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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - Important changes from March 2013

(6 Posts)
olgaga Wed 19-Sep-12 08:58:37

It will be announced today that from March next year the definition of domestic violence is 'to be widened to explicitly include "coercive control", which is defined as complex patterns of abuse by one partner using power and psychological control over another, such as financial, verbal abuse or enforced social isolation'. Teenagers aged 16-18 will also be protected for the first time.

You can read more here:



A little bit of light at the end of the tunnel for anyone who has to put up with bullying, verbal, emotional and financial abuse in the home.

At last. Please spread the word.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Sep-12 09:31:41

It's good news if for no other reason that someone will be able to look at the new guidelines and, rather than wondering 'is this normal/acceptable?', see straight away that it's 'criminal'.

StealthPolarBear Wed 19-Sep-12 09:35:13

yes I heard about this and it's good news. Don't know how easy it will be to enforce though - am thinking physical violence is a lot more obvious. However, good that it's now unquestionably criminal.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Sep-12 09:44:59

I think it's less about enforcement in the purely criminal sense and more about it being recognised by the various agencies as a legitimate problem and, crucially, by victims themselves. You often see on this board, for example, someone who is clearly being subjected to financial, emotional or other non-physical abuse and, when it's suggested they contact Women's Aid, they think it's not for them because they don't have a black eye.

StealthPolarBear Wed 19-Sep-12 09:46:25

yes, very good point

olgaga Wed 19-Sep-12 09:57:25

Agree, and about time too. Also the police won't be able to fob people off quite so easily with statements along the lines of "Oh it's just verbals then? I'm afraid there's nothing we can do..."

I imagine it'll take a while for them to get to grips with it, but if they are asked to intervene before physical violence and refuse to, at least they can be properly brought to account.

What's really interesting is whether this will have an impact in the Family Courts with regard to the consideration of the conduct of ex partners/spouses in divorce proceedings and child residence/contact Orders. At the moment the only "conduct" usually taken into account is physical violence. Anything else is more or less ignored. Surely that will also have to change.

In fact I think I might post this in Legal Matters too!

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