Young women under the age of 25 were victims in about half of all sexual offence cases brought by the Crown Prosecution Service last year, while women aged 24 and under also made up a quarter of domestic abuse victims.
Statistics on victims’ ages in cases of violence against women and girls have been released for the first time, as it was revealed that these crimes now account for one-fifth of all prosecutions brought by the CPS in England and Wales.
Leading women’s charities have welcomed the rise in convictions, but have said there is still more to be done to tackle violence against women, particularly as convictions and prosecutions for domestic abuse fell significantly over the past year.
The data was revealed in the Crown Prosecution Service’s 10th Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) report, released the day before the International Day of the Girl.
The report outlines a huge increase in rape convictions since the data was first published a decade ago, but while domestic abuse convictions had also been rising, they have now started to fall following a drop in referrals from police.
Domestic abuse cases make up more than 80% of violence against women cases prosecuted by the CPS, with crimes including sexual offences, rape, “honour-based” violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, human trafficking for sexual exploitation, prostitution, pornography, stalking, and harassment making up the remainder.