Coercive control offence
The Government announced on Saturday that the new criminal offence of coercive control will take effect from 29th December 2015. This means that it will be a criminal offence for a person to continuously or repeatedly behave in a way which controls a person they are in an intimate relationship with, or a family member or ex-partner that they live with. An offence will have been committed only if the behaviour has had a serious effect on the victim and if the abuser ought to have known that their behaviour would have a serious effect on the victim. If found guilty, the abuser could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison.
The Government has already released statutory guidance to help professionals identify and appropriately address cases of coercive control.
We will be producing a new legal guide on the offence of coercive control, which will be available on our website in the new year.