Abusers who control their partners, spouses or family members to psychological and emotional torment could face up to five years in prison.
The new legislation follows a consultation by the Home Office in which 85% of participants said the existing law did not provide sufficient protection. The new law which is now in force in England and Wales was welcomed by The Women’s Aid charity who said it was a “landmark moment” in tackling abuse issues.
In a timely publication, the Citizens Advice Bureau released figures showing a 24% rise in those seeking advice for domestic abuse.
Bromleys Family expert Samantha Clifford said “we have seen a spike in people attending our free legal surgeries wanting to discuss their options on how to get out of a domestic violence relationship. All too often, people think of domestic violence as physical abuse but this is simply not the case as it extends to threats, aggressive behaviour, humiliation, freedom of movement and online surveillance such as checking social media accounts and online activity. This new law will hopefully encourage those who are subjected to domestic violence to seek advice and get the support they need and, hopefully make abusers think twice before trying to control their victims.”
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