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  • New domestic violence offence

    New domestic violence offence

    <p>The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has announced that there is a new

    domestic abuse offence for ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’ within relationships. The offence has been introduced to protect victims from extreme psychological and emotional abuse.<br /><br /><code style=’display: none;’><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–><p>Although there are already offences relating to physical violence, stalking and harassment, this new law deals with the ‘behind closed doors abuse’ that family solicitors hear about on a regular basis from their clients.<br /><br /><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–><p>Physical abuse can leave bruises and broken bones, but emotional abuse leaves no real physical evidence. However, witness testimony for the new offence can be supported by documentary evidence, which includes emails, text messages and even bank statements, if the offender has tried to control the victim’s <div id=”fcYWGWEGKPCD0PI47p” style=”position: absolute; top: -1098px; left: -712px; width: 343px;”><a href=””></a></div> finances.<br /><br /><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–><p>Theresa May said “Coercive control can be tantamount to torture. In many cases, dominance over the victim develops and escalates over the years until the perpetrator has complete control. Putting a foot wrong can result in violent outbursts, with victims living in fear for their lives.”<br /><br /><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–><p>Will the new offence be effective? Sandra Horley, the chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, is not so sure. She said “We already have enough laws – the problem is that they are not being implemented properly. The police don’t even arrest when there is evidence of serious physical violence, so how are police and juries ever going to understand complex concepts like coercive control?”<br /><br /><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–><p>Another issue is, as with other forms of domestic abuse, it takes a lot of courage for victims to talk about their abuse and even more to report it.<br /><br /><!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–></code>


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