HC Deb 04 February 1856 vol 140 c152

said, he begged to inquire of the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the attention of Government had been directed to the insufficiency of the law as it now stood to repress violent assaults upon women and children; and whether it was their intention to propose any measure to Parliament to amend the law relating to such offences?


, in reply said, that the attention of the Government had not been specially directed to the insufficiency of the existing law; but he had, of course, in common with every one else, observed the frequency of the assaults in question. Two years ago an Act had been passed for the purpose of punishing more severely, and with more certainty, persons who committed such assaults. The Act of Parliament had been very beneficial in its operation; but it had not succeeded, as he believed the Act would, in extinguishing crimes of that character. He believed that in consequence of that Act many persons had suffered punishment for these cowardly assaults who would otherwise have escaped. It was not the intention of the Government to propose any alteration in the law at present.