Prosecutors will be able to secure convictions using documentary evidence, such as threatening emails and text messages, and bank statements that show an abuser has sought to control the victim financially.
Crime: Bulling behaviour includes stopping your partner accessing bank accounts, refusing to pay money for child support, or limiting their means of escape by taking their passport or car keys (file photo)
Police and prosecutors will be expected to take action against those who trap their partners in a manner that Home Secretary Theresa May has described as ‘tantamount to torture’.
Coercive behaviour is defined as an ‘act or pattern of acts which are used to harm, punish or frighten a victim’. The offence was part of the Serious Crime Act 2015, which was passed by Parliament earlier this year.
In order for the offence to apply, a culprit’s behaviour must have a ‘serious effect’ on the victim. Home Office guidance says this involves causing someone ‘serious alarm or distress which has a substantial effect on their usual day-to-day activities’.
Police and prosecutors are now being trained to recognise patterns of abuse behaviour which meet the criminal threshold. Louisa Rolfe, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said the new offence ‘will provide more opportunities to evidence other forms of domestic abuse, beyond physical violence’.
Earlier this month it was revealed that domestic violence police units were on the verge of being
‘overwhelmed’ amid a 31 per cent rise in recorded.
Source: : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3376846/Five-years-jail-men-emotionally-bully-wives-New-law-target-bullies-control-partners-coercive-controlling-behaviour.html#ixzz4zBRBX8co
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