111,891 prosecutions for domestic violence in 17-month period (and six for making false allegations)
The first ever study by the Crown Prosecution Service into so-called false allegations of domestic violence and rape has been published by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The report, which examines a 17-month period, shows that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are perhaps more rare than previously thought, and that in only a very small number of cases was it considered that there was sufficient evidence and that it was in the public interest to prosecute a person suspected of making a false allegation of rape or domestic violence.
This publication is part of a wider programme of work for the CPS to improve its handling of cases involving violence against women and girls.
Keir Starmer QC said:
“This is a trailblazing report. It’s the first time we have clear evidence on the prosecution of this important issue. This report shows that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are very rare, but that they are very serious where they do exist. My view is that this shows that the CPS guidance for prosecutors on this issue is broadly in the right place. This report will therefore help us to ensure that we are able to make consistent and sound decisions in these difficult cases.
“Victims of rape and domestic violence must not be deterred from reporting the abuse they have suffered. In recent years we have worked hard to dispel the damaging myths and stereotypes that are associated with these cases. One such misplaced belief is that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are rife. This report presents a more accurate picture.”
The report has shed light on the context in which people make false allegations. Mr Starmer added:
“The report shows that a significant number of these cases involved young, often vulnerable people, and sometimes even children. Around half of the cases involved people aged 21 and under, and some involved people with mental health difficulties. From the cases we have analysed, the indication is that it is therefore extremely rare that a suspect deliberately makes a false allegation of rape or domestic violence purely out of malice. It is within this context that the issue should be viewed, so that myths and stereotypes around these cases are not able to take hold.”
During the period covered by the report, there were 111,891 prosecutions for domestic violence, but only six for making false allegations of domestic violence. There were a further three people charged with making false allegations of both rape and domestic violence.
The report can be read here.
SOURCE: Family Law Week