From 29 December, 'controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship' will become illegal. It does not need to be physically violent; it does not even need to be physically threatening, but it is abuse. From now, you can be tried in a criminal court and face up to five years in prison if found guilty of it.
She was waiting for me in an Addison Lee outside of St Pancras. She told me she was my key worker. We made small talk as we drove a to a grand Georgian house. We sat in her office for hours filling in forms before she issued me with my PO Box address, door keys and the one refuge rule - no one must know where you are.
Young people and teenagers are far less likely than adults to know where to turn for help, and research shows that if parents think they would know if their daughter was being abused by a boyfriend, they are kidding themselves. Only a tiny minority of teenage victims would tell a parent. The new criminal offence is a significant step forward.
Everyone has the right to live free from intimidation, to know those closest to them will not try to control their every move, and to be sure they will be protected if they do suffer abuse... Today I am pleased to say the Government has announced a range of new measures and funding to build on the strides we have already made and offer more protection to victims and survivors of different forms of abuse.
Accountability is critical. There are lots of ways councils could be held to account. A commissioner, a taskforce, an ombudsperson: all of these have been suggested. These are all fine - as long as the government also ensures that local councils follow our list of five key priorities for the funding too.
Today, we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I commend any campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence, but for me - this is my every day. Each year there are 100,000 victims at high-risk of being seriously injured or killed in the UK. And those are the ones we know about. And that is why I do the job...
At times, voices come back claiming that violence against women is in no way tolerated by most of our society, and some claim (perhaps condescendingly) that I am a victim of my own tragic loss, that I may be more prone to see violence where there is none, because my life has been shattered by it, after the violent death of my wife.