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Types of Sexual offences

There are a range of crimes that can be considered as sexual offences, including non-consensual crimes such as rape or sexual assault, crimes against children including child sexual abuse or grooming, and crimes that exploit others for a sexual purpose, whether in person or online.


Crimes can occur between strangers, friends, acquaintances, current or ex-partners, or family members. The passage of time does not prevent the effective prosecution of sexual offences, and an increasing number of cases referred to the CPS by police feature allegations of a non-recent nature.


Sexual offences are prosecuted as part of the CPS Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy. This is an overarching framework to address crimes that have been identified as being committed primarily but not exclusively by men against women.


These crimes include domestic abuse, rape, sexual offences, stalking, harassment, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence including forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child abuse, human trafficking focusing on sexual exploitation, prostitution, pornography and obscenity.


This CPS approach to VAWG crimes follows United Nations conventions which the UK government has ratified, and which inform the cross-government VAWG framework. However, the Annual Violence Against Women and Girls report published by the CPS includes data on all perpetrators and victims, irrespective of gender. The CPS is determined to secure justice for all victims, and recently reaffirmed our commitment to male victims.


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