Violence Against Women and Girls/Domestic Abuse/Sexual Violence

The scrutiny panel for Violence Against Women and Girls/Domestic Abuse/Sexual Violence was introduced by the Durham PCC to reflect a commitment to ensuring the best possible response to victims of rape.

This panel has beennewly established (replaces the former separate Rape Scrutiny and DomesticAbuse Scrutiny panels) and aims to improve performance in the investigation ofViolence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence cases and theservices offered by the Police and relevant partners to support victims. ThePanel will achieve this by scrutinising current/recent cases and makingrecommendations as appropriate/relevant and will be more outcome focussed.

‍The Panel frequency will move to six times ayear. 

The panel will have a thematic focus-two times a year to scrutinise:
·       Violence Against Women and Girls.
·       Domestic Abuse.
·      Sexual Violence. 

The Panel currently has 14 members (7 for DA and 7 for SV) and the OPCC are currently recruiting to the Panel. An information sharing session took place on 5th December 2023 with current and prospective members where favourable feedback was given to the OPCC about the future arrangements of this panel.


The scope of the panel will cover:
·       Domestic Abuse as defined by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.
·       Sexual Violence which is any kind of sexual activity or act (including online) that was unwanted.
·       Violence Against Women which does not fall within the scope of the above Panels. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) covers a range of unacceptable and deeply distressing crimes;these are crimes which disproportionately affect women and girls. However, men and boys can also be victims of violence and abuse. 

Victim/Survivor(s) will be recruited onto this Panel to ensure those with “lived experience” can input directly and influence future practice.  This follows best practice in how survivors are supported particularly by Safe Lives About– Authentic Voice

Terms of Reference