coercive control

As we await the guidance and implementation for the new offence of coercive control many are gearing up to ensure their response
On December 18 the Government announced that it would introduce legislation to create a criminal offence of coercive control. The aim of the new law is to protect domestic violence victims from sustained patterns of psychological abuse. The maximum sentence for anyone found guilty could be imprisonment for up to five years.
Today, our legal system is one step closer to being able to hold domestic violence perpetrators accountable for their crimes. It is one step closer to being able to accurately depict the true nature of domestic violence within the courtroom and further protect victims of domestic violence and their children.
What is the point of creating new laws when the ones we already have are not being used effectively? A law is only as good as its implementation. It is already possible to prosecute non-physical forms of abuse - including psychiatric injury, threats, stalking and harassment. We need to get the basics right first... I agree that the law needs to be strengthened - but not by criminalising coercive control. Instead, the government needs to abandon its gender-neutral approach to tackling domestic violence and start addressing violence against women for what it truly is - a deeply gendered crime.
The law needs to be modernised and if we are to challenge the behaviour of perpetrators appropriately, we need an offence that reflects the reality of domestic abuse in all its guises. By criminalising this form of abuse and having specialist legislation, similar to the stalking law introduced in 2012, it would send a message that abusive and coercively controlling behaviour within a relationship is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.