Handbook on Effective Prosecution Responses to Violence against Women and Girls

image of Handbook on Effective Prosecution Responses to Violence against Women and Girls

Prosecutors play a critical role in the criminal justice response to violence against women and girls. Prosecuting gender based violent crime can be challenging. Often there are a number of challenges, due to the private nature of the offence, and police investigation may be substandard. Victims may be uncooperative, withdraw or recant their complaints. Judges or juries may employ gender bias or common myths surrounding violence against women and girls when examining the credibility of the victim and the facts of the case. Drawing upon the updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (General Assembly resolution 65/228, annex), UNODC and UN Women have drafted the Handbook on Effective Prosecution Responses to Violence against Women and Girls. Recognizing that prosecutors work in different legal systems, it is meant to be a helpful resource for individual prosecutors and prosecution services.



The role of the prosecutor in sentencing and post-conviction

The prosecutors’ role in sentencing and post-conviction decisions varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. While sentencing is a decision for the court, generally prosecutors have a duty to offer assistance to the sentencing court in reaching its decision as to the appropriate sentence. In some jurisdictions, the prosecutor draws the court’s attention to the relevant factors, such as aggravating or mitigating factors disclosed by the prosecution case. In certain jurisdictions, the prosecutors assist the court by providing details of the offence and the impact of the offending on society (including a victim personal statement). In some jurisdictions, prosecutors also supply the court with relevant authorities, precedent cases, or draw attention to sentencing guidelines. The prosecutors must ensure that they apply for appropriate ancillary orders which should take into account the victim’s needs, including their future protection.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error