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Submission to the consultation on the Home Office Domestic Abuse Act draft statutory guidance

14 September 2021

“The Howard League for Penal Reform welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation on the Home Office Domestic Abuse Act statutory guidance. There are strong links between women’s experience of domestic abuse and their contact with the criminal justice system. Women often become criminalised as a result of their experience of domestic abuse.

“Public bodies including the police should not be criminalising women when it is unnecessary or inappropriate. The labelling of women as ‘female offenders’, is harmful and can prevent women from seeking help or escaping an abusive relationship.

“Under the Equalities Act 2010, women should have separate services. Women should be able to access sex-specific services of support without being labelled, arrested or criminalised first. The link between domestic abuse and women’s alleged offending can be weakened if statutory bodies work together to prevent the criminalisation of vulnerable women.”

Read the full submission

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