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Anti-domestic violence campaigners call for law change

Psychological abuse should be made a crime, according to campaigners, who want legislation to be brought in to make "coercive control" an arrestable offence.

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Abuse defined by more than 'physical violence'

The criminal justice system needs to focus on more than physical violence when pursuing a domestic violence case, experts said.

The chief executive of Women's Aid, Polly Neate, said in order to prevent the two deaths which occur every week at the hands of a controlling partner or ex-partner, authorities would need to take the psychological harm inflicted on the victim into account as well.

These survey results clearly reflect what our member services have been telling us for a long time: the criminal justice focus on individual incidents of physical violence cannot reflect the ongoing psychological harm caused by coercive control in intimate relationships.

We welcome the Government's recognition of coercive control in the Home Office definition of domestic violence...

Two women a week die at the hands of a partner or ex-partner; the next step to preventing these deaths is reform to allow the criminal justice system to take account of patterns of controlling and violent behaviour.

– Polly Neate

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