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.