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Special Domestic Violence Courts – How special are they?

Specialist Domestic Violence Courts – How special are they?


In 2018 the Police and Crime Commissioner asked the North of England Soroptimists International and her Court Observers Panel to focus their attention on the work of Special Domestic Violence Courts.

Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC) were rolled out across the country in 2005 and 2006 as part of a three pronged initiative to provide more informed and safer hearings for Domestic Violence cases.

Specialist volunteer Court Observers trained by the CPS, observed 170 cases from July to September 2017 which resulted in the production of the Specialist Domestic Violence Courts – How Special are they? report.

The report highlights that there were significant gaps in the system and that if funding was improved, SDVCs would work as was originally intended. The report also highlights a number of recommendations into how the SDVC’s can be improved to deliver for victims.