People who violently attack children to get longer jail terms, Theresa May pledges 

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People who violently attack children will get longer jail terms under a Tory Government, Theresa May will announce today as part a major crackdown. 

The Prime Minister will vow to increase the number of prosecutions and do more to tackle the “hidden scandal” sweeping the nation.  

A new Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill will create an aggravated offence allowing harsher punishments for cases involving children.

British Prime Minister Theresa May 

British Prime Minister Theresa May 

Credit:
EPA/WILL OLIVER

The moves come amid concerns that the legal system often lets down victims and that the regional variation in police responses has  resulted in a postcode lottery. 

Mrs May will also pledge to appoint a Domestic Violence Commissioner to stand up for victims and hold the police and the criminal justice system to account. 

Speaking ahead of the announcement, she said: “The last seven years of Conservative Government have delivered real steps towards tackling domestic violence – we are punishing more perpetrators, and helping more victims get refuge and justice. 

The Tories Party's Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill will extend the length of sentences 

The Tories Party’s Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill will extend the length of sentences 

Credit:
David Cheskin/PA

“But we will launch a relentless drive to help survivors find justice and increase the number of successful prosecutions. This hidden scandal, that takes place every day in homes across Britain, must be tackled head on. 

“And we must respond to the devastating and lifelong impact that domestic abuse has on children, who carry the effects into adulthood.”

The Tories Party’s Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill will extend the length of sentences for anyone who is found to have abused a child. 

The Bill will also introduce a statutory definition for domestic violence, which the party says will allow help the CPS to successfully prosecute offenders. 

There are understood to be as many as 2 million victims of domestic abuse every year, according to the latest Crime Survey of England and Wales. 

But in spite of the increased levels of people coming forward, estimates suggest only a fifth of victims report their abuse.

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