- 3 updates
Government plans to strengthen domestic violence laws to better support victims of psychological and emotional abuse are partly about sending a message "that this is a crime, we are taking it seriously", a Home Office minister told Good Morning Britain.
Norman Baker MP said this would give victims the confidence to come forwards.
The damage inflicted by coercive behaviour in relationships is "too often overlooked", according to the Shadow Home Secretary.
Yvette Cooper welcomed the launch of a consultation on strengthening the domestic violence law, but said the Government still needs to do more.
Coercive and controlling behaviour in relationships could become just as criminal as physical abuse, under a proposed new law.
The Government have put a new offence of 'domestic abuse' out for consultation.
Launched by Home Secretary Theresa May, the consultation will consider whether the current law needs to be strengthened to better protect victims of psychological and emotional abuse.
The offence will cover behaviour such as threatening a partner with violence, cutting them off from friends and family, or refusing them access to money.
Under existing law, intimidation of this kind is covered by legislation that covers stalking and harassment, but this does not explicitly apply to intimate relationships.