Posted on: 6 December 2023

As part of the White Ribbon Campaign, CNWL’s Health and Justice Services has committed to prioritise the prevention of domestic abuse.

CNWL runs healthcare services across Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Hampshire in a variety of prison settings.

Over half of the women in prison report having suffered domestic abuse with 53 percent of women reporting having experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child.  

The charity Women in Prison reports that 79 percent of the women who use their services have experienced domestic and/or sexual abuse.

Unfortunately, research shows that women often encounter a culture of disbelief in the criminal justice system.

Michael Chiteme, Head of Healthcare at HMP Downview, reports that domestic abuse is not always part of the current screening process within prisons.  

She said: “There is a support pathway for women who disclose abuse which includes safety intervention planning and psychological support.

“However, we recognise that more can be done.”

As part of its pledge to improve responses to domestic abuse, our Health and Justice Directorate has committed to a series of awareness and training sessions throughout 2024. CNWL’s Domestic Abuse Team will visit the prisons to offer face-to-face sessions.