UK & World News
Domestic Abuse: Controlling Partners Targeted
Ministers are to change the definition of domestic abuse to recognise under-18s for the first time - and protect victims from "coercive" non-violent threatening behaviour.
It means men or women who abuse their partners by stopping them going out or abuse them emotionally could be found guilty of domestic violence offences.
The law is being extended to protect 16 and 17-year-olds for the first time amid fears many teenage girls who suffer in abusive relationships have been unable to get the help they need.
There is no clear criminal definition of domestic violence.
However, a Government-backed definition agreed eight years ago includes any incident of "threatening behaviour, violence or abuse" between partners or family members, regardless of gender.
The "coercive" element is to be added amid concerns over methods used by offenders to break down their partners by denying them freedom and dignity - such as barring them from seeing friends and locking them inside the home.
Campaigners welcomed the changes but warned that more funding is urgently required to help highly vulnerable victims.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the changes, which will be in place by March next year, "help expose the true face of domestic violence, which is much more complex and much more widespread than people often realise.
"Suffering at the hands of people who are meant to care for you is horrific at any age, but it can be especially damaging for young people - the scars can last a lifetime."
The Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (Caada) charity found 183 cases involving those aged under 18 over a two-year period, with many teenagers experiencing at least the same level of violence as adults.
Diana Barran, Caada's chief executive, said: "The young women in our research were at high risk of serious harm or murder. Over a quarter had self-harmed and one in five were pregnant."
Chief Constable Carmel Napier, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the amendments would help raise awareness about victims and help police work with support groups to tackle the "dreadful crime".
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what do you think?
A step forward for common sense
This can only be a step forward to battle against this appalling crime that not only oppresses both genders but does serious damage to children that can perpetuate a cycle of abuse. It should be part of the national curriculum in some form.
Totally ridiculous, if your partner is the one emotionally abusing they would probably be clever enough and devious enough to use this law for themselves as they do current laws ,its very easy, especially for women.
There is seemingly a policy that assumes the innocence of the complainant which I am seeing in Staffordshire so I hope this revised policy also includes a better system for investigation. In some domestic situations truth can be a liberal commodity.
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So now its against the law to try to stop your 16yr old daughter from seeing the local thug, well thought through this one.
We as parents have limited powers to discipline our children as it is, under this new law does this mean we can be arrested for not allowing our 16/17 year old out on a school night till when ever they see fit and insisting they stay at home? I hope no matter how much a teenager moans etc they know the difference between common sense and real abuse, but how many will still see it as unfair and to get back at their parents give the local police a call. Children know more about their rights than we ever did growing up and i'm not saying that's a bad thing just another worry for many parents trying not to step over a line between those who are trying to be a friend to their kids instead of being a parent and teaching right from wrong.
Can someone explain, I don't know if I have misread, is it about parents, or about young peoples partners? I have read article afew times, and am not getting it....
Parts in the story suggest it could include parents like "threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between partners or family members" and "Suffering at the hands of people who are meant to care for you is horrific at any age, but it can be especially damaging for young people. There is no definition that it is not including parents of teenagers who might not appreciate their parents curfews and rules.
Thankyou, andrea, ....