jail sentences to end for abusive men in england and wales; are women at risk
Abusive men in England and Wales can soon walk free from court under a new sentencing policy as the government scrambles to tackle the overcrowding crisis gripping prisons.
Under reforms unveiled by the justice secretary, abusive men can leave jail and can do community service in a bid to free up space in prisons, putting women’s safety at risk.
According to a report by The Guardian, an independent government watchdog has said that women are at risk because of the new sentencing policy. Nicole Jacobs, the domestic abuse commissioner, has claimed that the government in England and Wales have put women’s safety at risk by taking the decision to lift the pressures on overcrowded prisons and scrapping short prison sentences.
Women at risk in England
The Sentencing Bill by the UK government allows judges to give suspended sentences to offenders where they may otherwise have given jail terms of 12 months or less.
Nicole Jacobs said that the government was putting women at risk. The bill would see prison terms of under 12 months axed for most offenders in England and Wales.
The government has simply ignored the dangers posed by perpetrators of domestic violence. Jacobs said, “You know, four out of five won’t ever report domestic abuse cases to the police. So when you take the one out of five who report to the police, and then you get to a fraction of them who actually get to the court, and if at that stage the court says: ‘Oh, we’ll give you a community sentence,’ that really just flies in the face of this kind of rhetoric by the government that domestic abuse is serious, that it is as serious as terrorism, organized crime.”
The bill encapsulates a complex interplay of legal, political, and societal dynamics. Women will have to live amid fears of domestic abusers and stalkers.
Men jailed for harassment
According to the latest Ministry of Justice statistics, around 11,040 men were jailed for around 12 months or less for harassment, stalking and revenge porn in 2022. Those abusive men can now serve in the community to free up space in jails.
Justice secretary Alex Chalk’s proposals can be a boon for abusive men who target women and girls because they will typically get low sentences. Despite Rishi Sunak repeatedly pledging to do more to protect these women, men can roam freely after serving in the community.
TV star Georgia Harrison, who was a victim of revenge porn at the hands of her former partner, has also slammed the new bill.
As the legislative agenda unfolds and debates continue, the implications of these measures on women’s safety will remain at the forefront of national discourse.