NEW guidelines for prosecuting cases of domestic violence have been launched.
The Crown Prosecution Service's new policy has been in development since December, 2001, and aims to offer victims more protection and support.
Neil Franklin, chief prosecutor with West Yorkshire CPS, said: "The service is at the heart of developing a modernised response to domestic violence.
"Our revised policy, guidance and training signals our commitment to winning justice for victims of these crimes."
The policy includes recent changes in the law which relates to domestic violence.
The changes allow common assault to be treated as an arrestable offence and restraining orders to be made for cohabiting or same-sex couples as well as married couples.
They also allow measures, such as video links, screens or clearing the public from courtrooms, to make it easier for victims to give evidence.
The new policy encourages prosecutors to seek bail conditions that keep people accused of domestic violence away from the victim's home, school or relatives' homes.
If a victim withdraws their statement, the policy advises prosecutors to get specialist support for victims or use alternative evidence to avoid the victim having to go to court.
The responsibility for pressing charges in most cases now rests with the CPS, not the police.