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Cross-government action plan on sexual violence and abuse

Sexual violence and abuse have a devastating impact on victims, their families and friends, and wider society.  Addressing these crimes and the harm they cause is a priority for the Government. 

Key objectives of the plan

The Action Plan brings together the measures underway and planned over the next year to deliver our key objectives on sexual violence and abuse:

  • to maximise prevention of sexual violence and abuse
  • to increase access to support and health services for victims of sexual violence and abuse
  • to improve the criminal justice response to sexual violence and abuse

The purpose of the Action Plan is to:

  • tell our stakeholders and members of the public what we are seeking to achieve in relation to sexual violence and abuse
  • identify the actions we are taking to deliver our objectives
  • identify gaps in existing work which require further consideration
  • increase transparency and enable us to be held to account on delivery of our objectives
  • provide a platform for developing a more strategic and holistic approach to tackling sexual violence and abuse

The Action Plan is supported by an implementation guide that sets out the roles and responsibilities of the following key delivery agencies and partnerships for work on sexual violence and abuse:

Delivery agencies

  • Police
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Courts
  • National Offender Management Service
  • Local Authorities
  • Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)
  • Primary Care Trusts (or Local Health Boards in Wales)
  • External Forensic Service Providers and Forensic Practitioners

Local partnerships 

  • Crime Disorder Reduction Partnerships
  • Local Criminal Justice Boards
  • Local Safeguarding Children Boards

The overarching Plan covers all forms of sexual violence and abuse, both recent and historic, and all those affected by these terrible crimes including women, men and children.  It recognises the continuum of gender-based violence, which represents a major cause and consequence of inequality, particularly for women.

The Plan, which will underpin the forthcoming crime strategy, represents a more strategic and holistic approach to addressing sexual violence and abuse. 

Over the course of 2007-08 we will be working with our stakeholders to consider what more we need to do in the longer term to make further progress on the delivery of these objectives, particularly at a local level, and how we can further strengthen links with work to address other forms of gender-based violence.


Date: Mon Apr 02 15:00:00 BST 2007

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