New Domestic Abuse Offence On Coercive Behaviour Announced

Home Secretary Describes Such Actions As ‘Tantamount To Torture’

18.12.2014

The Home Secretary has confirmed plans for the introduction of a new domestic abuse offence related to coercive and controlling behaviour.

Theresa May has revealed that the maximum penalty for the offence would be five years in prison and a fine for behaviour which could see an abuser prevent a victim from having hobbies, refuse them access to money or determine aspects of their day-to-day life.

News of the plans has come after a consultation into the issue round that 85 per cent of people said they felt the law did not currently provide enough protection to victims.

Announcing the move, May described coercive control as “tantamount to torture”, adding: “In many cases, dominance over the victim develops and escalates over the years until the perpetrator has complete control.

“Putting a foot wrong can result in violent outbursts, with victims living in fear for their lives.”

A report issued by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary earlier this year made a series of recommendations regarding how police should handle domestic abuse, with it adding that 77 women were killed by partners or ex-partners between 2012 and 2013.