This is good news for all of us who would like to see emotional abuse & other forms of coercive control treated on a par with physical abuse. Framing the legislation won't be easy and it will need several test cases to refine it, no doubt, but I think it's an important statement of what our society will not tolerate and it should give some hope to victims who, up to now, have often felt that they can't seek help because they are not subjected to actual bodily harm.
If I had a magic wand I would also make it a lot easier for police to step in and bring prosecutions rather than waiting for a coercively controlled victim to find the confidence to report the abuse and/or press charges.
It's a good idea, but certainly will be difficult to implement in practice.
Hopefully giving this a name and making it an offence will help people realise that the situation they're enduring is not normal and not their fault, whether it results in many successful prosecutions or not. Hopefully the existence of this law will give some would-be perpetrators of EA pause for thought so that less of it happens in the first place.
I'm thrilled about this! There's plenty of evidence that outlawing something raises awareness among victims, perpetrators and bystanders. I'm sure the final framing - and subsequent refinement in courts - will be something of a rocky road, but this is how we re-set our values here, and well worth doing imo.
I sometimes think you can tell how badly a new social/relationship law is needed by the amount of fulmination about it This one's been met with vociferous protest all the way, not unlike previous discrimination laws and marital rape.
It's nice to be proud of the UK legal system for once.
It will! I think this particular move is intended to raise awareness - among the public and the police - by crystallising the issue. The CPS has long issued guidance on emotional/psychological abuse: "Domestic violence is widely recognised as being a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour, through which the perpetrator seeks to exert power over the victim."
"The Government definition of domestic violence is: "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".