At Paladin we take all threats to harm and kill seriously, including an alarming increase in threats to throw acid at a victim, which has happened in 12% of our recent cases. We know that 1 in 2 of domestic stalkers, if they make a threat will act on it and it's 1 in 10 of non-intimate stalkers, if they make threat, will act on it.
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.
We're asking the government to criminalise psychological abuse, coercive control and allow the police to take patterns of repeated abusive behaviour into account so that no one has to feel, like Claire: "I felt that I would never, ever be free. He controlled every aspect of my life, and left me terrified and feeling worthless and alone."