Coercive Controlling Behaviour
Coercive or Controlling Behaviour
Coercive or controlling behaviour is now a Crime
Victims who would otherwise be subjected to sustained patterns
of domestic abuse will be better protected under a new offence,
which came into force on 29th December 2015.
The government’s new
coercive or controlling behaviour offence will mean victims who
experience the type of behaviour that stops short of serious
physical violence, but amounts to extreme psychological and
emotional abuse, can bring their perpetrators to justice. The
offence will carry a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine or
Referrals, prosecutions and the volume of
convictions for domestic violence and abuse have risen to their
highest ever levels.
The government is committed to supporting
the police to bring offenders to justice and to ensure victims have
the support they need to rebuild their lives.
Coercive or controlling behaviour does not
relate to a single incident, it is a purposeful pattern of
incidents that occur over time in order for one individual to exert
power, control or coercion over another.
The new offence aims to close a gap in the
law around patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour during a
relationship between intimate partners, former partners who still
live together, or family members.
This sends a clear message that it is wrong
to violate the trust of those closest to you, providing better
protection to victims experiencing continuous abuse and allowing
for earlier identification, intervention and prevention.
Statutory guidance framework: controlling
or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship. This
statutory guidance is for the police and criminal justice agencies.
It may also be relevant to assist the work of non-governmental
organisations and voluntary organisations. It extends to England
and Wales only.
This guidance provides information on:
- identifying domestic violence, domestic
abuse and controlling or coercive behaviour
- circumstances in which the new offence
- the types of evidence for the
- the defence