From 30th April 2021, domestic abuse legislation has been updated with the following additions:

  • For the first time, there is a legal definition of domestic abuse. This is as follows: Domestic abuse, or domestic violence, is defined across Government as any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality. 
  • ‘Domestic abuse’ covers a range of types of abuse, including, but not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse. ‘Domestic abuse’ can be prosecuted under a range of offences and the term is used to describe a range of controlling and coercive behaviours, used by one person to maintain control over another with whom they have, or have had, an intimate or family relationship.
  • Children who witness or are affected by domestic abuse are now considered to be victims
  • New criminal offences that include post-separation coercive control, non-fatal strangulation, and threats to disclose sexual images
  • A ban on the ‘rough sex’ defence
  • New legal duties for councils with regards to housing for those leaving abusive relationships

There are many other changes to previous legislation. The full bill can be found here.

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