The term ‘violence against women and girls’ covers a range of crimes which disproportionately affect women and girls, including rape and other sexual offences, stalking, harassment and offences arising from domestic abuse. An estimated one in five women are victims of sexual assault (or attempted assault) in their lifetime. The most common form of violence against women and girls is domestic abuse.

In 2021, the Home Office introduced its latest cross-government strategy to address these crimes, Tackling violence against women and girls, which focuses on prevention, supporting victims, pursuing perpetrators and developing a stronger system, meaning every person and every organisation understands the role they play. It has introduced new offences for coercive behaviour, revenge porn and stalking.


We will examine the work of the Home Office and its partners to implement the 2021 strategy and the 2022 Domestic Abuse Plan. We will describe government activity in this area, evaluate progress and identify learning to support the successful delivery of the intended outcomes. Specifically, we will examine:

  • how the Home Office has learned from its previous experience, and that of stakeholders, to build consensus around the strategy
  • how well aligned and coordinated activities are, and the extent to which the Home Office and its partners have well-developed and funded plans to achieve the strategy’s objectives and outcomes
  • how the Home Office tracks progress and identifies what works, adjusting programmes and funding allocations accordingly

NAO Team

Director: Oliver Lodge
Senior Audit Manager: Caroline Harper