Sexual violence

We have pledged our continued support to combatting sexual violence in our society. We want to send a clear message to victims and the public that sexual assault is unacceptable.

The Home Office has responsibility for three main policy areas relating to sexual violence:

  • policy on improving prosecution and investigation of sexual offences (together with the Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, the Association of Chief Police Officers, and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary)
  • input into policy on support to victims of sexual violence within the criminal justice system, (together with the Ministry of Justice, Government Equalities Office, Crown Prosecution Service and the Department of Health)
  • leading on work to prevent sexual violence, including tackling pervading  myths and attitudes about rape.

The Home Office is committed to tackling sexual violence, it is the government's ambition that every report of sexual assault be treated seriously from the point of disclosure; that every victim be treated with dignity and that every investigation; and that every prosecution be conducted thoroughly and professionally.

Our focus is on the rights and welfare of the victim and we are committed to ensuring that every victim of sexual violence has access to appropriate support. In particular, we have put funding for rape crisis services on a more sustainable basis and are establishing new rape crisis centres where there are gaps in provision.

Stern Review

In March 2011, we published our full response to the Stern review. Baroness Stern's review into the way rape complaints are handled by public authorities in England and Wales was conducted in 2010. 

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