Domestic abuse victims to receive ‘better protection’ amid huge change to violence laws
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Victims who are still experiencing varying forms of domestic abuse from current or ex partners will now receive appropriate protection, even if they live apart from the aggressor. According to the government, controlling or coercive behaviour offences has been extended to protect victims who aren’t in the same households as their abuser.
The new measure comes as an independent review published last month found more than half (51%) of murder cases involved controlling or coercive behaviour. Lawmakers hope it will tackle abuse that continues after victims separate from an abusive partner or distance themselves from an aggressive family member.
In 2015, the government passed the Serious Crime Act - a law which identified controlling or coercive behaviour as a criminal offence. Under the Serious Crimes Act, victims can now seek better support if they receive economic, emotional and psychological abuse.
Safeguarding minister Sarah Dines said: "Controlling or coercive behaviour is an abhorrent crime that I am determined to tackle. Victims’ safety is paramount, and this updated guidance will offer wider protection to victims and will support the police to bring more perpetrators to justice.”
Malin Andersson, who rose to fame as part of Love Island 2016, helped to launch the new measures. She said: “As a survivor of abuse, it’s so important to me that the Government is taking action to tackle coercive or controlling behaviour, because it’s not spoken about enough.
“The psychological trauma of being in an abusive relationship can make victims feel very isolated. This new guidance will help those people to know just what coercive or controlling behaviour is and to come forward and report it.”