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CPS amends approach to prosecuting DA cases

The Crown Prosecution Service has published revised guidance on prosecuting domestic abuse-related crimes.

A key objective to is to tackle what the agency describes as misleading myths and stereotypes.

“DA cases are amongst the highest priority work dealt with in the criminal justice system. The safety of victims and children is imperative when prosecuting cases of DA,” the CPS said in its introduction to the guidance.

The service contends the notion there is a typical victim of domestic abuse is wrong, damaging and may prevent sufferers coming forward.

Among stereotypes addressed are: domestic abuse is a crime of passion; victim stigmatisation by asking why they do not leave; and an assumption previous withdrawals of complaints or a reluctance to co-operate means victims lack credibility.

CPS domestic abuse lead Kate Brown commented: “This is a crime which affects both men and women from every walk of life.”

Prosecutors and investigators are also being encouraged to focus on the defendant’s behaviour by taking an ‘offender-centric’ approach.

Along with the new guidance, the CPS is seeking the public’s views on the changes. Interested parties have until 26 June to participate.

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