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Coercive and Controlling Behaviour

Coercive and Controlling BehaviourCoercive or Controlling behaviour is now a crime carrying 5 year prison term.

Victims subjected to sustained patterns of domestic abuse will be able to seek protection under a new offence which came into force on the 29th December 2015.

The new coercive or controlling behaviour offence, will mean victims who experience the type of behaviour that stops short of serious physical violence, but amounts to extreme psychological and emotional abuse, can bring their perpetrators to justice.

Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley said:
“Our new coercive or controlling behaviour offence will protect victims who would otherwise be subjected to sustained patterns of abuse that can lead to total control of their lives by the perpetrator. We are sending a clear message that it is wrong to violate the trust of those closest to you and that emotional and controlling abuse will not be tolerated.”

When reviewing these cases, prosecutors will be trained to look at the overall effect this controlling and/or coercive behaviour had on the victim. The consideration of the cumulative impact of controlling or coercive behaviour and the pattern of behaviour within the context of the relationship will be crucial.

This behaviour can include:

  • Stopping or changing the way someone socialises
  • Limiting access to family, friends and finances
  • Monitoring a person via online communication tools e.g. tracking apps on mobile phones
  • Repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless
  • Humiliating and embarrassing the victim.

If you are reading this and believe you are a victim of the offence and want to make a complaint then call the Police. If you are reading this and are considering divorce then you can rely upon behaviour described at a far lower level in order to demonstrate that your marriage has broken down. If you would simply like to know what your options are please contact us.

For help and assistance please call us on 01664 498 998 or email or send us an on line enquiry. We will endeavour to contact you straight away.

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