on CMS. but we need to be proactive to ensure that every effort is made to protect vulnerable victims or witnesses by seeking confirmation or further information about any views or concerns expressed by the victim or any witnesses. of course. Page 6 Bail and Remand Bail Our primary concern is the safety of the victim and any children. work or on the way to family. Use of pre-charge bail Delay can jeopardise the safety of the victim and the victim's family and may also result in the victim's withdrawal of support. Bail conditions It is the defendant who is subject to bail conditions. domestic violence cases may not be considered for conditional cautioning. Where the proposed variation concerns child contact. Contact with a child may permit opportunities to intimidate the child and/or victim and in the worst cases can result in murder or suicide. We should: draft and forward to the police a further Action Plan (if required).family courts do. the effect on the victim and any fears or concerns that the victim may have about repeat offending or intimidation. Social Services and specially trained benches. The court should be encouraged to make it clear to defendants that bail conditions apply to them. along with CAFCASS. not the victim. supply initial disclosure and update the disclosure record sheet. including the victim's views. This is especially important when the defence try to raise such an application without notice at court.

or chase defence and advise court if none received. the investigating officer. Special measures Many victims and witnesses of domestic violence experience stress and fear during the police investigation of a crime and the process of attending and giving evidence to a court. The defendant may make a counter-allegation or argue that s/he acted in self defence. brief an appropriate advocate. In such circumstances. we should be alert to the fact that there may be sharply conflicting accounts of what has taken place. other families. where victims and witnesses are held to be vulnerable or intimidated. Ensure that they balance the implications of delaying the case (to obtain further evidence) with the need to deal with cases involving domestic violence as expeditiously as possible. Stress affects the quantity and quality of communication with witnesses of all ages. and any local specialist services (such as IDVAs). co-ordinate any special measures meeting to enable counsel to meet the witness. whether either party has made threats of future harm to others (including children. address any victim/witness concerns. It may also be useful to ask the police for the views of the first officer at the scene and the investigating officer. consider the defence statement and any actions required. This is because of the safety issues for the victim and any children and also because the victim is usually the main witness. police officers are instructed to conduct immediate further investigation at the scene (or as soon as is practicable) to attempt to establish the primary aggressor and to assess whether the victim may have been justified in using a reasonable level of force.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service prepare special measures applications. In cases where a counter allegation has been made. Ensure a record is made of any conference. copy defence statement to police with Action Plan. especially if considering discontinuing the case because of insufficient evidence. any prior history of violence by either party. police officers should have noted and recorded the following information: the comparative severity of any injuries inflicted by the parties. When there are counter allegations. there will need to be a thorough investigation of such claims to ensure that factually incorrect or misleading information is not put before the courts. any previous counter allegations by either party and the results of those allegations. subject to certain conditions). and any expert witnesses as soon as possible. http://www.gov. particularly as instances where the defendant alleges that the victim is the abuser may end up being used as the basis of bad character applications against the victim (section 100 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 allows for the bad character of any witness to be admitted. Prosecutors should be minded of the long term context of domestic violence. Self defence and Counter Allegations In domestic violence cases. Counter allegations may give rise to difficulties in prosecutions. and ensure that the victim is updated on progress. including those held at court.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . Where self-defence is raised. In particular. As noted above. with each party claiming to be the victim. arrange to hold a conference with trial counsel. we should request from the police as much of this information as is appropriate. Case review In cases of domestic violence there is a particular need to ensure that we are kept informed of the victim's current view regarding the prosecution through witness and victim personal statement(s). information regarding previous incidents will always be relevant when reviewing the case and in some instances it may amount to admissible evidence. prepare Instructions to counsel to include all relevant issues from the Advice/Review Checklist. Applications should be made in time and the victim notified of the outcome as soon as practicable. or through links with Witness Care Units.cps. or other members of the household) . supply continuing disclosure letter. Page 7 liaise with the Witness Care Unit over the outcome of any special measures application and pre-court familiarisation visit. special measures can improve the quality of their experience by allowing them to give the 'best evidence' they are capable of. bad character applications and hearsay applications as necessary. and check that an updated Victim Personal Statement has been served on the defence and court. and whether either party acted defensively to protect himself or herself or a third party from injury. victim's often fear having to face their attacker in the courtroom or may even refuse to be in the same room as the defendant.

how the victim might react to being compelled to give evidence. whether any civil proceedings have been. as there cannot be an informed decision about the next steps without it. and http://www. views on how the case should be dealt with. In these cases.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 8 Briefing and instructing agents and counsel Staff will need to ensure that agents and counsel are familiar with the CPS Instructions for prosecuting Advocates as well as the CPS Policy and Guidance on prosecuting cases of DV. whether the plea fetters the discretion of the court in relation to sentencing. commenced. A lawyer with experience in domestic violence issues should be consulted in any case where the victim indicates a wish to withdraw support for the prosecution. and a general assessment of the reasons given by the victim. any suspicions of witness intimidation or pressure (if not already included in the withdrawal statement). details of the support available to the victim (for example.gov. including proceedings against the victim's wishes. and the impact on the victim's life and that of any children if the case is continued.cps. This should contain (without duplicating the withdrawal statement): the officer's views on the case. the victim's views on the pleas offered (some victims would prefer to give evidence rather than accept a reduced plea). and the fact that defendants will often seek to minimise the offence or give mitigation for their offence. Prosecutors should refer to the Attorney General's Guidelines on the Acceptance of Pleas and the Prosecutor's Role in the Sentencing Exercise. whether it would be advantageous to the victim and any children not to have to give evidence. using evidence other than that of the victim or by making an application under section 116 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. including the veracity of the statement. Withdrawals in Domestic Violence cases A victim may withdraw for a number of reasons. for example). from an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser) could be provided. children or any other person. the victim's reasons for withdrawing the allegation. an explanation for this should be included). for example. investigating whether the victim will proceed if special measures or other forms of support (for example. or are likely to be. whether the difference between the prosecution and defence version of events is such that it would significantly affect the sentence that would be imposed (if it is.particularly anyone who has advised them (a solicitor. Where we and the defence have agreed to a plea on a limited basis. issues affecting witness attendance at court (including compelling their attendance) must be referred to CPS staff. and discontinuing the case as a result of the victim withdrawing support for the prosecution. and details of any identified risks to the safety of the victim. access to an IDVA or any other support organisation). consideration should be given to the following: whether it is possible to proceed without using the victim's evidence. there should be a Newton Hearing to determine the facts).uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . The police must be asked to provide a withdrawal statement. the basis should be put into writing and signed by both parties. They must be made aware that decisions on acceptability of pleas. Withdrawal statements should be accompanied by a background report by the officer in the case. details of those with whom the victim has discussed the case . issuing a summons and compelling the victim to give evidence. Acceptability of pleas We should consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to accept a plea to a lesser offence or a plea to one of a number of offences in a domestic violence case: whether the defence offer a plea that is in accordance with the evidence available to the prosecution. whether any voluntary sector support organisation or IDVA has expressed a view. A withdrawal statement should include: confirmation of whether the original statement given to the police was true (if the account given in the original statement has to be amended. the nature of the original allegation (if not fully covered in a previous statement). whether the victim has been put under pressure to withdraw.

Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service the likely impact on the victim and any children of proceeding or not proceeding with the case. Page 9 We should assess at an early stage whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed without the victim. as far as possible. or may come to court but refuse to give evidence. and (c) the case cannot proceed without the participation of the victim. we should check that the victim has been made aware of available specialist support and whether it has been offered and accepted or declined (this should be reported on COMPASS). Witness summonses will be appropriate in some circumstances and can be very successful. Even a seemingly minor incident . If we consider proceeding against the victim's wishes we must consider all parties' human rights (including children's) and endorse fully the decision making process on file. A witness summons should only be considered once it has been determined that (a) the safety of the victim and any children will not be jeopardised by the case continuing (b) the victim will not give evidence. The seriousness of the offence in the context of that case: 1. for example. there may be no need to consider a witness summons if the victim subsequently withdraws support. that the safety of the victim and any children will not be endangered by our decision. the 999 tape. consider the following and any combinations (Note: A combination of factors may be present which may make a summons more or less desirable. If there is. Where a witness attends as a result of a witness summons. They can support victims and assist their attendance at court by 'removing' the pressure of making that decision from them.cps. We also should consider the Victim Personal Statement.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . CCTV and police officers' statements.gov. As a result of the police officer's report we may need to consider whether further charges. there is often a guilty plea. admissions in interview. witness intimidation. we must make enquiries to satisfy ourselves. Before a decision to issue a witness summons is taken. Police and specialist support services (including Independent Domestic Violence Advisers) should be asked to advise on their assessment of the victim and any children's safety. Witness summonses Section 169 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 allows the court to issue a witness summons if it considers it to be in the interests of justice to do so. Serious injuries Summons more desirable: Yes 2. are appropriate In cases where victims assert that the original complaint was false. It should only be considered as a last resort. refer to the perverting the course of justice guidance to consider steps needed to ensure that all steps are taken to assess if there is pressure on the victim and deal with the complexities in these situations. If going ahead with the prosecution against the victim's wishes. maybe serious in the context of escalating violence). Through the police. for example. However. Information shared at Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) in higher risk cases will also be invaluable. and providing the public interest test continues to be met. Options must be balanced. No or minor injuries Summons less desirable: Yes Use of a weapon Summons more desirable: Yes Any subsequent threats by defendant Summons more desirable: Yes Whether attack planned Summons more desirable: Yes Whether incident witnessed (seen or heard) by children http://www. it is also possible that a witness will still not attend. even with the help of special measures and other support. Serious offence Summons more desirable: Yes 2. Minor offence and isolated event Summons less desirable: Yes Victim's injuries (including psychological): 1. Information from the IDVA will be crucial here.

No further police call-outs Summons less desirable: Yes 6. Applications for warrants should be made on a case by case basis after consultation with a lawyer experienced in domestic violence issues. but to assist their attendance at court. Housing. e. in situations where the victim cannot be seen to support the prosecution process in any way. if the incident involves a serious assault. Violent relationship and/or pattern of offending Summons more desirable: Yes Defendant's criminal history (particularly if previous violence) Summons more desirable: Yes Information from any other agencies supporting proceeding. Women's Aid.cps. Health. The intention of obtaining the warrant should not be to penalise or criminalise victims. No history of a volatile relationship Summons less desirable: Yes History of relationship: 1. voluntary sector (including perpetrator services) etc. Obviously. No further incidents Summons less desirable: Yes 5. The decision to seek a witness warrant is separate from the decision about whether or not to seek a summons. or in close proximity to a child Summons more desirable: Yes Effect (including psychological) on any children living in the household Summons more desirable: Yes Recurrence likely Summons more desirable: Yes Threat to the health and/or safety of the victim or any other person involved Summons more desirable: Yes Pregnancy Summons more desirable: Yes Current state of victim's relationship with defendant: 1.g.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Summons more desirable: Yes Whether offence committed in presence of. escalating violence or other aggravating http://www. we must go on to consider whether a warrant is appropriate. No ongoing civil proceedings Summons less desirable: Yes 7. No divorce proceedings Summons more desirable: Yes 4. Warrants should not be automatically applied for. but does want the case to continue. Relationship assessed as "unstable" Summons more desirable: Yes 3. For example. Summons more desirable: Yes Page 10 Witness warrants If a witness refuses to attend as a result of a summons. Social Services.gov. Further incidents Summons more desirable: Yes 2. then a summons may be appropriate.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 .

where the victim withdraws support for the prosecution and all avenues for continuing the case have been explored and discounted. Applications for compensation should be made. potentially unduly lenient sentences (ensuring they are cognisant of recent sentencing case law) and correcting derogatory defence assertions. However. a bind over may be an acceptable last option.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . bind overs should not be routinely used and should be viewed as a last resort.gov. A VPS statement is useful for bail purposes. and hate crimes (for example. thereby jeopardising the future safety of the victim and any children. The impact and dynamics of Domestic Violence Because of the particular dynamics of domestic violence. Victim Personal Statements A Victim Personal Statement (VPS) is a statement made by a victim of crime explaining the effect that the crime has had on him or her. religious. It is also crucial that prosecutors recognise the importance of support for victims from the outset and throughout the life of the case. Prosecutors should also consider whether domestic violence cases should also be 'cross flagged' with the following: child abuse for under 18 victims. Arresting a victim also may also have the effect of 'criminalising' the victim. it can provide some future protection for the victim. Offenders in cases of domestic violence may have much to lose if the prosecution ultimately leads to a permanent separation. It is important to bear in mind that support for the victim and improving their safety raises their confidence in the criminal justice system. racist. rape. exclusion orders or restraining orders) and draw attention to relevant cases. marking it with the letters 'DV' or using a different colour file jacket) and flagged on CMS as domestic violence. http://www. where appropriate. participation in prosecutions. Identification and flagging Cases falling within the Government definition of domestic violence should be identified both on the file jacket (for example.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 11 features then it is more likely that a warrant will be requested than if it is a minor isolated incident. An additional factor militating against seeking a witness warrant is the fact that it could deter the victim from seeking help in the future. We should also highlight domestic violence as an aggravating feature. Although.including on acquittal and in pre-sentence reports. and should alert the relevant referral agency to refer the victim to a specialist domestic violence support service early on in appropriate cases. disability hate crime. presence and involvement of children in an incident. it is not a criminal conviction. Through the statement the true impact of the cases can be relayed to the court. incidents where is it apparent that the victim is isolated and has little other support. In domestic violence cases the statement can be an important way to empower the victim. the victim has retracted previous statements. Throughout the safety of the victim and any children should be borne in mind. Examples of when this would be appropriate are: when there has been previous violence. it is crucial that prosecutors are proactive in addressing the security and safety of the victim and any children from the point of charge and throughout the prosecution. and therefore overall prosecution outcomes. Bind overs Bind overs are usually inappropriate in domestic violence cases. homophobic. through a readily identifiable sticker. when applying for a restraining order . We can and should guide the court in relation to ancillary orders available (such as anti-social behaviour orders. particularly with regard to appeals. domestic violence specialist court. Prosecutors must therefore consider special measures requirements at an early stage.cps. and may have a detrimental effect on the quality of the victim's evidence. crimes against older persons). Some of the conflict that may surround separation could ultimately lead to witness intimidation. escalation of violence. bearing in mind that where the parties remain together such orders will probably be met from family money. However. Sentencing We need to be aware of our duties in relation to sentencing issues and domestic violence.

and whilst women may access refuges. non-molestation orders). tenancy rights or rights of access to children). expert advice should be sought on religious. Black and minority ethnic women's groups) that deal with domestic violence. For example. The victim may fear "outing". cultural or other issues from relevant agencies. the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The potential to use reporting restrictions (under section 46 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999) may go some way to alleviating worries about publicity of any court proceedings. Prosecutors should always seek information from the police regarding the presence of children in the household. transgender people. Issues relevant to particular groups of people This section outlines the impact of domestic violence on people from different communities and the particular considerations that prosecutors will need to bear in mind when dealing with cases involving victims and witnesses who are: Children The presence of children during a domestic violence incident must be treated as an aggravating factor when applying the public interest stage of the Code Test. all references to "men" should be read to include "boys" and all references to "women" should be read to include "girls". or removal of children by social services. lesbians. This may constitute a specific offence under for example. they will be left without a carer or companion. the extent to which they have been exposed to the domestic violence and whether the children are the subject of any orders (for example. disabled people. women. We should always consider whether an offence has been committed against the child in particular. We should also explore whether any child wishes to give evidence.cps. It is also important to be aware that victims of domestic violence within same sex relationships may not have the same access to places of safety as do heterosexual victims. but there are likely to be additional barriers to reporting. contact. bisexuals and transsexuals). victims may fear that by reporting the abuse and supporting a prosecution. There may be a mutually dependent relationship between abuser and victim. Where this situation exists. There are few refuges for men. victim of an offence) is used.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . Black and minority ethnic people. gay men. assumptions that gay men and lesbians favour sadomasochistic sex). For similar reasons. The terms "men" and "women" are more inclusive than "male" and "female" and therefore include transgender individuals.gov. Same sex and transgender relationships The dynamics of violence within same-sex or transgender relationships are similar to those within heterosexual relationships. regardless of whether or not they have undergone formal gender re-assignment. the Policy and Guidance refer mainly to a "defendant" rather than to an "abuser" or "perpetrator". and particularly from specialist organisations (for example. or loss of legal rights that would be afforded to a heterosexual person in the same position (for example. In this document. lesbians may be subjected to homophobia within the refuge and the abusive partner may be able to gain access to the refuge themselves. Where appropriate. Victims may also fear homophobic or transphobic reactions from the statutory services when reporting incidents (for example. prosecutors should avoid making stereotypical assumptions.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 12 Terminology Our policy reflects the CPS' role in domestic violence criminal proceedings and so the term "victim" (victim of a crime. Avoiding assumptions When dealing with members of groups that traditionally experience discrimination (for example. Older people Some older victims of domestic violence may be mentally or physically frail. child protection register. any pre-existing isolation from the family due to the person's sexuality and/or life-style may be exploited by the abuser. http://www. These fears or previous experiences of negative reactions can make it more difficult to report the violence. older people.

through the prosecution and after the case has been finalised. withdrawing medication/care/mobility aids. use of an interpreter. including Gypsies and Travellers Perceptions or experiences of racism and lack of confidence in the criminal justice system may make it difficult for victims of domestic violence in minority ethnic communities to report an offence or support a prosecution. denying visitors access to the disabled person. This social and physical dependence can increase a victim's vulnerability to domestic abuse. and should consider these in every domestic violence case. verbal abuse and name-calling. victims will be encouraged to participate in and support prosecutions. Even if a disabled victim wants and is able to leave. because of these additional barriers. for example. they fear loneliness and think no-one else would want them. the likelihood of repeat victimisation will be minimised. communication difficulties.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 13 Disability issues Many disabled people already face problems of negative attitudes towards impairment. Refugees and asylum seekers When reviewing a domestic violence case in which the victim is a member of the refugee community or an asylum seeker. or threats to withdraw care/place the victim in residential care/gain custody of any children. and confidence in the criminal justice system will be increased. where the marriage is based on free consent). They may feel they cannot leave. there is little emergency accommodation and few refuges have provision for disabled victims. The impact and dynamics of domestic violence make this a critical consideration. domestic violence victims need to be supported throughout the criminal justice process. for example but not limited to: withdrawing physical assistance. limited access to services. or they fear losing their children. Risk assessments Risk assessments conducted by the police can provide invaluable background information for prosecutors. Domestic violence may take different forms within minority ethnic communities. support from a specialist support organisation or Victim Support. low self-esteem and enforced dependence on others to carry out physical tasks necessary for daily living and often survival. Prosecutors should also be fully aware of the importance of working with the police. CPS data shows that the greatest proportion of unsuccessful outcomes in domestic violence cases are due to victim issues (including victim retractions. Prosecutors should therefore routinely request risk assessments from the police. from the point of charge. they may lack transport. lack of information in their own language and lack of access to informal and formal support. financial abuse. can also act as barriers to reporting offences of domestic violence. Some examples of these are forced marriage (as distinct from an arranged marriage. Instead. The review note should deal with potential problems and possible solutions and set out what steps need to be taken if the victim is to give evidence (for example. special measures. they fear losing their independence and having to move into residential care. dowry-related violence and female genital mutilation.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . they have limited economic opportunities. Pressure from within the immediate and extended family and the wider community. non-attendance at court and victims not supporting the prosecution case). But support for victims and witnesses should not necessarily start or stop at court. http://www. because. Abuse can be in many forms. prosecutors should take into account the combination of social and cultural factors. Prosecutors should also be aware that immigration status is not a bar to a victim receiving civil legal aid for the purpose of obtaining a civil injunction or non-molestation. In that way. CPS staff should take all practicable steps to help domestic violence victims through the criminal justice system. together with cultural traditions. which may make it difficult for the victim to support or take part in a prosecution. they feel they are responsible for financial and social tensions within the relationship/family.gov. Black and minority ethnic communities. WCU and any specialist support organisations to prioritise the safety of domestic violence victims. Disabled victims of domestic violence may remain in abusive relationships for longer. However. Support and safety of victims and witnesses Providing support and protection for victims and witnesses of domestic violence is one of the most crucial aspects of domestic violence cases. isolation from participation in "mainstream" society. etc). witness intimidation. This will be especially relevant where the charging lawyer determines that no further action can be taken with respect to charging a defendant with a criminal offence.cps. it should not be assumed that all domestic violence within minority ethnic communities takes these forms.

are integral to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) system. IDVAs work with clients from the point of crisis. They can also coordinate the protection of the civil and criminal courts to avoid a victim being left with no protection (for example. this should be relayed as quickly as possible to the police or IDVA. Working with criminal justice agencies and Witness Care Units.cps. including the facilities for a high standard of forensic examination". the IDVA may be able to provide the CPS with further details on risk through the police. whilst ensuring the safety of the victim is co-ordinated across all agencies. Information on local refuge services can be accessed through the national domestic violence helpline run by Refuge and Women's Aid on 0808 2000 247 or through their websites. therefore the location should not even be given to victims. the IDVA can also ensure that the victim stays informed throughout the criminal justice process (in accordance with local arrangements). resettlement and outreach services Women experiencing domestic violence can self-refer to local refuges or can be referred by other agencies. as such. They are trained to understand the value and legal requirement of information sharing and. They prioritise their resources by focusing on those at greatest risk of harm. As with MARACs. The location of refuges or their telephone numbers should never be publicised or revealed to anyone other than the police. Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) provide targeted professional support to victims of sexual violent crime.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 14 Prosecutors need to be aware that unless the risks faced by victims are reduced or counteracted by a series of proportionate interventions by multi-agencies an ineffective trial is the likely outcome. including police. Most refuges have specific referral procedures to be followed. Similar provision exists in Wales via Welsh Women's Aid. Additionally. nor should the location be written down in records. it is good practice for prosecutors to ask the police whether they have checked if the IDVA has any other relevant information about risk. The CPS is not represented at MARACs because it is seldom that we have any information that is not already known to the police. information obtained at court. prosecutors should make enquiries to find out whether any of the information discussed as part of these protection arrangements are of relevance to the criminal case. Local domestic violence refuge. Sexual Assault Referral Centres A Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is defined by the Home Office as: "A one-stop location where victims of sexual assault can receive medical care and counselling whilst at the same time having the opportunity to assist the police investigation into alleged offences. that is. This can be an important consideration when looking at bail conditions. there may a need for the information discussed in the MARAC to be relayed to the CPS to inform the case. monitor and evaluate effective information sharing to enable appropriate actions to be taken to increase the safety of the victim. a police call-out or an Accident and Emergency attendance. They run a domestic violence helpline and can be contacted on: 0808 801 0800 or thorough their website. by ensuring a solicitor has been briefed so that a civil law order can be sought immediately after bail conditions cease to apply). These advisers are generally based in Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) or specialist sexual violence voluntary organisations and link in with essential services such as victim and witness organisations.for example. In cases where there is an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) working with a high or very high risk domestic violence victim. All victims referred to the MARAC have been assessed to be at high risk of serious injury or death. Multi-agency risk assessment conferences Multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs) are meetings attended by representatives of the agencies that have a role in protecting a victim in a particular case. http://www.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . The police or probation frequently take the lead role. Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) IDVAs provide targeted professional support to high or very high risk victims of domestic violence. Where there is an IDVA. counselling and health. The role of the MARAC is to facilitate. However. if the prosecutor becomes aware of information that may alter the risk status of the victim . IDVAs work in a multi-agency setting and involve other agencies when required.

The relationship between an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) and the WCU is crucial to ensure a quick and thorough flow of information. helps people cope with the effects of crime. conducting risk assessments and providing general support and protection may all require information about individuals to be shared with other agencies. but not defendants. court staff.gov. Where the Witness Care Officer is the single point of contact. advocacy. Victim Support and the Witness Service Victim Support. and the admissibility or otherwise of bad character and hearsay evidence.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 15 Witness Care Units Areas should have agreed local protocols outlining the responsibilities of the Witness Care Unit and the police specialist domestic violence unit to ensure that the victim has a single point of contact. Victim Support also receives self-referrals. support victims of domestic violence and share information better so that more offenders are brought to justice.and voluntary sector organisations. the probation service and specialist support services for victims. All Witness care Units have a copy of the Gold Book which lists all local specialist support services. Specialist Domestic Violence Courts Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs) represent a partnership approach to domestic violence by the police.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . If it is not already contained within the file. the nature of the charge.cps. we need to work in partnership with other agencies . minimise risk to the victim and maximise victim confidence in the criminal justice system. prosecutors. This information maybe crucial to the: decision to charge. and improving victim participation. which supports witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales through a range of services that can complement the work of an IDVA. http://www. Agencies work together to identify. Victim Support also runs the Witness Service. s/he will provide information and support to the victim from the point of charge right up until the conclusion of the case and will liaise with the Witness Service to arrange pre-trial visits. Partnership working has been identified as a hugely significant factor in affecting attrition rates. current or pending. an independent charity. Information sharing Responsible information sharing plays a key role in enabling organisations and professionals to protect victims of domestic violence and their children and to save lives. Multi-Agency working and specialist Domestic Violence courts In order to tackle domestic violence effectively. The fact that civil proceedings are ongoing does not mean that criminal proceedings cannot be commenced or continued. applications in respect to witnesses. Government agencies. Civil proceedings and legislation Prosecutors should routinely make enquiries to see if there are any concurrent civil proceedings. track and risk assess domestic violence cases. national organisations and local communities. Casework. WCUs should also play a central role in the development of information sharing and risk assessment protocols. It works alongside the criminal justice system.both criminal justice and noncriminal justice . The Witness Service assists prosecution and defence witnesses. The Victims' Code of Practice requires the police to ask all victims of domestic violence if they would like to be referred to Victim Support for emotional support and practical help. The CPS cannot deal effectively and safely with the effects of domestic violence alone. SDVCs provide a specialised way of dealing with domestic violence cases in magistrates' courts. bail conditions. providing free and confidential support and information. safety and satisfaction. Obtaining and using documents and information from family proceedings Prosecutors may need to obtain information or documents that pertain to family proceedings. the police should be asked to provide information about any relevant civil proceedings past.

and about the relationship between the Code tests and the CPS Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Domestic Violence.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 16 Civil legislation Protection from Harassment Act 1997 Section 3 of the Act makes harassment as defined in section 1 of the Act a tort for which a victim can bring legal proceedings. Annex A Joint CPS and ACPO Evidence Checklist Download a copy of the checklist.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . http://www. rather than just the high courts. and it allows third parties to apply for an injunction on behalf of somebody else. Courts also are able to attach powers of arrest to orders so that if someone breaches an order they can be arrested and brought back to the original court to consider the alleged breach. The policy and guidance should never be interpreted in such a way that the Code test is diluted or supplanted. the legislation does apply and ASBOs may be a valuable tool for protecting the victim and the public. consider if there is other material that supports the prosecution case but is independent of the complainant. Relationship between the Code and domestic violence policy The domestic violence policy statement and guidance should always be read in conjunction with the Code. Annex B Aide-memoire on charging in domestic violence cases Purpose This 'aide-memoire' has been prepared in response to concern expressed by HMCPSI at the level of discontinuance in domestic violence cases. including all information that either undermines or supports the Crown's case (refer to the Attorney General's Guidelines on Disclosure and the Code for further detail). This provision was not intended to cover separated partners . Don't assume that a complainant giving evidence in court is the only way to prove the matter. or corroborates the complainant. It aims to assist prosecutors with charging advice in domestic violence cases. The courts have a wide discretion in the type of injunctions they are able to make allowing them to respond effectively to the individual circumstances of the case. Proceedings under section 3 may be founded on the basis of one act and anticipated further breaches of section 1 (in contrast to criminal proceedings under sections 2 or 4 that require at least two actual incidents in order to constitute a course of conduct). ASBOs can only be considered in cases where the domestic violence has had the necessary impact on persons "not of the same household".it was intended to cover neighbours and members of the local community . They are civil orders containing prohibitions to prevent anti-social behaviour.but where partners (or former partners) are maintaining separate households. It is also possible for application to be made at the county courts. Instead.gov. 2. This legislation was extended in November 2009 to allow Local Authorities to make applications on behalf of victims without previously making an application for the leave of the court.cps. Points to consider Building a robust case 1. Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) target activities that disrupt the lives of individuals. Make sure you are satisfied that all available evidence has been gathered. It allows civil courts to make Forced Marriage Protection Orders to protect people from forced marriages or to pre-empt forced marriages from occurring. families and communities. Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 This Act came into force 25 November 2008. These documents support and underpin the Code by providing further guidance. Actively build a case.

Try to prevent unnecessary delay and take decisions in a timely manner. have you fully briefed the expert? Have you carefully considered whether children should give evidence (for example. Make sure you consider all available charges and record full reasons for your decisions. But remember to balance the need for expedition with the need for proper investigation. Don't focus solely on the behaviour of the victim. at the earliest opportunity so you can assess whether this evidence could be used as part of your case: Does the defendant have any related previous convictions or acquittals? What was the defendant's conduct and demeanour like when arrested? Has the defendant made any admissions? Are there any previous domestic violence reports that may not have been pursued to court? Is any available bad character evidence admissible? 12. 10.gov. Where it isn't necessary to detain a suspect in custody. through discussions with the police and special measures meetings)? Page 17 4.that do not restrict the victim and children . 5. from a child)? 999 tape (remember to listen to this even if someone else made the call)? CCTV or head camera footage? hearsay? bad character? a note of injuries in the police incident report book? evidence of previous incidents? medical evidence? any photos of injuries and the scene? any damage on property noticed by the officer? Is there a history of previous incidents? Are there any civil orders in place? Has the defendant breached any bail conditions or criminal or civil orders in the past? Do you intend to rely upon expert evidence? If yes. If there is an action plan for the police. if any. 8. Suitable bail conditions . Find out whether there are any concurrent or imminent public law or private law family proceedings involving the complainant and/or accused. But remember that the safety of the complainant and any children is a key consideration. find out details of the defendant's previous misconduct. 6. Explore the credibility of the defendant's account as part of the charging consultation: How plausible is the defendant's account? Were there any signs of injury to the defendant upon arrest (see domestic violence guidance on dealing with self-defence and/or counter-allegations)? Are there any contradictions in the defendant's account? Has the defendant made no comment from which an adverse inference can be drawn? http://www. short periods of pre-charge bail may be helpful to ensure the best evidence can be gathered before a prosecution is brought.should be imposed to prevent further offending and intimidation of the complainant.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service 3. Ensure that the police follow Local Service Level Agreements by providing all relevant material to the Duty Prosecutor. Always comprehensively endorse the MG3 to show the elements you consider.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . Make sure you are aware of available civil remedies and how they might affect criminal proceedings. Evidence by and about the defendant 11.cps. you should routinely ask yourself the following questions: Is the victim's account corroborated by any other evidence? What other evidence can we rely upon apart from the victim's account? a police officer's account? a neighbour's account? another eye witness statement (for example. so that time isn't wasted gathering evidence that doesn't substantially take the case any further. Whilst each case must be considered on its merits. Instead. Also. make sure that it is detailed and prioritised. find out whether Social Services has been alerted to the violence or involved with the family. 9. 7.

http://www. If the victim indicates that they wish to withdraw the complaint or their support for the prosecution. Example of Behaviour: Female Circumcision. Example of Behaviour: "Honour crimes". if appropriate. obstructing the course of justice. Consider the nature of the victim's evidence: What does the victim say happened? Would a pre-trial witness interview be appropriate and useful to test the evidence (not to ascertain whether the victim will attend court)? Does the victim have any previous convictions or cautions? 14.cps. actual/grievous bodily harm. Possible Offences: Murder. Has the victim previously retracted a complaint or failed to give evidence in proceedings? If so. Possible Offences: Common assault. try to obtain an explanation from the victim of previous retractions. Make sure that the victim's statement includes information about whether s/he supports the prosecution. Possible Offences: Witness intimidation. Possible Offences: Using violence to secure entry. Example of Behaviour: Pressuring a victim/witness to "drop the case" or not to give evidence. victims with mental health issues or learning difficulties. Example of Behaviour: Physical violence.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 .gov. and hair pulling. Possible Offences: Murder. inc: punching. abandoning or ill-treating a child. wounding. cultural or language barriers. Do all you can to support the victim through the criminal justice process to encourage them to participate in the prosecution and to give their best evidence. for example. have you considered: continuing the case without the victim? using the hearsay provisions to include the complainant's evidence? compelling them to attend by use of a witness summons and. kicking. and they do not necessarily indicate that a victim cannot be relied upon to give evidence. aiding and abetting suicide.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Page 18 Victim participation and support 13. alcohol or drug dependency. Possible Offences: Female Genital Mutilation. manslaughter. why? What was the nature of the previous allegation? Has a risk assessment been conducted by the police? If the victim resolutely refuses to proceed. If appropriate. disability. Has the victim indicated what support s/he needs through the prosecution process (for example. physical or mental illness)? Can the case be progressed expeditiously through a specialist domestic violence court? How would the victim feel if forced to face the defendant during trial? Has a victim personal statement been taken? Is it up-to-date? Annex C Examples of domestic violence offences Example of Behaviour: Neglecting. slapping. Example of Behaviour: Violence resulting in death. pushing. a warrant? What would be the effect of proceeding or not proceeding with the case without the victim? 15. on the MG2 and MG11 forms)? Has an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor or specialist domestic violence support agency made contact with the victim? Does the victim have any individual needs such that they require specialist support (for example. Possible Offences: Child cruelty. with or without weapons. ask yourself: Is there any reason to believe that the victim might have been pressured or frightened into retracting? Some victims may be particularly vulnerable. conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. reporting restrictions)? Has this been reflected in the police's action plan? Do you have enough information to ensure that victim care issues can be comprehensively assessed (for example. headbutting. attempted murder. Previous retractions are common in domestic violence cases. 16. special measures. Example of Behaviour: Forcing entry into a house.

threatening to cause criminal damage. threatening behaviour . Possible Offences: Harassment. actual bodily harm. rape. Example of Behaviour: Unreasonable financial demands.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . http://www. Possible Offences: Actual bodily harm. Example of Behaviour: "Outing". Example of Behaviour: Enforced sexual activity. Example of Behaviour: Spitting at a person. Possible Offences: False imprisonment.cps.gov. common assault. Possible Offences: Harassment. harassment.g. e. Example of Behaviour: Preventing someone from seeking aid. strangling. blackmail. a knife. Example of Behaviour: Threatening with an article used as a weapon e. Possible Offences: Threats to kill. affray. false imprisonment. harassment. harassment. e. threatening behaviour. harassment. e. harassment. Example of Behaviour: Choking. Possible Offences: Common assault. harassment. common assault.g.g. Example of Behaviour: Tying someone up. affray. suffocating. affray. false imprisonment. Possible Offences: Common assault. actual/grievous bodily harm. Example of Behaviour: Racial abuse. Possible Offences: Harassment. Possible Offences: False imprisonment. e. actual/grievous bodily harm. Possible Offences: Common assault. Example of Behaviour: Persistent verbal abuse. Possible Offences: Criminal damage. Possible Offences: Common assault. Example of Behaviour: Damaging or destroying property or threatening to damage or destroy property. criminal damage. sexual assault. Example of Behaviour: Enforced financial dependence or unreasonably depriving someone of money. wounding. strangle or suffocate. attempting to choke. even if they miss their target. Possible Offences: Breach of non-molestation order. Possible Offences: Harassment. disorderly conduct or harassment. actual/grievous bodily harm. Example of Behaviour: Harming or threatening to harm a pet.g.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Example of Behaviour: Violence resulting in miscarriage. harassment. Possible Offences: Threats to kill. Possible Offences: Child destruction. Example of Behaviour: Preventing someone from visiting relatives or friends. Possible Offences: Blackmail. procuring a miscarriage or abortion. blackmail. Example of Behaviour: Locking someone in a room or house or preventing him or her from leaving. Example of Behaviour: Forced marriage. Possible Offences: Blackmail. tool. living off immoral earnings. indecent assault. jewellery and hairstyles. threatening to cause criminal damage. Example of Behaviour: Threatening to kill someone. actual bodily harm . medical attention. blackmail. Possible Offences: Common assault. chair. cruelty to animals. Example of Behaviour: Threats to cause injury. Example of Behaviour: Throwing articles. Page 19 Example of Behaviour: Preventing someone from dressing as they choose or forcing them to wear a particular make-up. sexual orientation or HIV status.g. telephone. crockery. actual bodily harm. threatening behaviour. Possible Offences: Kidnap. constant unreasonable criticism. Example of Behaviour: Abuse related to dowry demand. harassment. harassment. actual bodily harm . Possible Offences: False imprisonment. Possible Offences: Criminal damage. kidnapping. actual/grievous bodily harm. Example of Behaviour: Breaching the conditions of a non-molestation order. Possible Offences: Racially aggravated threatening behaviour . Example of Behaviour: Threats seriously to damage or undermine social status. common assault. Possible Offences: Rape.

numerous 'phone calls to check someone's whereabouts. actual/grievous bodily harm .uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_violence_aide-memoire/ 14/02/2013 23:23:16 . actual bodily harm. text messages or letters. Page 20 If the threatening or disorderly words/behaviour are used in a dwelling house. Possible Offences: Improper use of public telecommunication systems. Example of Behaviour: Excessive contact. administering poison. http://www. malicious communications. false imprisonment. Actual physical or mental harm must be proved to have resulted from the behaviour. Possible Offences: Common assault. Example of Behaviour: Secret or enforced administration of drugs.cps.g.gov. the offence can only be committed if the other person is not Inside that or another dwelling. harassment. e. grievous bodily harm. Possible Offences: Harassment.Domestic violence aide-memoire: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service Example of Behaviour: Offensive/obscene/menacing telephone calls.

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