Domestic violence law 'to cover psychological abuse'

Emotional and psychological abuse in relationships could be given the same status under law as physical abuse.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has launched a consultation to look at strengthening the law on domestic violence by creating a new offence of domestic abuse.

It could help protect victims whose partners threaten them with violence, cut them off from friends and family, or refuse them access to money.

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Damage done by psychological abuse 'too often overlooked'

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.

The criminal justice system needs to recognise the damage done by repeated psychological abuse and coercive control which is too often overlooked - the Government's agreement to this consultation is a welcome tribute to those who have campaigned hard for change.

But Theresa May just isn't doing enough to reverse the backwards slide in action against domestic violence or support for victims on her watch.

Prosecutions and convictions as a proportion of recorded domestic crime are falling. And over the last four years over 10,000 perpetrators of domestic violence have been handed only community resolutions, with many simply being asked to apologise to their victim.

– Yvette Cooper


Domestic violence law to cover psychological abuse

Government plans could see the law on domestic violence strengthened to cover non-physical abuse. Credit: PA

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.

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