Yesterday the Home Office announced changes to take effect from March 2013 widening the definition of “domestic violence”. From March next year the definition of domestic violence will include young people from the age of 16 years thereby finally recognising that young people also suffer at the hands of those they are in a relationship with.
The definition will also be extended significantly to include “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour “. Types of abuse included would be sexual, financial, and psychological as well as physical. This means that behaviour such as preventing somebody from leaving a property or removing their phone or limiting their access to money could lead to a prosecution. Abuse does not always include physical assault and is often more subtle and manipulative. It is hoped that these changes will ensure that more people are prosecuted for domestic violence.
Should you have concerns regarding domestic violence and need advice please do not hesitate to contact Erica Cottrell or Chantal Findlay at Harold G Walker Solicitors on 01202 203234.