Emotional, financial and psychological abuse is now to be officially recognised by police as domestic violence.

(116 Posts)
MummysHappyPills Wed 19-Sep-12 11:34:39

Just heard this on 6 music news. About time too.

MummysHappyPills Wed 19-Sep-12 11:42:32

Well I think it's good news anyway. Then maybe women who are having their lives ruined systematically by their partners despite them not actually "hit" them can be protected by the law.

Jux Wed 19-Sep-12 12:20:43

I was v glad to hear this too. They also said that 16 and 17 year olds would be classed as victims too now (wtf were they before?).

MummysHappyPills Wed 19-Sep-12 12:41:33

I know it's madness isn't it? I was in an abusive relationship at 19, and IMO younger women and teenagers are even more vulnerable as they don't have the life experience or confidence to assert themselves and recognise what's happening to them.

lazarusb Wed 19-Sep-12 13:11:23

Absolutely agree with you. It's not only physical abuse which is damaging, and quite why only over 18s were thought to suffer from it I will never know. Hopefully social attitudes will change too and financial, emotional & psychological abuse will be seen as the huge problem that it is.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Sep-12 13:39:08

I think this is very important and very welcome. Not least for victims who, quite often, are very unsure if the treatment they are enduring means they are being abused or not.

FringeEvent Wed 19-Sep-12 13:40:00

I just caught this news on the BBC website, and popped by Mumsnet to see if anyone was discussing it. Here's a link to the story on their website, if anybody would like to read it

olgaga Wed 19-Sep-12 14:40:59

Hi, yes it's great news. I put up threads about it in Legal Matters and Relationships too to spread the word.

I'm pleased to see this!

My SIL was a victim of DV at 16. She was emotionally controlled and intimated and eventually beaten twice. At no point was DC mentioned besides by DH and I and we had to argue to call it that. MIL kept sending her back to her boyfriend to "talk" to him because they had a baby together hmm
Maybe if it happened now she would be more open to understanding.

olgaga Wed 19-Sep-12 14:48:27
MrsBucketxx Wed 19-Sep-12 14:53:55

its a good thing but it could be difficult to prosecute, kinda a he said she said type of thing.

i hope its taken seriously and its not treated lightly.

OneMoreChap Wed 19-Sep-12 14:57:38

I whinged about this, as I think Violence is physical. Did you see the boxout?

Domestic violence statistics

One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime
About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men
One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
On average, 35 assaults happen before the police are called
12% of under 11s, 18% of 11-17s and 24% of 18-24s have been exposed to domestic abuse between adults
Sources: Women's Aid, NSPCC and Parity

40% already surprised me; I'd expect that to rise as the new definition spreads

Socknickingpixie Wed 19-Sep-12 15:20:46

onemore, why did you winge?

OneMoreChap Wed 19-Sep-12 15:27:11

Basically I think taking the physical element out cheapens DV.

I said before any incident of threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.'Emotional abuse is the act of belittling, ignoring, corrupting, acting cruel, isolating, rejecting, and scaring another person. XW certainly did 4 of those.
Are they seriously saying I suffered DV?

And indeed, they are.

olgaga Wed 19-Sep-12 15:42:52

Onemore that's ridiculous. Physical violence is assault - already a criminal matter - and it will remain so.

The new proposals do not "cheapen" physical violence at all. Odd thinking!

OneMoreChap Wed 19-Sep-12 15:51:39

So, I was subject to DV sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Sep-12 15:55:35

I take the point that 'violence' is specifically physical. Someone convicted of coercion in another setting would be classed a non-violent offender. 'Abuse' is a wider definition however. Verbal, financial, emotional, physical, sexual etc. Perhaps 'Domestic Abuse' will become the categorisation in future.

shesariver Wed 19-Sep-12 16:05:21

Basically I think taking the physical element out cheapens DV

But they havent have they? Just added in emotional etc. confused

Cogito, I work in the NHS and any training related to this I have been on has been called "Domestic Abuse" training, not domestic violence.

In one of those strange twists of fate, I was working with one of the lead researchers on the Home Office DV pilot scheme. I work in the NHS and it was related to something else but we got talking about this.

His view is that the extreme nature of it means it is a form of violence. My argument was that it actually made many victims feel it 'wasn't that bad' as they weren't being hit. I experienced many years of abuse and never identified it as DV because of this. I didn't tell him this and his view was that abuse didn't get across the severity of it as well as violence.

Shame people like that don't stop and ask the people who've actually experienced it...

Socknickingpixie Wed 19-Sep-12 16:26:54

onemore if exw isolated you from all forms of support,threatned you intimidated you belittled you to the point that you felt you diserved her behaviour,with held access to finances (beyond whats needed to fund the family) so you couldnt seek help, monitered or limited your movements beyond what a resonable person would think is acceptable left you living in fear even if she didnt physically assult you subjected you to significant verbal abuse used sex and intimacy to intentionally punish and manipulate you, then yes you were.

MummysHappyPills Wed 19-Sep-12 16:34:04

I know it isn't always the case, but often emotional abuse is the precursor to physical abuse. It was for me. My exp never hit me, but he flew into rages, smashed up my possessions, shoved me around. If I hadn't have left him it would only have been a matter of time before he seriously hurt me. These laws might ensure that women have some protection before they are beaten half to death, or even murdered. And besides emotional abuse can still be just as damaging to a person's life and self esteem.

olgaga Wed 19-Sep-12 16:42:12

The point is that currently "There is no specific criminal offence of domestic violence. Instead, a definition that refers to "incidents of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse" was adopted in 2004.

Ministers say that has led police and prosecutors to make too narrow an interpretation of the term and let some perpetrators off the hook."

The point of is that bullying, verbal and emotional abuse and controlling/coercive behaviour will be defined as domestic abuse and could lead to criminal prosecution if it amounts to harassment.

Physical assault will still be assault, and will still be a criminal offence.

As Chief Constable Carmel Napier, of Gwent police, said: "The amendments to the definition are key in helping to raise awareness and enable effective prevention working in partnership with all agencies.

"Domestic abuse ruins lives. In some cases it ends in homicide. This amended definition will help us all to work together to defeat this dreadful crime."

It's about raising awareness of the seriousness of the behaviour, and intervention before people get beaten up and murdered.

It isn't perfect, and change isn't about to happen overnight. But it's a start. At last.

Socknickingpixie Wed 19-Sep-12 17:05:48

mummyshappy im with you on that, my ex spent 7 years wearing me down calling me names isolating me stealing my money trying to get me sectioned screaming at me, smashing my things,bullying me, pushing shoving,making threats using sex to punish and humiliate me,saying things like my experance of a previous rape where obviously my own fault. got me to the point where i actually belived him i doubted my own mental health and thought he was the most powerfull person around as apparently everybody was spying on me for him and he knew my every movement and he would kill my children if i left even if it took him decades to find us,he used to threaten me with a gun and a few times held family pets up and a knife in the other hand and say if i didnt do what he wanted he would stab them

.the first time he was( what at the time i concidered to be properly as the pushes/shoves i found hard to call them that) violent to me was 6 years in when i told him i wanted him gone strangely enough after a relate appointment it took me about 6 months to get shot of him by taking an assult out into the street armed police showed up and i havent clapped eyes on him since so bonus.

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 19-Sep-12 17:25:01

Two very important areas of change there - one changing the definition to include emotional and other similar abuse such as very controlling and coercive behaviour. Then also very importantly recognising that younger women can also be the victims of domestic violence and abuse - indeed may be especially vulnerable due to their limited life experience.

I just hope that the media and news programmes will give sufficient time to these important changes, and that the fact that two changes are happening together will not be a cause of muddled information ( I think news I've seen at lunch time could have had more clarity and more time given to it - since these issues affect the lives of probably millions of women and families in our country)

A good development though for us all smile

Springhasarrived Wed 19-Sep-12 18:48:07

I think it is fantastic news. The emotional abuse I suffered in the time running up to the physical abuse I was able to report to the police was far the worst and most damaging aspect of what happened to me. Men need to know that controlling behaviour is not acceptable and that this is all being highlighted in a change in the law is a huge step forward.

By its very nature it is going to be difficult to prosecute but if I had know that the law said reading my emails, checking my phone, calling me stupid, and swearing at me every day etc etc was not acceptable I am sure I would have got out sooner.

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