Domestic abuse

Domestic abusers who subject victims to controlling or coercive behaviour could face up to five years in jail under a law that came into force on 29th December 2015.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the legislation will mean that prosecutors can now pursue specific offences of domestic abuse if there is evidence of repeated, or continuous, controlling or coercive behaviour. That abuse could include a pattern of threats, humiliation and intimidation, or behaviour such as stopping a partner socialising, controlling social media accounts, surveillance through apps and dictating what a person can wear.

Controlling or coercive behaviour causes someone either to fear that violence will be used against them on at least two occasions, or serious alarm or distress, which has a substantial effect on their usual day-to-day activities.